Every society in existence today has its own drugs. People have given almost
as many reasons for using drugs, as there are the drugs themselves. One of the
reasons, the most basic human impulse, for pleasure; is found in a variety of
ways. Some of us find it in relationships, in our work, in our material gains,
in our drugs. This is inherent within the human make-up. Today in the
twenty-first century, drugs are everywhere. Cups of
medication are just some of the legal kinds.
and so on, some of the illegal types. The less obvious 'drugs' may include
Drug taking is something we enjoy doing, or at least, we did at first.
So why do we start taking drugs or get involved in a particular behaviour in
the first place? Some of the reasons are listed below, on a personal level; this
will be something only you can really answer. If you are looking at the site for
someone else, ask them. The most common reason will probably be because it gives
us pleasure or alternatively some other function that we value, such as those
Some of the reasons why we may want to change our mood may include for
anger, hurt or rejection
influence from friends/family
unaware of the effects
escape from circumstances
boredom or curiosity
Over a period of time the 'Drugs' will effect and possibly cause problems in
Has your/someone else's drug taking caused problems in one or more of these
Looking for pleasure
The search for pleasure can be the early roots of the drug taking. Some
people are continually following this pursuit for happiness and fulfillment, some
people believe they have found it in a variety of behaviours or substances.
Often, people usually the young people, will start using alcohol or other drugs
experimentally with friends. (Research tells us the younger people start using
drugs, the more chance of developing problematic behaviour.) Any problematic
behaviour can be developed in the same way. Someone at home all day, may feel
bored and go out on a shopping spree. This experience may cause them to be put
off using the activity altogether or it may lead them to experiment further.
This may lead them into what is known as recreational use, where they may
start visiting the gym or have the occasional 'flutter' on the grand national,
or using the substance with friends at parties for instance. The individual may
regularly go out shopping, not necessarily spending a lot of money.
Many people will use substances, such as alcohol or other drugs,
recreationally, for instance, this weekend, without developing problematic use.
Clearly, where the use of the substance is legally permitted, such as alcohol
there should be no legal ramifications surrounding the actual use. The problems
may arise afterwards, for instance, in the case of an offence of drink driving,
or the storing up of illegal information on their computer, such as in some of
the high profile cases reported in the media recently. Over a period of time the
individual may enjoy the effect of the activity or the substance and start to
indulge in it more frequently.
As the individual repetitively continues to partake in the activity, whatever
that may be, so they can come to depend on it. This can be a particularly strong
dependence, for instance with a drug such as heroin where a compulsion can be
Whatever the activity however, if one has become dependant on it, it may
become just as difficult for the individual to control, as any of the other
addictions. The pull, or the power, an addiction has over someone should never
be made light of; the only person who understands that pull, is the individual.
The severity of the grip the addiction has over the individual will never be
realised until the person tries to live without it.
The diagram below displays the three main categories of use with regard to
the activities and substances mentioned above. There are other ways of showing
this? We have favoured the triangle because of the potential for the person to
move either way through the triangle moving for instance from problematic use
back to recreational or experimental use. i.e. there should always be an element
of hope whatever the situation.
The continued use of the substance causes the tolerance level to increase
thereby the person will need to partake in more of the activity or substance to
receive the same effect. It may provide them with a release from a particularly
difficult time in their life, such as a bereavement or relationship breakdown.
This can be the start of problematic use. As the use develops slowly problems
may start arising. For example problems with relationships because the
individual is always on their computer or down at the gym. Taking a day off work
with a bad hangover. Trouble with the police, financial difficulties because of
amount spent shopping or in the pub, and probably, worst of all, problems with
the individual's own health.
Many people will identify that they are developing problematic use, very
early on and reduce or cut out altogether their involvement. Others will allow
time to slip by and the problem to grow.
Freedom from your 'drug' is possible. Though it may seem just a distant light
in the future or maybe you cannot even see the light, because so many other
things are crowding it, it is possible. Everyone has their own testimonies, and
as a Christian we have many testimonies of how Jesus has set people free from
addictions. This phrase may seem a cliché, but when you think of Jesus as the
Son of God, the Creator of the Universe, you realise that nothing is impossible
for Him. As He even knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew Chap.10 verse
30) you can imagine that He knows all about what we are going through. If this
interests you, please talk it over with a friend who you know has experienced
Jesus, or of course you may contact us.
What is the difference between abuse and dependence?
Abuse of the substance or behaviour, is characterised by having too much, too
often. It is a pattern that leads to failure to fulfil responsibilities at work,
home, or school, and/or repeatedly partaking in the behaviour in dangerous or
potentially hazardous situations. There may also be legal and/or financial
problems as a result of the behaviour/habit.
Dependence, on the other hand, describes a compulsion to continue partaking
in the behaviour, the inability to stop, uncontrolled behaviour. 'A state in
which one can only function in the presence of the drug' The taking of the drug
can be to avoid the physical discomfort of withdrawal, this is known as physical
Where the compulsion has a psychological basis - the need for stimulation or
pleasure or the desire for a chemical crutch for instance - it is referred to as
Well if you have got this far ... well done!
You will probably now want to get some more specific information about the
particular addiction which interests you, so click on the
Addiction menu to the left of this page. Go on ..!