Next Steps Towards Recovery
Its important to have quick access to treatment. If you or someone you know has an addiction, call 1-800-622-4357 for free and confidential treatment referral and information from SAMHSA. You can also seek help from your doctor, local treatment center, or support group.
Addictions often affect many areas of a persons life. The most effective treatments are comprehensive. They often have several steps that vary from person to person. These steps can include detoxification, behavioral counseling, and long-term follow-up.
Here are some ways you can support a friend or family members recovery process:
- Learn more about the substance or behavior dependency and the treatment.
- Stay involved, like offering to go to meetings with them.
- Provide a sober and trigger-free setting.
- Speak up and express concern when there is a relapse.
While you can treat addiction, in most cases, someone with addiction must want to change for recovery to be successful.
Common Symptoms Of Drug Addiction
Youve built up a drug tolerance. You need to use more of the drug to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts.
You use to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.
Loss of control over your drug use. You often do drugs or use more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldnt. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless.
Your life revolves around drug use. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, or recovering from the drugs effects.
Youve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug use.
You continue to use drugs, despite knowing its hurting you. Its causing major problems in your lifeblackouts, financial issues, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoiabut you use anyway.
Legal Drugs Vs Illegal Drugs
People can become addicted to illegal drugs, legal drugs, and prescription medications used in an unhealthy way, such as:
Nicotine, including cigarettes and vaping
Misusing prescription medicines like opioids, or over-the-counter medicines by taking them in a different way than intended, such as:
Taking medicine prescribed for someone else
Taking a larger dose than prescribed
Using the medicine in a different way than directed, such as crushing and snorting or injecting
Using the medicine to get high on purpose
The risks and speed of developing an addiction depend on the drug. Some drugs, like opioid painkillers, cause addiction very quickly. Drugs have a strong effect on the brains reward system, by filling the brain with a chemical called dopamine which produces the feeling of being high. Over time, the brain gets used to the larger amount of dopamine so it needs larger doses of the drug to get high. Some people might feel like they need the drug to just feel normal. When drugs are used for a long time, they damage the areas of the brain responsible for judgment, decision-making, memory, and learning.
No matter the type of addiction, if you recognize symptoms, it is important to seek the necessary help. Contact us today to take the first step.
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Stimulant Addiction: Signs And Symptoms
Stimulants are substances that work by acting on the nervous system to enhance cognitive function and general alertness. They can be prescribed or obtained illegally and can be taken orally, injected or snorted. People addicted to stimulants often use them to enhance performance, but find themselves taken in by their highly addictive nature. There are different kinds of stimulant addiction for instance, some stimulant addicts are affected by two or more types. They are listed below:
- Steroids addiction
Sleeping Pills Addiction: Signs And Symptoms
Sleeping pills are valuable in the fight against insomnia. Unfortunately, many people end up becoming dependent on them. Sleeping pills addiction develops quickly, as many people erroneously believe that they can never become addicted to them and dont regard them as a serious concern. However, theyll typically find themselves in a situation whereby they cant sleep without taking pills and even increasing their dosage as the body builds tolerance. Most people begin to notice theyre addicted at the stage where they start feeling withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking sleeping pills.
There are different types of sleeping pill related addictions these depend on the particular type of sleeping pill being abused. The main types are as follows:
- Sonata addiction
- Inability to quit use of sleeping pills, even in the face of negative effects
- Doctor-shopping in order to source multiple prescriptions
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What Is An Addiction
Recognizing an addiction problem in someone you know can be harder than it seems. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a chronic disease that affects the brains reward, motivation, and memory functions. Someone with an addiction will crave a substance or other behavioral habits. Theyll often ignore other areas of life to fulfill or support their desires.
General signs of addiction are:
- lack of control, or inability to stay away from a substance or behavior
- ignoring risk factors, like sharing needles despite potential consequences
- physical effects, like withdrawal symptoms or needing higher dosage for effect
These signs are commonly linked. The degree of intensity for each sign may depend on how long the addiction has been going on.
A healthy person can usually identify a negative behavior and get rid of it. This is not the case with someone with an addiction. Rather than admit the problem exists, theyll find ways to justify and continue the behavior.
The first step to getting help is being able to recognize the physical, mental, and emotional signs, like abrupt weight or personality changes in your friends or family members. If you or someone you know has an addiction, call 1-800-622-4357 for free and confidential treatment referral and information from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration .
Behavioral Signs Of Drug Addiction
When substance use takes hold of someones life, new priorities and feelings will control how they behave.
This results in rapid or noticeable changes from what was previously considered normal for this person. Daily routines and activities get rearranged or abandoned, and relationships with friends and loved ones come under stress. If you or someone you know is turning into someone unrecognizable, it could be a consequence of drug abuse.
