Can I Prevent Substance Use Disorder
Yes. Preventing drug addiction starts with education. Education in schools, communities and families helps prevent misusing a substance for the first time. Other ways to prevent substance use disorder:
- Dont try illegal drugs, even one time.
- Follow instructions for prescription medications. Don’t ever take more than instructed. Opioid addiction, for instance, can start after just five days.
- Dispose of unused prescriptions promptly to reduce risks of misuse by others.
How Is Substance Use Disorder Diagnosed
The first step to diagnosing a drug addiction is recognizing the problem and wanting help. This initial step may start with an intervention from friends or loved ones. Once someone decides to seek help for addiction, the next steps include:
- Complete exam by a healthcare provider.
- Individualized treatment, either inpatient or outpatient.
What Are Drugs Of Abuse
Drugs that are commonly misused include:
- Synthetic cannabinoids .
- Synthetic cathinones .
- Tobacco/nicotine and electronic cigarettes .
While these drugs are very different from each other, they all strongly activate the addiction center of the brain. That is what makes these substances habit-forming, while others are not.
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Prescription Drug Addiction Phase Iv: Addiction
Physical dependence can quickly spiral into psychological dependence, which means a person has entered the final stage of prescription drug addiction. Physical dependence refers to the withdrawal symptoms a person will feel if the drug is not used. Psychological dependence refers to the compulsive need to keep using the drug, despite severe negative consequences to your relationships, physical and mental health, personal finances, job and criminal record. Other signs of psychological dependence are cravings, obsessing over obtaining the drug, and timing doses so you never come down. This often leads to trying to get more pills from your doctor, doctor shopping in order to get more prescriptions of the same drug, and even buying illegal pills off the street.
They Experience Financial Trouble Or Property Loss
While many people will experience financial hardship at some point in their lives, individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol often go through sudden and seemingly unexplainable financial difficulties. This is due to a persons need to continue to obtain drugs or alcohol despite the inability to responsibly pay for them. People who are addicted to substances may choose to buy drugs or alcohol despite their upcoming bills or may sell off their personal property to be able to afford substances.
Additionally, a person struggling with addiction may steal or borrow money from loved ones. They may also steal drugs from friends or family in an attempt to get their next fix.
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How To Talk To Someone About Their Drug Abuse
Starting a conversation with someone about their drug addiction is never easy, but its important you come from a place of compassion and understanding. Remember, no one sets out to become an addict. Drug abuse is often a misguided attempt to cope with painful issues or mental health problems. Stress tends to fuel addictive behavior, so criticizing, demeaning, or shaming them will only push your loved one away and may even encourage them to seek further comfort in substance abuse.
Discovering someone you love has a drug problem can generate feelings of shock, fear, and anger, especially if its your child or teen whos using. These strong emotions can make communicating with a drug user even more challenging. So, its important to choose a time when youre both calm, sober, and free of distractions to talk. Offer your help and support without being judgmental.
Dont delay. You dont have to wait for your loved one to hit rock bottomto get arrested, lose their job, suffer a medical emergency, or publicly humiliate themselvesto speak out. The earlier an addiction is treated, the better.
Express your concerns honestly. Emphasize that you care for the person and are worried about their well-being. Offer specific examples of your loved ones drug-related behavior that have made you concernedand be honest about your own feelings.
Staging an intervention
Changes To Usual Behavior
Drugs can also change personalities and behaviors, or make people act in ways that they normally dont. At first, these behaviors may happen infrequently so it may be hard to notice them. Over time though, they may occur more regularly as drug usage increases.
Spending more time alone
Losing interest in favorite hobbies or usual activities
Not taking care of appearances
Having mood swings or being more irritable, tired, or sad
Sleeping for longer or less, or at different hours than normal
Eating more or eating less than usual
Missing appointments or forgetting to do things they normally do
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Talking About The Problem
In many cases, simply identifying the problem and having the advice of a medical professional to seek treatment, is not enough. Your friend or loved one may be worried about the impact going to treatment will have on their life . While you should never force someone into treatment, you can play an important role in talking them through these concerns. According to NIDA, most employers, friends, and loved ones will be supportive of anyone attempting to get help for their addictionhowever, this may not always be the case. Assuring your friend or loved one at this point that there are many privacy laws that protect them if they decide to seek help is a good idea at this point. Additionally, you should be supportive of their potential choice to seek help, showing them firsthand that the important people in their life will always be there.
The Signs That Someone May Be Addicted To Drugs
By | Submitted On April 01, 2010
If you suspect someone you know may have an addiction to drugs, there are signs that you can look out for. Although these signs and behaviours are signs that someone may have a problem with drug abuse, exhibiting one or more of them doesn’t necessarily mean someone is a drug addict.
