Patterns of Drug Use

Authored by Granite Recovery Centers    Reviewed by James Gamache    Last Updated: August 27th, 2021

James Gamache Medical Reviewer
Jim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and Licensed Masters Level Addictions Counselor (MLADC). He has been working in the field of mental health/addiction treatment since 1995. Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Springfield College in 2000, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University in 2002. In 2002 Jim was hired by the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester holding the position of Clinical Case Manager. From 2004-2019, Jim was employed at WestBridge Inc. During his time at WestBridge, Jim held the following positions; Clinician, Team Leader, Director, & Chief Operations Officer. In 2019 Jim transitioned employment to GateHouse Treatment Center as the Clinical Director for 10 months. In October of 2020 Jim transitioned to Granite Recovery Centers and is currently serving as the Senior VP of Clinical Services and Quality Assurance.

Drug addiction is a disease that causes the body and mind to develop a dependency. The reliance on the drug can happen very quickly as in the case of opioid painkillers or cocaine. However, all drug use presents the danger of addiction. It includes alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine. Whatever you or your loved one’s addiction, rehabilitation is possible. There are many drug addiction therapy programs in New England to choose from so the hope is in sight.

What Are The Patterns of Drug Use?

As mentioned above, some drugs cause an almost immediate need. There are drugs that develop dependency over time and a pattern is apparent. According to Schaeffer’s model, patterns of drug use include:

  • Experimental – this would be someone who just uses the drug one time or for a brief period of time
  • Recreational or social – an individual only uses the drug in a social setting such as a party, concert, or sports event
  • Situational – uses the drug for a particular situation such as during recovery from surgery or after an injury
  • Intensive – a person partakes of high doses of the drug and often binges
  • Compulsive – drug use is out of control and withdrawals to occur when the drug is discontinued

Symptoms of Drug Addiction

There are many indicators of drug addiction. Obviously, the signs may differ from drug to drug as well as being unique with each person. However, there are several routine pieces of evidence:

  • The drug becomes the main focus. Work, relationships and school will suffer. Financial problems develop and the addict continues to spend money on the drug
  • Increased use of the amount of the drug as well as using more frequently, often daily or several times in a day; keeping a stash of the drug to make sure you have it at all times without waiting
  • Doing illegal things that you wouldn’t normally do in order to buy drugs. This might be stealing, prostitution or selling items that don’t belong to you
  • Spending all your time buying drugs, using drugs or recovering from the drug use
  • Feeling violent, argumentive and angry, especially when drug use is stopped
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop drug use

What Should I Do?

The first step is admitting there is a problem. Many times the addict is unable to do this. In this case, friends or family may need to do an intervention. This should only be done under the direction of a trained, licensed therapist. For an addict who wants to get clean, there is hope. Realizing that drugs are affecting your life and health is key. Some drug addiction is a side effect of depression, anxiety or fear – a need to escape these intense feelings. Rehabilitation can teach you coping skills and assist in conquering your drug dependence.

Granite Recovery Centers in New England, has twelve quality locations, each offering a full-service drug and alcohol addiction recovery program. Our friendly, compassionate staff is ready to help. We offer a holistic approach to recovery. Are you tired of having your addiction ruin your life? It doesn’t have to be that way – call us today to get started on your recovery: 855.712.7784 .

At Granite Recovery Centers, we want to provide accurate information about health and addiction so that our readers can make informed decisions.

We have credentialed medical doctors & clinicians who specialize in addiction treatment review the information on our website before it is published. We use credible sources such as government websites and journal articles when citing statistics or other medically related topics.