Some changes to watch for are:
1. Struggling with Limits:
This can manifest as urges to take a prescription drug at a higher dose than prescribed or continuing after the health problem it treats has ended. Addiction makes it hard to follow even self-prescribed rules. If you have set yourself a self-imposed use limit but cannot stop yourself, this is a concerning sign.
2. Loss of Interest:
Substance dependency takes over the minds reward system. Take note if someone is becoming complacent in realms they used to take great pride in or apathetic towards the people or hobbies they usually cherish.
It may mean they are funneling their energy toward feeding the impulse of using drugs. Frequent failure to show up or follow through on plans, lack of enthusiasm, or dulling of talents can all indicate an underlying struggle.
3. Mood Swings:
4. Reclusive and Private Behavior:
6. Erratic Behavior:
7. Changes in Sleep Habits:
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How Drug Abuse And Addiction Develops
Theres a fine line between regular drug use and drug abuse and addiction. Very few drug abusers or addicts are able to recognize when theyve crossed that line. While frequency or the amount of drugs consumed do not necessarily constitute drug abuse or addiction, they can often be indicators of drug-related problems.
If the drug fulfills a valuable need, you may find yourself increasingly relying on it. You may take illegal drugs to calm or energize yourself or make you more confident. You may start abusing prescription drugs to relieve pain, cope with panic attacks, or improve concentration at school or work. If you are using drugs to fill a void in your life, youre more at risk of crossing the line from casual drug use to drug abuse and addiction. To maintain a healthy balance in your life, you need to have positive experiences and feel good about your life without any drug use.
Drug abuse may start as a way to socially connect. People often try drugs for the first time in social situations with friends and acquaintances. A strong desire to fit in to the group can make it feel like doing the drugs with them is the only option.
As drug abuse takes hold, you may miss or frequently be late for work or school, your job performance may progressively deteriorate, and you may start to neglect social or family responsibilities. Your ability to stop using is eventually compromised. What began as a voluntary choice has turned into a physical and psychological need.
Causes And Risk Factors For Prescription Drug Addiction
Researchers have yet to unearth a single factor responsible for the abuse of substances such as prescription drugs. Prescription drug abuse is likely to be the result of many factors intermingling. The most common causes for prescription drug abuse include:
Genetic: It appears as though addiction and substance abuse have a genetic component, although the precise gene or combination of genes is unclear as of yet. Individuals who struggle with addiction and abuse of substances often have a relative or close family member such as a parent or sibling who similarly struggles with addiction.
Brain Chemistry: Its been theorized that certain individuals may be born lacking certain neurotransmitters responsible for pleasurable sensations in their brains. These individuals may attempt to self-medicate this deficiency with prescription drugs that increase the levels of these neurotransmitters.
Environmental: Individuals who grow up in a home in which addiction was rampant may grow up believing that abusing drugs is the way to handle difficulties in life. In addition, individuals who begin to abuse substances early in life are at greater risk for developing an addiction later in life.
Psychological: Many individuals who battle prescription drug abuse are also suffering from a co-occurring mental illness. These individuals may be attempting to self-medicate the symptoms of their untreated or undiagnosed mental illness.
Signs and Symptoms
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Learn The Signs And Symptoms Of Addiction And When To Get Help
One of the hardest parts of recovery is realizing and acknowledging that you have a problem. While this is one of the first and hardest steps on a long road to learning how to stay sober from drugs, it can also be a struggle for a relative or close friend to spot the signs and symptoms of addiction. The sooner anyone struggling with addiction begins getting help, the better chance they have of maintaining successful sobriety. Learning these 10 signs and symptoms of addiction can be the first step in getting a loved one the help they need.
Addiction Symptoms And Warning Signs
Addiction can be described as not having any control over certain behaviours or substances consumed whether taken orally, inhaled or injected. Addiction generally progresses quickly, with most people being taken unawares by its deadly effects.
When the topic of addiction is raised, the focus tends to be on drugs and alcohol. However, addiction cuts across a much broader spectrum. For instance, other different types of addiction include:
- Smoking addiction
- Shopping addiction
- Energy drink addiction
Each type of addiction affects the addict in different, debilitating ways. However, many of them are not afforded the same level of attention as drug and alcohol addiction. There are common underlying signs and symptoms to addiction in general. Its therefore important to note that there is no certainty you will exhibit all the signs and symptoms associated with any particular addiction. The general symptoms of addiction include the following:
- Loss of control
- Allowing other important aspects of your life to suffer
- Taking abnormal risks either as a result of addiction or in a bid to fuel the addiction
- Sudden problems in relationships with numerous people
- Changes in appearance
- Deteriorating personal hygiene
- Exhibiting the standard signs of withdrawal from an addiction or addictive substance, such as guilt, depression, insomnia, irritability, loss of appetite, fatigue, headaches, nausea, vomiting, sweating, shakiness or trembling.
