Behavioral Signs Of An Alcohol Or Drug Addiction
Sometimes it’s easier to tell if you have an addiction by looking at some of your behaviors. The following are a list of behavioral signs of addiction.
- Developing a tolerance for the amount of the substance that’s used
- Going to multiple doctors to obtain prescriptions
- Feeling as though you want to stop using, but you’re not able to
- Being unable to stop using even though you’re having medical problems
- Spending a lot of time thinking about the substance of abuse
- Using more often than you intend to
- Losing interest in favorite activities
- Having problems keeping up with responsibilities
- Being told that you have an addiction and need drug or alcohol rehab
- Borrowing or stealing money to pay for drugs or alcohol
- Keeping substance abuse behaviors a secret
- Spending time with different people who all use substances
Do any of the above behaviors sound like you? If they do, then it’s possible that you may have an addiction.
Getting addiction treatment is so important if you’re addicted to alcohol or drugs. If you’re still not sure, you may want to take a quiz to find out if you need to go to rehab.
If you do need help for an addiction, Northpoint Recovery can provide you with support.
The Friends I Had At School
I hung out with all the kids my parents told me not to hang out with. And they told me not to for good reason because they were exactly how I was introduced to smoking weed and drinking beers on the weekends. We lived for the weekends during middle and high school, just trying to make it through until we could party as soon as Friday afternoon came around.
The Myth Of The Addictive Personality
The recently deceased writer and television personality Anthony Bourdain was criticized by some for recreationally using alcohol and cannabis, in what was seemingly a very controlled and responsible manner, decades after he quit heroin and cocaine. Was this a valid criticism? Can a person who was addicted to drugs or alcohol in their teens safely have a glass of wine with dinner in their middle age?
It depends on which model of addiction and recovery you subscribe to. If you are a traditionalist who believes that addictions last a lifetime, that people readily substitute addictions, and that people have ingrained addictive personalities, the answer is: absolutely not. This would be playing with fire.
I learned early in my own recovery how critical it is to apply logic and evidence to the field of addiction, and that just because things make sense, and because we have thought about them in a certain way for an extended period of time, that doesnt mean that they are necessarily true. While in rehab, I was actually told a lot of other things that turned out to have no basis in scientific evidence. For example, I was told on a daily basis that a drug is a drug is a drug. This mentality doesnt allow for there being a difference between, for example, the powerful opiate fentanyl, which kills thousands of people every year, and buprenorphene which is a widely-accepted treatment for opioid use disorder.
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Experiencing Other Mental Health Disorders
Along with the genetic connection, another individual health trait that can correspond with a higher risk of addiction is the presence of pre-existing mental health disorders. People who struggle with various mental health conditions can be more likely to abuse and become dependent on substances. These conditions include but are not limited to:
- Depression, bipolar disorder, or other mood disorders
- Anxiety or panic disorder
For example, as explained by Brain Facts, multiple studies over the last decades have demonstrated a strong link between schizophrenia and addiction to nicotine. In fact, it has been shown that nicotine can even temporarily lessen some of the symptoms of schizophrenia. The use of cigarettes to manage these symptoms is a phenomenon known as self-medication, which is a common source of substance abuse that later becomes addiction.
Why The Once An Addict Phrase Is Actually Harmful To Those In Recovery
Shame Think about it: If someone buys into the OAAA adage, they will forever have to label themselves an addict, a label that comes with a lot of additional negative weight”lazy, powerless, hopeless, loser, untrustworthy.” Given that stance, they will be less likely to seek help for their problematic drinking, drug use, or porn use for fear of being labeled or shamed by those they love. Dr. John Kelly, a noted addiction expert says that “people who feel more stigmatized are less likely to seek treatment, even if they have the same level of addiction severity,” and that “they’re also more likely to drop out of treatment if they feel stigmatized and ashamed.”
Why? Because no matter what you accomplish, if you buy into OAAA you have a sense that you will always be required to wear this coat of condemnation. Many people dont even want to try recovery because they dont want to fail. Those that do will likely relapse, sending them into a pit of shame and blame.
