Occasional Drug Use Can Turn Into Full-Blown Addiction

Occasional Drug Use Can Turn Into Full-Blown Addiction

Drug addiction can have profound effects on a person. A Dublin man even buried himself alive.

He wasn’t acting on a bad trip though. In fact, he had been clean for 30 years.

After attending funerals of friends who died of heroin overdose, mental health advocate John Edwards buried himself for 48 hours in three different locations.

He chose Florida because of the 6,000 tragic overdoses the state reported last year, Baltimore because it has one of the world’s largest drug clinics, and his hometown of Dublin.

Buried in a specially outfitted coffin, Edwards took phone calls from those struggling with addiction and thoughts of suicide.

With nearly 20 million Americans struggling with addiction, many of the people who find themselves in this predicament began with casual, occasional drug use. Occasional sometimes turns to frequent, and then an addiction can develop.  

 

Marijuana use is often described as harmless, but it DOES have lasting effects

With legislative fights to legalize medical and recreational marijuana in the news, many people are faced with misinformation that marijuana (commonly referred to as “weed”) has only positive effects, and is not even addictive.

However, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that at least 30 percent of marijuana users have some level dependence.

It may even be more, as the intoxicating chemical,  tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in marijuana has increased from about 1 percent in the early to 1990s to an average of 13 percent today, with commercially available products sometimes reaching as high as 30 percent THC content.

Furthermore, while many use the substance to feel relaxed, euphoric, or enjoy heightened sensory perception, each person experiences the drug differently.

Many negative effects of the drug include:

  • Panic and paranoia

  • Hallucinations

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Decreased coordination

  • Decreased interest in previous activities

  • Increased heart rate

 

Opiate dependence can come as a surprise and many are taken aback at the effects, even with the “Opioid Crisis” being covered in the news

Opioid addiction sometimes begins when patients take painkillers such as oxycodone.

Usually, this occurs when patients ignore directions. Sometimes this happens because patients build up a tolerance to the drug’s effects, and begin to take more than the prescribed dosage.

Others take these drugs because it can produce a temporary feeling of euphoria. But the withdrawal symptoms are often severe, including:

  • Anxiety

  • Muscle pain

  • Irritability

  • Insomnia

  • Runny nose

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Cramped stomach

 

Opioid dependence can even lead to heroin use

As the opioid tolerance and withdrawals both grow, those with a dependence sometimes turn to heroin, the drug that put Edwards’ friends in the ground before he was inspired to bury himself alive for mental health awareness.

Heroin is dangerous, with long-term effects like:

  • Collapsed veins

  • Heart infections

  • Increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDS

  • Lung disease

 

The worst effects of any drug are the mental struggles of dependence and trying to reach the road to recovery

Those faced with drug dependence are not only dealing the negative effects listed above on their mood and bodies.

They also deal with stigma. There is often judgment from the community, and those substance use disorders can feel like they are buried alive under financial problems, stress and illness, disapproval, and more.

So mental health campaigner John Edwards symbolically buried himself, to speak from the grave that change is possible.

He told the Irish Independent before being buried' for 48 hours in Belfast last year, “This is about bringing people together, interacting with them and offering help and support and words of life from the grave.’”

Recover At Home is reaching out to you too

With recovery options from support groups to a personal peer recovery specialist, Recover At Home wants you to be able to restore your life.

Using techniques like video and phone counseling, and online support groups, people struggling with addiction can recover in their own environment, with their existing support systems, families, children, and jobs still there to steady them.

Recover At Home will reach out to you where you are already at.

Contact us here: https://www.recoverathome.org/