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How Do I Know If I M An Addict

Signs Of Prescription Drug Abuse

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There are three main categories of prescription medications: depressants, stimulants, and painrelievers. As the Mayo Clinic discusses, the signs of abuse of prescription drugs vary depending on the specific medication or drug category. While the general signs of addiction described above provide some guidance, the following is a breakdown by drug category of signs of prescription drug abuse.

Depressants have some characteristic physical side effects. As benzodiazepines are included in this category and have been discussed above, some physical signs of depressant drug use include poor judgment, unsteady walking, and rapid involuntary eye movements.

Prescription stimulants include amphetamines and methylphenidate and are the most commonly abused drugs in this category. In addition to the behavioral and psychological signs of addiction described above, physical signs of prescription stimulant abuse include:

  • Insomnia

How To Spot The Signs Of An Addiction

At Priory, we recognise that addictions can have an incredibly detrimental effect on a persons life. Addictions and addictive behaviours can result in a wide range of unpleasant and distressing symptoms and a whole host of devastating consequences including the breakdown of relationships, reduced work performance, poor physical health and an adverse effect on personal finances.

We understand that seeking help is a crucial, but often difficult initial step to take. Our national UK network of Priory hospitals offer a free initial assessment for your addiction, allowing you to address your issues in a confidential and supportive environment, and plan how we can support you every step of the way towards rehabilitation and recovery.

Signs Of Heroin Abuse

Many people who suspect heroin abuse in a loved one or colleague may not even know what this substance or its related paraphernalia look like. As the Foundation for a Drug-Free World explains, heroin is white in its pure form, but other substances are often cut into it and turn it rose gray, brown, or black.

Heroin paraphernalia include the containers used to transport it and instruments used to consume it. Examples of paraphernalia include but are not limited to:

  • Small pieces of foil with burn marks
  • Small tubes
  • Black tar
  • Smack

Heroin is a highly addictive drug and an overdose can prove fatal. For this reason, signs of heroin addiction should be taken seriously, and measures should be taken to stage an intervention or otherwise convince a loved one to join a rehab program.

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What Are The Signs Of Drug Addiction

There are many types of drugs that people can become addicted to, so there are many different signs to be aware of. If youre concerned that you might be developing an addiction, here are some general signs to look out for.

Social and behavioural signs

People with a drug addiction may:

  • avoid people who dont take drugs
  • avoid places where it’s not possible to take drugs
  • feel distressed and lonely if they don’t take the drug regularly
  • rely on drugs to cope with emotional problems
  • be dishonest with friends and family to hide their drug use
  • have financial problems and debts
  • sell or steal things to pay for drugs
  • take dangerous risks, such as driving under the influence of drugs
  • self-blame and have low self-esteem, especially after trying unsuccessfully to quit
  • get into legal trouble.

Health signs

Drugs and alcohol can cause a range of problems for physical and mental health, even after the acute effects of taking the drug have worn off. These include:

  • depression
  • having unusual ideas
  • hallucinations
  • sexual dysfunction .

Next Steps Towards Recovery

How Do I Know If Im a Drug Addict?

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.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Addiction How To Tell If Someone Needs Help For A Drug Problem

Nzinga Harrison

Understanding the science behind addiction can be complicated. Some people might think that people become addicted if they dont have any willpower or good morals. In actuality, addiction is a complex and chronic brain disease that can affect people from all backgrounds. It can happen to anyone at any age.

Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted because drugs have a different effect on everyone. Some people use drugs experimentally on occasion in a social setting. However, if usage becomes more regular, some people lose the ability to control when and how much they are using. Over time, drugs change behavior and how the brain, body, and mind function. This is how drug addiction, medically known as substance use disorder, develops. These changes can be long-lasting and cause stressful problems like missing work, legal issues, physical health problems, and trouble with family and friends.

Are There Agreed Upon Criteria For Clinical Diagnosis Of Sex Addiction

Sex addiction is not currently a formally recognized diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and so there are no agreed-upon criteria for a clinical diagnosis. Although sex addiction is not a diagnostic category in the DSM-5, it may be diagnosed as a subcategory of another mental health condition, such as an impulse control disorder or a behavioral addiction.

Also Check: Why Do People Become Addicted To Alcohol

Who Is At Risk For Developing A Drug Addiction

Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted, but there are certain factors that put people at a greater risk for developing an addiction.