OAAA keeps us feeling powerless and small Because of the condemning rhetoric of AAs tenets, I not only felt shame about my slip-up but truly believed I was powerless over my addiction. This belief kept me feeling small and stuck long afterwardseven after I started pursuing my graduate degree in psychology. The term “addict” alone contributes to this as shown in a great study by Robert Ashford.
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Changing Behaviors And Recovering From Addiction
Though for some addiction is a fatal disease, many do find recovery. According to;SAMHSA , recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. For me, recovery has been more of a process of letting go of old beliefs systems that were causing me more harm than good and adopting new ones which become more real through changing my behaviors.
It has been internal growth through intensive therapeutic work and 12-step practices which then is manifested as external successes in my life. Recovery has taken place in my life through both treatment and a continual practice of the 12-step program. Today my recovery is my most precious gift which intertwines into all areas of my life.
When Did I Cross The Line Of Addiction
I dont know where I crossed the line from heavy use to addiction, but at about 18 or 19 I was a full blown daily user of opiates and benzos. If I stopped using these drugs everyday, I would get very sick so now I was not just mentally dependent, I was physically dependent. My life started going down hill as I began to flunk classes in college, get in trouble with my family and visited the county jail. I was beginning to think I had a problem.
There are some buzzwords that are commonly connected as a part of addiction and two of these are tolerance and withdrawal. Tolerance is described as needing more of the substance one is using to achieve the same affect. This happens after repeated frequent use of the substance. So for an opiate addict, this looks like taking two Vicodin and getting high, to having to take ten Vicodin to get high a few weeks later.
Withdrawal happens when a person becomes physically dependent. Once someone begins to develop a tolerance to a drug, they will probably have withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the drug. With opiates, the symptoms may feel like body aches, nausea, restlessness and anxiety. Drug or alcohol withdrawal typically needs to be monitored by medical staff because the symptoms are so uncomfortable that if the person wants to stop, they may feel it is impossible without medical help because the symptoms are so uncomfortable.
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I Do Not Have A Problem Thats Ridiculous
Getting annoyed or angry at the people who care about you when they voice concern about your drinking and drug use represents denial, which is a classic sign of addiction. Its important to realize that your loved ones may be seeing things clearly and more objectively than you are. They can see what kind of person you were before you started using and what addiction has turned you into. Pay attention. Addiction will also bring about other serious behavioral changes, like paranoia, isolation, irritability, dishonesty and, very often, temporary psychosis.
My Brother Died Of A Drug Overdose
I know, it doesnt make sense. My brother died of an overdose so shouldnt I be completely against drugs? He was 10 years older than me and died when I was 8. I never really had the chance to know him while he was alive.
It makes no sense to me either, but when Im high on heroin I feel closer to my brother than I ever did in my life. Its almost like something to bond with him over even though he isnt here.
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Its A Serious Problem
Though the term addiction is often thrown around lightly, having a true addiction is a serious condition that typically requires treatment to overcome.
The symptoms and thought processes associated with food addiction are similar to those of drug abuse. Its just a different substance, and the social consequences may be less severe.
Food addiction can cause physical harm and lead to chronic health conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes .
In addition, it may negatively impact a persons self-esteem and self-image, making them unhappy with their body.
As with other addictions, food addiction may take an emotional toll and increase a persons risk of premature death.
Food addiction increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Excessive weight may also affect a persons self-esteem.
Completely avoiding junk foods may seem impossible. Theyre everywhere and a major part of modern culture.
However, in some cases, entirely abstaining from certain trigger foods can become necessary.
Once the firm decision to never eat these foods again is made, avoiding them may become easier, as the need to justify eating or not eating them is eliminated. Cravings may also disappear or decrease significantly.
Consider writing a list of pros and cons to think through the decision.
Write everything down no matter how peculiar or vain it may seem. Then compare the two lists and ask if its worth it.
If the answer is a resounding yes, be assured that its the right decision.
Surviving A Relationship With An Addict
Looking for more free resources? Follow our Colorado addiction local resources page here.; Remember, if youre in a relationship with an alcoholic or drug addict, youre not alone. Data shows us that there are more than;24 million addicts;and recovered addicts in America. A lot of those people are in relationships. So, there are a ton of people out there going through the same thing as you.
The most important thing is that you keep yourself safe. Do what you need to do to protect your physical and emotional well-being.