- Changes in eating habits or appetite and unusual change in weight.
- The odour of a substance about someone’s person or clothes.
- Unusual hyperactivity and alertness and uncharacteristic talkativeness.
- Unexplained needle marks and/or bruises.
- Change in attitude or personality for no apparent reason.
- Unexplained tiredness and lethargy.
- Hanging out with new friends and at new places, avoiding old friends.
- Loss of interest in activities and pastimes that were previously important.
- Problems at school or work such as lack of productivity and poor attendance.
- Withdrawal from family life and group activities.
- Lack of attentiveness and absent-mindedness.
- Defensiveness when questioned and severe mood swings.
- Possible violent temper or aggressive behaviour.
- Extreme highs and lows in moods.
- Expressing paranoid thoughts and ideas.
- Sudden issues with privacy, such as locking doors and refusing entry to others.
- Secretive behaviour.
- Sudden dishonesty and possible stealing.
- Change in personal hygiene habits such as bathing less frequently.
What to do if you suspect someone is addicted to drugs
Drug addiction treatment
- A rehabilitation centre
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Common Behavioral And Psychological Signs A Person Is On Drugs
While there certainly tend to be some physical symptoms present when someone is on drugs, its also important to look for signs of substance abuse that are behavioral and psychological.
- One of the first signs of drug abuse and addiction thats often noticed by other people are changes in behavior that cant be attributed to any other reason. General and sudden personality shifts may indicate someone is on drugs or abusing drugs.
- Another one of the first signs of drug abuse is often a change in attendance or performance at school or work.
- Secretiveness can indicate someone is abusing drugs.
- If youre looking for common signs of drug abuse, youll often see changes in the people they hang out with or the hobbies they participate in suddenly.
- Attitudes that seem combative or defensive, as well as moodiness or irritability may reflect drug abuse.
- Dishonesty, a lack of motivation, paranoia, anxiety or nervousness, or outbursts are all behavioral signs of substance abuse in many cases.
- Lack of interest in social interactions tends to become prevalent in people who are using drugs, as can an overall sense of apathy and disinterest in friends, family, activities and interests the person held before abusing drugs.
As someones drug addiction continues, it often becomes more severe, and their behavior will be almost entirely focused on obtaining their next dose of drugs, and maintaining their high.
Some of the signs of misuse of the most common drugs include:
No Longer A Function Of Choice
To put it another way, the addicted person finds himself compelleddespite his own intentions to stopto repeat behaviors that are no longer rewarding to try to escape an overwhelming feeling of being ill at ease but find no relief.
According to ASAM, at this point addiction is no longer solely a function of choice. Consequently, the state of addiction is a miserable place to be, for the addict and for those around him.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or 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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Establish And Honor Boundaries
Creating boundaries is crucial when dealing with an addict. It can be easy to feel responsible for keeping them clean and safe, but thats not your job. If you want to help someone, your job is to provide appropriate loving support. It is not your duty to overextend yourself for their sake.
Establish boundaries to protect yourself and your energy. Limits can be things like the times youre available to talk on the phone or ways that you are willing to contribute, like healthy meals and rides to doctors appointments. Once you establish them with your loved one, honor them. They will respect you for keeping your word and appreciate your involvement.
Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
Sometimes the first step is simply talking with your doctor or some other professional that understands addiction. Talking to someone about a problem with prescription drug use can feel humiliating or dangerous, but remember, nothing is more dangerous than losing everything that matters to you or risking your life. Medical and addiction recovery professionals are trained specifically to offer help to people with the medical problem that is an addiction, not to judge people. Its so much easier to tackle addiction early before it gets worse and leads to long-term trouble thats harder to recover from.
If you or someone you love exhibits any of these signs of prescription drug addiction, residential treatment at Casa Palmera can put you or your loved one on the road to recovery. Our prescription drug addiction treatment program provides a structured environment thats free of temptations and distractions and provides round-the-clock care and support to help the individual focus on recovery. Our caring, highly skilled staff will provide supervised detoxification from the prescription drugs harmful toxins, individual and group therapy to learn new behavior skills, and holistic therapies such as yoga, meditation and other therapies to heal the spirit and mind as well as the body.
Dont let prescription drug abuse and chronic pain define who you are any longer. Get the help you need and deserve at a quality prescription drug addiction rehab.
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Does Everyone Who Takes Drugs Become Addicted
Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. Everyone’s bodies and brains are different, so their reactions to drugs can also be different. Some people may become addicted quickly, or it may happen over time. Other people never become addicted. Whether or not someone becomes addicted depends on many factors. They include genetic, environmental, and developmental factors.