  • Family history of addiction: Addiction has a genetic component so if your parent or sibling has a drug or alcohol addiction, you are at increased risk.

  • Trouble at home, with friends, or at work: Being in an unhappy place in life might cause some people to seek out drugs as a way to deal with their problems.

  • Starting drug use at an early age: Drugs affect how young bodies and brains function and grow. This increases the chances of becoming addicted as an adult.

  • Mental health disorders: People with untreated mental health needs, like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder have a higher chance of becoming addicted because they may use drugs as a way to cope. Drug use and mental health disorders affect the same parts of the brain.

  • Physical health problems: In the event of an injury or surgery, pain medication, such as OxyContin, Percocet, or Vicodin, may be prescribed for short-term use. However, these opioid drugs can be highly addicting.

  • Peer pressure: Hanging around other people who encourage drug use can be a strong factor in developing an addiction.

  • Type of drug used: Using certain drugs like stimulants, cocaine, or opioid painkillers, can develop an addiction more quickly than other drugs.

Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Addiction You Need To Know

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The symptoms of drug addiction arent always obvious. Thats because many people struggle with the difference between addiction and recreational use. While many drugs carry inherent risks of addiction, most people dont become addicted to most substances after using them once.

Drug addiction doesnt come with a sign that announces that you have a problem to the world. Whether youre wondering if you have developed a dependency on prescription drugs or you worry that a friend or family member has developed an addiction, these signs and symptoms can help you determine if theres a problem that requires help.


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Behavioral Signs Of Drug Abuse

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:

5. Defensiveness:

6. Erratic Behavior:

7. Changes in Sleep Habits:

How To Tell If Someone Is Using Drugs

Drug use affects people from all walks of life and all socioeconomic statuses. Whatever the reason a person starts taking drugs, whether recreationally or as prescribed, tolerance, patterns of increased use, physical dependence and, ultimately, addiction may developsometimes before the user even realizes it.1

When a full-blown substance-use disorder develops, it can be extremely difficult to stop using drugs without professional treatment.2 Drug use can wreak havoc on the body and mind and may eventually become deadly. When you realize that you or someone you love has a problem, its essential to get help right away. There is no shame in admitting that you need treatment for drug use doing so can be life-saving. Learn about drug detox helplines.

Use of most substances will produce noticeable signs and symptoms. These may include physical or behavioral symptomsmost likely both.

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How Do You Know If Youve Crossed The Line From Porn Use To Porn Addiction

For porn addiction, you have to spend time using porn in a way that causes harm, says Michael McGee, MD, staff psychiatrist at Atascadero State Hospital in San Luis Obispo, California. And it is highly individual as to whether a person feels harmed by it. For example, one person may look at porn and masturbate and not feel guilty, ashamed, or unable to stop himself. But individuals who believe that masturbation is a sin could be adversely affected by the guilt and the shame they feel when they do the same thing, says Dr. McGee.

If the person has guilt and shame over what they are doing, then it may be a harmful addiction, he says. Someone else may take a more liberal outlook, he says, and feel that their actions are not hurting anyone and not harming their relationship.

Excessive pornography consumption could actually hurt a couples sexual relationship, Dr. McGee says. If you expect your partner to be like these beautiful people or for sex to be like what is in the movies, then you begin to want and expect thatand this can harm your relationship, he says.

What Are The Different Types Of Sex Addiction

How do I know Im addicted?

Like with drug addiction, there are different types of sex addiction that are likely to make different individuals act in different ways. Some types of sex addiction may be more acutely dangerous than others, or illegal, but all can become problematic for the individual and their loved ones, and all should be considered serious.

  • Pornography Addiction
  • An addiction to pornography can classify as a sexual addiction. While many people like to watch porn for a number of reasons, those who watch it compulsively or obsessively might be suffering from a serious disorder.
  • Voyeurism
  • Individuals who engage in voyeurism compulsively watch others without their knowing. Usually, they will watch another person during an intimate activity, such as showering, having sex, or going to the bathroom, and will masturbate while doing so.
  • Exhibitionism
  • Exhibitionists who suffer from a sexual addiction will often compulsively flash or show their genitals to others.
  • Paying for Sex
  • Some individuals pay for sex, which is already illegal, but they may also do so to the point where they use all their money for this purpose, continue to do so after getting caught, etc.
  • Sex for Trade
  • When an individual compulsively offers sex for trade to others, they may potentially have a sex addiction. If this is the case, they may accept money or other payments, and usually, they will do so even when not necessary.
  • Fetishists or Sadomasochists
  • Intrusive Sex
  • Exploitive Sex
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    What Is A Sex Addict

    Sex addiction is defined as a lack of control over sexual thoughts, urges, and impulses. While sexual impulses are natural, sex addiction only refers to behaviors that are done in excess and significantly impact oneâs life in a negative way.