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Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism
Alcohol abuse can mean binge drinking, continuing to drink even after it has disrupted your life or having an unhealthy focus on alcohol.
You may be at higher risk for abusing alcohol if you:
- Have easy access to alcohol
- Smoke or use drugs
- Suffer from depression and anxiety
- Are male, especially if you have a father or brother who abused alcohol
Signs of alcohol addiction include:
- Problems at work, school or home due to drinking
- Risking physical safety
- Trouble with the law, often due to drinking and driving
- Continuing to drink despite alcohol-related problems
Alcohol abuse can lead to alcoholism. This means the body becomes physically dependent on alcohol.
Symptoms of alcoholism include:
- Being unable to stop or limit drinking
- Needing greater amounts of alcohol to feel the same effect
- Withdrawal symptoms when not drinking, like nausea, sweating, shaking, anxiety, increased blood pressure or seizures
- Giving up activities to drink or to recover from a hangover
- Drinking even after it causes health problems
- Not being able to stop drinking
Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Addiction
Sadly, access to drugs and the number of people using them is on the rise. Many parents worry about their teenagers living in a world where peer pressure often makes them vulnerable to being caught up in the drugs scene. Even as adults many of us can be caught up in the oh have a go, it will relax you scenario. But how do you know if someone has gone beyond just experimenting, and has become caught up in full-blown addiction?
There are both physical and behavioural signs that drugs have taken a hold on someones life. If youre worried that someone close to you may have a drug problem, here are some of the signs to look for.
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Dramatic Change In Behaviour
Behavioural changes are common signs of a substance abuse problem. Has your friend or family member suddenly become aggressive and irritable? Perhaps theyre lethargic and depressed when you try to talk to them? Do they often show signs of incoherency? Consider an intervention for drugs if theyve suddenly demonstrated a noticeable change in personality.
Causes And Risk Factors For Drug Addiction
People use and abuse drugs for a number of reasons. Some are curious about what the drug may do to them while others may succumb to peer pressure. Some people abuse drugs to increase their athletic abilities or intellectual prowess. Still others may abuse drugs to ease other problems in their lives like depression, stress, or anxiety. Its important to note that drug abuse, which is less about the amount of drugs abused and more to do with the negative consequences of abuse, does not always lead to drug addiction.
There is not one single cause responsible for causing drug addiction. Drug abuse and addiction is generally thought to be a mixture of genetic, environmental, biological, and psychological factors working in tandem to create an atmosphere of abuse.
Many people who later become drug addicts begin to use drugs of abuse at an early age the late childhood through early teen years. These following factors can work together to cause someone to become a drug addict:
Genetic: Studies have shown there to be a link between people who are born to a parent or are close relative to someone with a drug habit and the development of an addiction later in life. Its unclear currently as to what precisely causes this.
Psychological: Many people who abuse drugs are actually attempting to manage the symptoms of an existing mental illness such as depression or bipolar disorder. To control the symptoms of mental illness, some people use drugs in order to feel more normal.
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Drug Addiction Signs & Symptoms
Addiction is a dangerous and debilitating illness that can impact all aspects of a persons life including their relationships, job, finances and even their criminal record. Between , 270,705 people sought out treatment for drug addiction in England .
When factoring in the number of people that have not reached out for help and those who have fallen under the radar, the number of people suffering from a substance use disorder is disturbingly high.
If you suspect that someone you know may be struggling with a substance use disorder, it is helpful to know what signs and symptoms to look out for before approaching them about seeking rehab treatment.
Alcohol Addiction: Signs And Symptoms
Alcohol addiction is a condition whereby the affected person is heavy reliant on alcohol consumption. Such people find it difficult to stay sober for an extended period of time. Alcohol addiction affects all kinds of people there have been studies to establish the impacts of race, genetics, sex, or socioeconomics on alcohol addiction, but no single cause has been identified. However, all the aforementioned factors can lead to alcohol addiction.
Alcoholism should never be treated with kid gloves, as it is a real disease, with far reaching effects. In alcoholics, there are changes to the neurochemistry of the brain, which makes it difficult for the affected person to control their actions. Some of the main signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction are:
- Increased or constant use of alcohol
- Dependence on alcohol to get through each day
- Hiding bottles or other vessels that contain alcohol
- Avoiding contact with other people
- Intentionally going to places/gatherings where alcohol will be present
- Increased lethargy
- Legal issues or professional problems, such as the loss of a job or drink-driving arrests
- Drinking at inappropriate times of day
- Changes in relationships from being around people who drink little or no alcohol to then keeping the company of heavy drinkers.
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