Drug Addiction

What is it?
Drug addiction refers to the abuse of both illegal and prescription drugs – including sleeping tablets, anti-depressants, Benzodiazepines and pain killers.
It also applies to the taking of over-the-counter medication that has addictive properties, including pain killers and cough medicine.


Most drug addictions start with casual or social use of a drug. For some, using the drug develops into a habit, becoming more and more frequent. A user will find that, over time, they may need larger doses of the drug to get ‘high’ – and may need the drug just to ‘feel good’. As the drug use increases, a user will find it increasingly difficult to go without the drug, and will suffer intense cravings and feel physically ill if they attempt to go without the drug.

What are the symptoms of drug abuse?

  • Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly daily or even several times per day.
  • Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug.
  • Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug.
  • Spending money on the drug even though you cannot afford it.
  • Doing things that you normally wouldn’t do to get the drug – such as stealing, forging prescriptions or drug dealing.
  • Feeling that you need the drug to deal with your problems.
  • Driving or doing other risky activities when you’re under the influence of the drug
  • Focusing more and more time and energy on getting the drug and using the drug

What are some signs of drug abuse?

  • Problems at school/college/work.
  • Frequently missing, and a disinterest in school, college or work.
  • A drop in grades or dropping out of school or college.
  • Warnings from work.
  • Physical health issues, such as lack of energy and motivation. (Signs and symptoms of drug use and dependence varies according to drug type.)
  • Neglected appearance; a sudden loss of interest in clothing and grooming.
  • Changes in behaviour and in relationships with family and friends.
  • If you are worried that someone you care about has an addiction problem, you may discover money or items stolen from previously safe places at home – which are being sold to support a drug habit.

Do I need to be concerned about my drug-taking?

  • Do you use drugs to build self confidence?
  • Have you ever missed work or school due to your drug use?
  • Do you neglect your family or relationships because of drug use?
  • Do people remark on the amount of drugs you are using?
  • Is your drug use affecting your reputation?
  • Do you feel guilty or remorseful after drug use?
  • Do you feel more at ease when socialising or out on a date, when you have taken drugs?
  • Do you borrow money or neglect your obligations because of your drug use?
  • Do you ever wake up and wonder what happened the night before?
  • Have you ever tried to quit or cut back your drug use?
  • Have you ever been in hospital or been arrested for your drug use?
  • Do you use drugs until your supply is gone?
  • Were you ever treated by your doctor for your drug use?
  • Do you use drugs as soon as you have a problem at home, in school, or at work?
  • Have you ever switched drugs thinking a specific drug is ‘the problem’?
  • Have you ever lied about what or how much you use?
  • Do you think a lot about drugs?
  • Do you continue to use drugs despite negative consequences?
  • Have you ever used drugs to mask your emotional pain?
  • Have you ever thought you may have a drug problem?

If you answered ‘yes’ to 5 of these questions or your answers concern you, please contact us in confidence at 065 684 0944 or by e-mail at We will guide and support you in making positive changes to your life. For further details visit and