What They Say?

People can experience problems with many different types of drugs, those prescribed by a medical professional as well as illicit street drugs.

Problems with drugs often creep up over time without you noticing and something that once worked for you may now cause more problems than you are ready to deal with. Regardless of the substance used there are common signs that indicate problematic drug use. Accepting that there may be a problem, even if you are still experiencing benefits from drugs, is the first step in getting help.

Look out for the following signs to see if you may need help to address your drug use.

Psychological dependence

We’re still thinking about it even if we’re not doing it.

Psychological dependence is the feeling of not being able to cope without substances. Psychological dependence causes your thinking, feelings and actions to be tuned towards drug use. For example you might be pre-occupied with thoughts about drug use and may experience cravings when you’re not using. You might obsess about getting and using drugs rather than focusing on other things in life and notice that the things that used to be important to you are being replaced by the drive to use.

Emotional withdrawal symptoms

Guilt and remorse.

As well as psychological dependence you may experience a range of emotional withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, irritability, mood swings, loss of concentration or cravings when not engaging in the behaviour. Emotional withdrawal also includes feelings of regret, guilt and shame about the addictive behaviour.

Lack of interest in other aspects of life

It feels like the only thing that makes life worth living.

You may feel that nothing else but substance use gives you any gratification in life. This is explained by changes that happen in the brain’s reward pathways after engaging in long-term substance use. Luckily, this effect on the brain can be reversed with active effort towards recovery.

Health problems due to drug use

Noticing changes to your day-to-day physical and mental health.

Even short term drug use can cause health problems, both physical and psychological. People may feel that drugs help with certain mental health conditions but usually in the longer term they make your pre-existing mental health problems worse.

If you are concerned about drug use you can use our self screening tool below. We do not store any data or information from these forms and it's completely anonymous.

self screening tool