Sunday, June 9, 2024

How To Know You Have An Addiction

Physical Signs Of A Drug Or Alcohol Addiction

Are You Addicted to Alcohol?

Some common physical signs of drug or alcohol addiction might include:

  • You may frequently feel tired during the day
  • You may have trouble sleeping at night
  • You may feel strange when the substances start to wear off
  • You may have symptoms of depression or anxiety
  • You may have shaky hands
  • Your eyes may be bloodshot
  • You may have bad breath
  • You may get bloody noses
  • You may have a decreased appetite
  • You may be losing or gaining weight
  • You may slur your speech

Keep in mind that you donât have to have all of these signs of addiction to be addicted.

Prepare For Hard Questions

After admitting your addiction to family and friends, you need to give them the opportunity to ask questions. Prepare to answer some tough ones. These might include:

  • Were you an addict before I met you?
  • Did you break the law?
  • When was the last time you took drugs or alcohol?
  • Do you have an STD?
  • When did you start using drugs or alcohol?
  • Have you quit before?

Answer these questions honestly. Its not necessary to go into explicit detail, but the benefits of openness will outweigh any immediate discomfort. Trust in your loved ones willingness to accept you and your past, which can significantly ease the burden of addiction.

A Good Chance They Already Know

The truth of the matter is that if you have been in contact with your family members on any sort of regular basis during your addiction, they more than likely already know you have a problem with addiction. As addicts, we often think we are doing a real bang-up job at hiding our disease from the people we care about the most. In reality, we arent doing a good job at all.

When you begin to come up with what you want to say to your family, its probably best to assume that they already know you are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction. When you stop to think about it, it is likely they have even attempted to talk to you about your addiction in the past. Dont insult their intelligence by denying how long you have been trying to cover your tracks. Be honest with them, and they will be more receptive to the conversation.

While the conversation that you will need to have with your family will no doubt be an emotional one, you need to take the time beforehand to plan what you really want to say. You need to have a rational blueprint of sorts. The reason for this blueprint is so you can be sure to say what needs to be said, not what just ends up coming out of your mouth in reaction to emotions like pain or anger.

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Signs & Symptoms Of Addiction

There are a number of different signs and symptoms of addiction. Symptoms are experienced by the person with the addiction, whereas signs are observed by other people.

You can never know what someone else is experiencing unless they tell you, so if you are concerned that someone else may have an addiction, look for signs as well as symptoms.

You might see some of these signs and symptoms but not others in someone who is experiencing addiction. They can still be addicted even if they do not have all of these.

Common signs of addiction include:

  • Changes in social groups, new and unusual friends, odd phone conversations
  • Drug paraphernalia such as unusual pipes, cigarette papers, small weighing scales, etc.
  • Financial problems
  • Stashes of drugs, often in small plastic, paper, or foil packages

Common symptoms of addiction include:

Most of the signs of addiction can have other explanations. People can have changes in their mood, behavior, and energy levels for other reasons, including health-related ones.

Be cautious about jumping to conclusions. It is difficult to discern if someone may have an addiction, even if some obvious signs are observed. If you discover drugs or drug paraphernalia, talk with a healthcare provider or an addiction counselor or specialist for guidance on appropriate ways to handle this difficult situation.

Signs Someone Else Is Addicted:

  • Changes in personality and behavior like a lack of motivation, irritability, and agitation
  • Bloodshot eyes and frequent bloody noses
  • Shakes, tremors, or slurred speech
  • Change in their daily routines
  • Lack of concern for personal hygiene
  • Unusual need for money financial problems
  • Changes in friends and activities

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Dont Wait Until They Hit Rock Bottom

One widely held view is that an intervention is only for those who have hit rock bottom, a point of pain where there is nowhere to go but up.

At this point, some believe, the person will clearly understand the need for treatment and eagerly seek help. An intervention will just confirm and encourage the promising path they have now decided to take.

This belief is not only wrong but also dangerous.

