Author: Александр Шуляк

Александр Шуляк

Координатор группы созависимых, психотерапевт
Александр Шуляк

How quickly drug addiction appears

The time required for the formation of addiction to narcotic substances depends primarily on their type and method of administration into the body. Regardless of the type of drug, it is customary to distinguish three stages of drug addiction development:

  1. Psychic addiction. It occurs with the regular use of psychoactive substances and is characterized by a constant decrease in the state of euphoria, which leads to the need to increase the dose. In the intervals between the methods, the addict experiences discomfort, mental stress, his performance decreases.
  2. Physical addiction. The addict’s body continues to adapt to drugs, causing a series of functional disorders characteristic of withdrawal symptoms or “withdrawal symptoms”. During this period, constant mental discomfort, disorders of the autonomic nervous system, appetite disturbances, vomiting, limb cramps, etc. are added to the existing changes.
  3. The third stage is characterized by significant changes in the psyche and physical state of the addict. Drug addiction continues to grow. Apathy, impaired coordination of movements, physical exhaustion, pallor of the skin, a decrease in blood pressure are the most characteristic symptoms of a progressive disease.

How drug addiction occurs

Let’s consider how drug addiction develops using the example of different types of drugs:

  • Opiates. The timing of the development of addiction depends on the type of drug and the way it is used. With intravenous injection of heroin, dependence is formed after 4-5 injections, morphine – after 10-15 injections, opium (“shirki”) – after 2-3 weeks of use, codeine – after 1 month of irregular use. The slowest addiction occurs with oral opium use.
  • Cannabinoids (marijuana, hashish). The most widespread type of drug addiction in the world, which forms within 1-10 years of regular cannabis smoking. It is expressed in severe mental discomfort with long interruptions in use.
  • Barbiturates. The addiction occurs quite quickly – the daily use of barbiturates in therapeutic doses leads to mental dependence after 4-6 weeks, and after another 4 weeks physical dependence is formed. The signs of the first stage of addiction are feelings of anxiety, dissatisfaction.
  • Psychostimulants (cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, ecstasy). Addiction develops no later than 3 weeks of irregular use or after 4-5 intravenous injections. The increase in tolerance occurs, as a rule, due to the more frequent use of drugs. In the absence of psychoactive substances, it is difficult for a person to concentrate, he feels mental discomfort, and his working capacity decreases.
  • Hallucinogens. This category of drugs, as a rule, is used irregularly, therefore, in comparison with other types of addiction, addiction to hallucinogens occurs less often. Most often it manifests itself in the form of mental dependence, and after a certain period, patients begin to take other drugs. Nevertheless, there are psychedelic drugs that can cause severe mental and physical dependence after the first dose. These include products based on lysergic acid (LSD).
  • Salts. Persistent mental and physical dependence is formed after the first use. In order to cope with withdrawal symptoms, an addict has to take a narcotic substance every few hours. Long-term drug addicts can do up to 30 injections per day.

Signs of drug use

The main signs of addiction for all types of drugs:

  • Sudden changes in mood. They arise without objective reasons. The person may be overly irritable, aggressive, or unnaturally cheerful.
  • Biorhythm disorders. During the formation of addiction, violations of the regime are noted: at night, the addict can stay awake, be active, and during the day be lethargic, sleepy.
  • Changes in appetite. They appear in its complete absence or vice versa – in bouts of “gluttony”. The usual regimen of food intake is disrupted – a person can eat nothing during the day, and eat a large amount of food at night.
  • Behavior changes. The circle of contacts changes significantly: he breaks off all ties with old acquaintances, but he has new comrades with whom, at first glance, nothing connects a person. The addict seeks to be in solitude most of the time, returns late, without explaining the reasons for the absence. Very often he lies for no reason, without fear that it may look implausible.
  • Increased need for material resources. The addict is in dire need of money, does not explain his spending. Valuables may disappear from the house, and you learn about his debts from friends or neighbors.
  • Unkempt appearance. Drug addicts pay little attention to their appearance. Dirty, wrinkled clothes, neglect of personal hygiene rules – all these signs are aggravated with the development of the disease.

It is impossible to cure a drug addict at home. “Breaking” is a serious test for an addict, so do not try to force it to endure, but try to talk about the need for treatment in a specialized clinic. If a drug addict refuses to be treated, we recommend contacting the “Transformation” rehabilitation center (via the website or by phone), where they will provide you with psychological assistance and help to motivate the patient for treatment.