Drugs reduce your brain’s ability to recognise what you need. When you use a lot of a drug or use more often, good feelings can become unpleasant feelings like anxiety, hallucinations, or aggression. Similarly, when you start to comedown off a drug your brain can tell you it wants more even when you know that isn't a good idea for your life.
An easy tool to keep well is HALTS. Take a moment to ask yourself five questions...
|Hungry||Have I had enough to eat today?|
|Angry||Am I feeling angry about something?|
|Lonely||Am I feeling lonely and need company?|
|Tired||Do I need to go to sleep or have a rest?|
|Stressed||Do I feel stressed about something?|
Ignoring HALTS and deciding to use more of a drug may feel like it fixes unpleasant feelings. But it can also lead to worse feelings and a harder and longer comedown later. By this time you could again be tempted to use more and this kind of choice can become a pattern. HALTS is a way to stop this loop.
Your study, work or home responsibilities are sliding because of your drug use (e.g. skipping class or work, or neglecting your children).
Your drug use is getting you into trouble with the law, such as arrests for disorderly behaviour, driving under the influence, or stealing to get money for drugs.
You’ve built up a tolerance which means you need more of the drug to feel the effect you want.
You’ve stopped doing the stuff you used to love doing, like previous interests, sport, and social activities. Instead, you've given that time to use drugs.
Your life revolves around using drugs and doing what ever it is that you do on drugs. You spend way too much time using, thinking about, planning to get, or recovering from the effects of drugs.
If you go too long without drugs, you experience withdrawal symptoms like nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, or anxiety.
You do more drugs, more often than you told yourself you should. You may want to stop using, but you've lost or are losing control.
Your relationships are strained because of your drug use. This could include fights with your partner or whānau members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends.
You're embarrassed or ashamed about the stuff you do when high; like driving high, using dirty needles, hanging with people you normally wouldn't, having sex for drugs, or risky sex.
You start off and you don’t care about what you’re losing and I think for me, I started wanting to just be fucked up and different.