How To Spot Drug Use In Kids
Most adolescents who use drugs do not become drug abusers or drug addicts in adulthood. But drug use in adolescence can put their mental, emotional, and physical health at risk. And it can put a few vulnerable kids at risk for ongoing drug abuse and addiction problems into their future.
Drug abuse means that someone uses a drug for pleasure or to get high. Drug addiction means that a person has become dependent on the drug and has no control over whether, how, or when to use it, or how much to use. Drug addiction can be physical, psychological, or both.
For more rapidly addictive drugs, such as methamphetamine, heroin, crack, or even nicotine, some people report they felt addicted after using the drug only once or twice.
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Helping Your Loved One Overcome Addiction
Many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol will try to keep their addiction hidden as long as possible. Unfortunately, this often only fuels their addiction and keeps them sick and suffering for months or even years. If you believe your loved one is hiding an addiction, confronting him or her and supporting your loved one on the journey to recovery is the most important thing you can do.
Vertava Health has a number of state-of-the-art treatment facilities throughout the U.S. that can help your loved one overcome addiction. If you would like to learn more about the signs of hidden addiction or the drug and alcohol addiction programs we offer, contact a treatment specialist today.
Who Is At Risk For Drug Addiction
Various risk factors can make you more likely to become addicted to drugs, including
- Your biology. People can react to drugs differently. Some people like the feeling the first time they try a drug and want more. Others hate how it feels and never try it again.
- Mental health problems. People who have untreated mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more likely to become addicted. This can happen because drug use and mental health problems affect the same parts of the brain. Also, people with these problems may use drugs to try to feel better.
- Trouble at home. If your home is an unhappy place or was when you were growing up, you might be more likely to have a drug problem.
- Trouble in school, at work, or with making friends. You might use drugs to get your mind off these problems.
- Hanging around other people who use drugs. They might encourage you to try drugs.
- Starting drug use when you’re young. When kids use drugs, it affects how their bodies and brains finish growing. This increases your chances of becoming addicted when you’re an adult.
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They Experience Withdrawal Symptoms
People who are addicted to substances will likely experience withdrawal symptoms when they are not using drugs or alcohol. They will likely try to hide the symptoms of withdrawal, but many withdrawal symptoms are physical and often noticeable to others.
Common withdrawal symptoms from drugs or alcohol may include:
The more severe the addiction, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms will be.
Workplace Relations And Morale
When a coworker is addicted, relationships with coworkers and management are affected. Coworkers can feel resentful about having to pick up the slack for s suddenly unreliable colleague. Addiction can affect mood and thinking, so that a previously pleasant coworker might become suspicious and hostile. Supervisors and bosses may have to spend time and resources on disciplinary actions or other kinds of interventions.
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Physical And Mental Health Effects Of Substance Abuse And Drug Withdrawal
No matter how much drug the person takes, depression eventually sets in. This leads to a substance abuse cycle where an increase in drug is used to reduce the level of depression, yet the state of depression becomes more severe after multiple uses. This increase in negative feelings when not using the drug makes it very difficult to stop. Quitting a drug addiction leads to excruciating physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms. This is one of the reasons why many drug users have a hard time quitting. Even though they want to break away from their addiction, they continue to use the drug to avoid painful withdrawal symptoms.
Does Your Loved One Have A Problem
Drug addiction is a disease that impacts brain functioning and behavior in fundamental ways. Over time, repeated use of an addictive substance can lead to an inability to stop using the drug, causing noticeable changes in priorities, behavior, and appearance.
While the signs and symptoms associated with drug use vary depending on the drug, there are some general behavioral changes to look for that can help you determine whether or not your friend or family member might be struggling with chemical dependency.
Here are some of the common signs that your loved one may be using drugs:
- Sudden disinterest in school, work, or social responsibilities
- Deteriorating physical health, chronic tiredness, or staying up for more than 24 hours.
- Secretive behavior and lying
- Finding burnt tin foil or hypodermic needles
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How Can I Tell If My Friend Is Addicted To Drugs
Their behaviour, their physical appearance, and certain stuff in their environment can provide clues as to whether your friend might be addicted to drugs.
- sudden changes in behaviour or mood swings
- withdrawal from family members and old friendship groups
- carelessness about personal grooming
- loss of interest in hobbies, sports or other favourite activities
- neglect of responsibilities.
- red, glassy or bloodshot eyes, or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal
- sniffing or a runny nose
- frequent nosebleeds
- shakes, tremors, incoherent or slurred speech, impaired or unstable coordination
- sudden weight loss or weight gain.
The following items could also be a sign of addiction:
- spoons and syringes
- small, resealable baggies that could be used to store drugs
- pipes, plastic bottles, or cans that have been pierced or tampered with
- burnt foil
- stuff missing, such as money, valuables or prescription drugs.