Experts know that rock bottom looks different for everyone struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. In fact, even when someone does reach what seems like the lowest lowmaybe following an overdose or a drunk driving accidentthey will probably continue to misuse substances and refuse help.

Family members and friends should not wait for the most desperate situation to step in and confront their loved one. Dont wait until its too late to help.

Symptoms Of Specific Addictions

While there are signs and symptoms of a general nature, certain substances and behaviors can come with their own set of symptoms.

  • Behaviors : Behavioral addictions are characterized by compulsive behaviors that persist despite negative consequences.
  • Depressants : These medications slow the activity of the central nervous system and can lead to slowed heartbeat and respiration, confusion, coma, and death.
  • Opioids : These substances decrease sensitivity to pain and produce strong cravings for opioids.
  • Stimulants : These substances lead to increased energy levels.

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

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My Best Friend Is An Addict What Now

Those struggling with addiction will present a wide variety of symptoms. While these symptoms vary from person to person, it is worth looking out for the following signs of addiction is you suspect your friend is abusing drink or drugs:

  • Physical signs of addiction
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  • Poor performance at work or school
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Neglected responsibilities
  • Poor personal hygiene and appearance
  • Risky behaviors
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Socializing with people who abuse substances

If you feel your friend exhibits many of the signs and symptoms of addiction, here are some concrete steps you can take to help them get back on track:

  • Educate yourself about addiction treatment
  • Speak with your friend and encourage them to engage with addiction treatment
  • Offer your unconditional love and support
  • Remain involved with your friends recovery journey

You Make Broken Last Time Promises

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The sincere truth mentioned above is validated if youve made and broken endless promises to never use again. Sadly, its an incredibly common behavior among addicts of all types.

As you begin to recognize that your substance usage may not be entirely in your control, you start making last time promises. In fact, youll often use these promises to justify one more relapse. In your mind, you honestly believe youll use one last time, and then your road to recovery will start.

Unfortunately, however, this is a form of denial. The fact is, there will always be an opportunity for one more use and addicts, by definition, cant say no.

If youre wondering how to know if you have an addiction, taking note of broken promises of last time substance use is a clear place to start. If you do find yourself making these promises, start making them to someone who can help keep you accountable. Additionally, this is a good time to seek counseling and other forms of professional help.

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I Tried Rehab Once And It Didnt Workwhy Should I Try It Again

If you have already been in rehab, it means you have already learned many of the skills needed to recover from addiction, and you should try it again. Relapsing does not mean the first treatment failed. People with all kinds of diseases relapse people with other chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and asthmawhich have both physical and behavioral componentsrelapse about as much as people who have addictions.

Treatment of all chronic diseases, including addiction, involves making tough changes in how you live and act, so setbacks are to be expected along the way. A return to drug use means treatment needs to be started again or adjusted, or that you might need a different treatment this time.

Take Action Towards Overcoming Your Addiction

Theres no shame in confessing that you suffer from drug addiction. There are many stigmas related to recovery from addiction. However, theres an opportunity for help and hope.

The first step is to act to overcome any addiction. If there is no effort by you, the likelihood of relapse is high.

Set small goals daily and strive toward achieving them, even if they appear small. Remember that every little amount of effort is helpful!

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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.

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Understanding Drug Use And Addiction Drugfacts

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Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.

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How Do You Overcome An Addiction

There are many effective treatment options that can help people break free of addiction. Healthcare providers can prescribe medications that can help reduce cravings for certain substances and minimize the uncomfortable effects of withdrawal.

Psychotherapy, rehabilitation centers, 12-step programs, and support groups can also help aid in recovery from addiction. Online options are also available, including websites and apps designed to help people overcome addiction.

Signs Of Benzodiazepine Abuse

Benzodiazepines are a prescription medication used to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, alcohol withdrawal, and other conditions. These drugs are among the most highly prescribed in America. Benzodiazepines are mainly available in tablet or capsule form, though some are manufactured as injectable liquids and syrups. Short-term use is generally safe, but abuse can cause numerous complications.