    Although sex addiction isnât listed as a diagnosable condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , research indicates that excess sexual behavior can develop, like a chemical addiction.

    A person with sex addiction may have a compulsive need to be sexually stimulated. This desire often interferes with their ability to live their daily life. Sexual addictions can come in many different forms, including addiction to:

    • Sexual acts
    • Masturbation or sexual fantasy
    • Exhibition or voyeurism

    Sex addicts may alter their activities to perform sexual acts persistently, unable to control their behavior despite any consequences.

    This compulsive sexual behavior can have serious personal consequences. Like drug or alcohol addiction, sex addiction can impact physical health, mental health, personal relationships, and quality of life.

    What Should I Do If I Have An Addiction To Drugs Or Alcohol

    Recognizing that you have a substance addiction is the most critical step in reaching recovery. Answering yes to some or all of the questions above could indicate that you have a substance abuse problem. If you identify any similar patterns to those above in your own habits, treatment for drug or alcohol addiction may be the right course for you.

    Medical Disclaimer: aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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    You Can’t Seem To Stop Yourself

    “The cardinal symptom of addiction,”says Psychology Today,“is the inability to limit use of a substance or activity beyond need leading to clinically significant impairment.” Addiction is essentially an interference with your impulse control: even if you want to limit your own behavior, and try your best to stop yourself or put down limits, you can’t seem to control yourself properly any more. The addiction is calling the shots, and negates your self-control.

    Signs Of Drug Abuse Or Addiction


    Not every addiction looks the same.

    Unfortunately, media representations have painted many misleading caricatures of how a person suffering from substance abuse disorder appears or behaves.

    Often, people do not acknowledge that they have a problem, and friends or family members are the first to notice something has changed. If you are worried that you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, uncertainty makes it hard to proceed. However, there are some telltale signs and symptoms to help you identify any potential issues.

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    You Keep Doing It Even Though There Are Clear Negative Consequences

    Pursuing an addiction often means that normal warning signs, like detrimental consequences for other aspects of your life, don’t have the impact they would on more regulated behavior. The addicted brain can ignore or justify the severe problems an addiction is causing, in favor of continuing the addiction. If you’re still getting your fix of a substance even though you’re seeing it create clear issues elsewhere , you may have a problem.

    Your Internet Use Is Affecting Your Work And Home Life

    Nothing matters but your porn addiction. This means time with your family, friends or work just doesnt matter as much as you need to watch porn. You may be watching pornography at work or skipping work altogether to stay at home and watch pornography. You may be skipping out on family gatherings to instead stay home alone to be on the internet.

    Recommended Reading: How To Quit Sugar Addiction

    The Difference Between Drug Dependence And Being An Addict

    People often mistake physical and chemical drug dependence for addiction however, a person can become dependent on a substance without being addicted to it. When drugs that alter the mind are introduced into the body, changes occur in the brain and its chemical makeup. Certain chemical messengers are affected. These chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, are what tell a person how to feel, which can therefore impact behaviors. For example, most drugs act on the pleasure and reward centers in the brain. Levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are increased, which is what produces the desired high. Inhibitions are often lowered sociability is increased and decision-making abilities are impaired. Those using mind-altering drugs are then likely to put themselves into potentially dangerous situations and therefore be at risk for accidents, injuries, or other actions that may have adverse consequences .

    Some drugs, such as stimulants like cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription ADHD medications , speed up central nervous system functions. Heart rate, body temperature, respiration rate, and blood pressure are all increased, along with energy levels, focus and attention, and excitement. The high from stimulant drugs can be very intense and may decrease a persons appetite and keep them awake for long periods of time.

    One size treatment doesnt fit all. We will tailor treatment for your needs.

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