Agitation and Drug Addiction

What Is Agitation?

Agitation is a physical and emotional state of anxiety, restlessness or excitement that affects your behaviour, thought and mood. Agitation could be a cause for concern on the part of your family members and friends (and sometimes even the general public). This is because the physical and behavioural signs that accompany depression are those that you haven’t previously exhibited.

Agitation is often characterised by such symptoms as pacing, fidgeting, anger, hand-wriggling, snapping at people, lack of focus or concentration, inability to think, difficulty in sleeping, as well as being easy to provoke. Thus, it can negatively affect your everyday life and duties.

What Are the Possible Causes of Agitation?

Frustration with personal endeavours such as those related to business, work, competition or relationships are a possible cause of agitation. This will particularly be evident when the frustration occurs repeatedly. Agitation can also be a result of underlying health or psychiatric crises or conditions such as mood disorder. Drug addiction and withdrawal can also both lead to agitation.

How Do Drug Addiction and Withdrawal Cause Agitation?

When you become addicted to substances like cocaine, amphetamine, heroin, tobacco or alcohol, this can lead to tolerance. This infers that the substance has started to lose the effects it induced when it was initially taken. As a result, you will need to take more than the usual dose (potentially causing an overdose) so as to relive the first-time effects – or something close to that. As your body continues to crave for more of the drug – and as you continue to increase the dosage – agitation is likely to occur.

Withdrawal, on the other hand, can also lead to agitation. In this instance, agitation results as your body tries to adjust to the lack (or total absence) of the drug in question. Therefore, agitation is one of the possible symptoms of drug withdrawal, regardless whether withdrawal is undertaken gradually or takes hold without prior notice.

In relation to addiction, agitation can be a persistent combination of emotions which a user feels when they know society or their loved ones will not approve of their use. It’s difficult to keep one’s dependence in secret.

Effects of Agitation

When agitated (either as result of drug addiction, withdrawal or other causes), you are likely to be affected in different ways. They include:

  • Reduction or withdrawal from social activities or interactions
  • Decrease in productivity or total withdrawal from work
  • Poor academic performance and inability to think clearly
  • In severe cases, agitation could lead to self-harm

Handling Agitation

Since agitation always occurs as result of other factors, it will naturally be best handled by finding and eliminating any underlying causes. To be able to accurately discover the underlying causes of agitation, you’ll need to see a physician whenever you begin to notice some of the symptoms.

Seeing a doctor is particularly important if the agitation is caused by drug addiction or withdrawal. If it is a case of the former, then trying to quit the drug in question will unleash other symptoms known as withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand, if it is caused by withdrawal, trying to manage the situation by yourself might not yield the desired positive results. This is why many turn to professionals to help them recover.