Everyone is aware of the dangers of illegal drugs, but might not realize that there is equal harm and risk using legal drugs such as alcohol, cigarettes and inappropriate use of prescription or over-the-counter medicines. The chance of becoming dependent on drugs is similar to the chance of becoming dependent on alcohol. Someone dependent on drugs may experience difficulty controlling their use, spend a lot of time involved in drug use, and less time on other things in life.

Using drugs can become a problem depending on a number of factors:
  • what drug is used
  • your size, height and weight
  • your mood and personality
  • whether you have eaten
  • whether other drugs have been taken
  • the way the drug is taken
  • why the drug is taken
  • the environment where the drug is taken

Some users of drugs experience what is known as a “Come Down” or “Crashing”. The experience can be triggered by numerous different drugs, and some people seem more susceptible to this happening. The users will experience a dramatic worsening of mood as the peak effects wear off.

This is caused by physiological and psychological factors. Physiologically, all the chemicals in the drugs that make you feel euphoric and full of energy have been absorbed or used up by the brain and this makes you sad, scared, annoyed and exhausted.

Psychologically, you feel sad because you are coming down from an experience and don’t want the feelings to go. Due to this, some users find themselves re-using the substance to put off or avoid the come down.

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Disclaimer: Please be aware that the information in this section is not intended as a substitute for clinical diagnosis or to replace the advice of a medical professional. If concerned, please contact your family doctor or phone the Samaritans on 116 123, or visit www.yourmentalhealth.ie.

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