preoccupation with obtaining and using drug of choice
persistent or periodic cravings for the drug
compulsive use despite eventual absence of euphoric effect
fears being without drug of choice
compulsive use of other drug, including alcohol, in absence of
drug of choice
Loss of ability to control use
can't refuse drug when offered
can't self-limit the amount used
binge patterns of excessive use - especially true with cocaine
failed attempts to stop using
Continued use despite adverse consequences
medical complications: lethargy, insomnia, appetite disturbances,
loss of sex drive, impotence, abscesses and other infections,
nasal or sinus problems.
psychiatric complications: depression, irritability, paranoia,
suicidal/homicidal ideation or gestures
social complications: financial, relationships
denies that the problem exists
denies or down plays the seriousness of adverse effects
acts defensively when asked or confronted about drug use
Person has no chance of recovery unless he/she can work through
denial. Chemical dependency is a chronic recurring disease.
(any episode of drug use) can happen anytime. It is progressive.
A number of relapses increases the risk of re-addiction.
Mental Health Matters for information
and articles. Get
help to find
a therapist or list
your practice; and Psych
Forums for message boards on a variety of MH topics.
Copyright © Patty Fleener, M.S.W. All