As benzodiazepines are sedatives, some of their side effects overlap with the general signs of addiction. Persons using benzodiazepines may experience the following side effects, including:

  • Impaired coordination

There are many well-known brands of benzodiazepines, including Xanax, Diazepam, Valium, and Klonopin. These pharmaceuticals can be acquired in numerous ways. Some people have legitimate prescriptions but may have used deceptive means to get them from more than one doctor. Currently, doctors do not have the benefit of a national database that stores information on a clients active prescriptions. The illegal circulation of benzodiazepines does not only happen on the street, it also happens when those holding a prescription share these drugs with others.

It is important to understand that even though benzodiazepines are legal, they may be used in a way that makes the use illegal. If a person is showing the signs of abuse, it is critical to get them help.

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You Have A Higher Tolerance To The Substance

Experimental drug use is common and its where people start. At first, you use small doses and only use drugs occasionally.

When you start to use more regularly and notice that you need to take a higher dose or use more frequently to feel the same effect, then your bodys tolerance to the drug has increased. This is a standard indicator of substance abuse and addiction.

Developing a tolerance to a soft drug like marijuana can often lead you to seek out more powerful drugs. Increased dosage also enhances the risk of serious health problems, including overdose and long-term brain damage, especially in teens and young adults.

If you notice that your tolerance for any drug, or alcohol, has increased, seek treatment immediately.

Not A Day Goes By That You Are Without Your Phone

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People who are addicted to their phones will not be able to live without it even for a day.

If, by mistake, they ever leave their phones at home and realize midway that they did, then they will make it a point to go back home and fetch it.

These people need to have their phones with them constantly, without which they feel incomplete.

You will know that you are addicted if you always find yourself charging your phone multiple times in a day.

While smart phones are heavily equipped with a lot of apps and other entertainment sources, they consume a lot of battery, especially if used continuously. Data transfers used by most entertainment and social apps tend to drain the battery extremely fast.

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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Addiction

Addiction is a serious disease. If you or someone you care about has a problem with addiction, talk to your provider right away. Treatments and support groups can help.

A note from Cleveland Clinic If you or someone you know is living with addiction, you may feel overwhelmed and out of control. But there is hope. Addictions are treatable. Through hard work and commitment, millions of people have overcome substance use disorders to live happy, healthy lives. Talk to your provider about a treatment plan that works for you. Dont get discouraged if you have setbacks along the way. It is possible to overcome this, and you are not alone.

Five Steps To A Sober Lifestyle

  • Take care of yourself. To prevent mood swings and combat cravings, concentrate on eating right and getting plenty of sleep. Exercise is also key: it releases endorphins, relieves stress, and promotes emotional well-being.
  • Build your support network. Surround yourself with positive influences and people who make you feel good about yourself. The more youre invested in other people and your community, the more you have to losewhich will help you stay motivated and on the recovery track.
  • Develop new activities and interests. Find new hobbies, volunteer activities, or work that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose. When youre doing things you find fulfilling, youll feel better about yourself and drinking will hold less appeal.
  • Continue treatment. Your chances of staying sober improve if you are participating in a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous, have a sponsor, or are involved in therapy or an outpatient treatment program.
  • Deal with stress in a healthy way. Alcohol abuse is often a misguided attempt to manage stress. Find healthier ways to keep your stress level in check, such as exercising, meditating, or practicing breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques.
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    The Dangers Of Alcoholism

    Alcohol abuse can lead to an array of issues, affecting both your personal and professional life. Prolonged drinking puts you at risk for developing serious health complications and can cause other potentially life-threatening consequences.

    Denial is one of the main reasons why millions of people do not receive treatment for alcoholism. Some individuals will try to rationalize their drinking behaviors. For instance, you may blame other people or certain circumstances for your drinking. Rather than acknowledge the problems youve experienced from alcohol, you become defensive when someone mentions your excessive drinking pattern. By refusing to recognize the negative consequences of alcohol, youre preventing yourself from living a healthy, sober life.

    Its time to stop making excuses for your drinking and get the help you deserve. Learn about alcoholism support options and find other resources to start on your recovery plan today.

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