If you want to discuss rehab options and help your loved one get clean, please call anytime 24/7. Wed love to help you to figure out the best way to get them back on track.
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Your Relationships Follow A Similar Pattern
Relationship addiction can involve a lot of breaking up and getting back together.
The beginning of a relationship releases endorphins and dopamine, which feel wonderful, while breakups can spike a deep depression. People with certain personality types may feel attracted to this roller coaster and have a hard time feeling alive without it, Botnick explains.
Stringer expands on this, suggesting that the enthusiasm of believing youve found the one and depression when the short-lived relationship ends can form a cycle. This cycle can lead to impulsive decisions and affect your ability to function as you usually would.
You Have Guilt And Self Hate From Using Pornography
This is often what stops people from seeking treatment for porn addiction in the first place. Due to the nature of the subject, you may be afraid to talk to someone about your addiction. Also, like an alcohol or drug addict, you may have a sense of self-loathing after using or while in a refractory period. This psychological and emotional distress can make living with a porn addiction extremely difficult, and it can lead to depression and feelings of isolation. You may think that if you tell someone, they will hate you as you hate yourself.
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Why Is Sugar Addiction A Problem
From cupcakes to pies to iced coffee drinks, sugar is found in many foods and is almost impossible to avoid. Emotional or psychological dependence on sugary foods and drinks, also known as sugar addiction, is a very real cause for concern among health officials in America. Processed foods and refined grains create additional sugar in the body once the body metabolizes the food. Sugar in moderation is not harmful; however, many overdo it. A recent study suggests Americans eat far too much sugar. To be specific, approximately 75% of Americans eat excess amounts of sugar many of whom could be classified as having a sugar addiction.
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How Does Alcohol Become Addictive
People who fall into alcoholism may not realize why alcohol is so addictive. There is no one cause but rather a combination of precursors that lead to an alcohol addiction.
Drinking creates a chemical high inside the brain and body, which most people begin to crave. The feelings associated with drinking can compel you to drink more and more often, not to mention the physiological exchanges that begin to happen inside the brains reward center when consuming alcohol.;
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Realize That Sometimes Change Is Impossible
No matter how much you love someone, and no matter how much you may be willing to help that person, no matter how hard you try, ultimately, the decision to become clean belongs to the addict. Sometimes, no matter what, they are not willing or able to become clean. At this point you need to decide if you and your family should continue to pay the price for someone who is unwilling to change. The most important thing to remember is that, even if you must walk away from a relationship, it is never your fault that someone chose their addiction over their family and loved ones. Remember that it was their decision, and you have done all that you could to help, but for your own safety – and sanity – sometimes the only solution is to walk away, no matter how difficult that may be.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Youve Started Paying A Lot For Pornography
Like substance abuse, an addict may begin paying more and more to satisfy their addiction. If youre starting to pay for more and more pornography, you are running the risk of suffering from financial distress. According to CNBC, Every second $3,075 dollars are spent on adult content, more than 28,000 Internet users are viewing it, 372 Internet users are typing adult terms into search engines to find it, and every 39 seconds a new pornographic video is produced in the United States.
If your addiction is affecting your work, this risk is increased as you could lose your job. By allowing the cycle of addiction to continue, the likelihood of participating in risky behavior in order to satisfy your addiction will be heightened.
Believing Quitting Is Too Hard
If you have an addictive personality, you may feel that quitting everything addictive is just too difficult. You may have bounced from drink to drugs, from drugs to sex, from sex to overeating, from overeating to overexercise. Some people just feel life in moderation is too empty, too boring, too normal. They need excess.
This is denial. Even people with long-term, ingrained addictions can quit. Many of them discover this later in life, after losing friends, family, jobs and everything but their addictions. Once they find that recovery is possible, life opens up again and they grieve the lost years.
Social And Health Consequences
- Have you ever overdosed or needed emergency medical treatment as a result of substance abuse?
Addiction to drugs or alcohol often leaves individuals unable to take care of themselves and can lead to a number of health issues. Answering yes to any of these questions can signal that you have a substance addiction.
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I Wanted To Find That High Again
I was dating a guy who knew I was already a fan of using cocaine on special occasions. One weekend he brought out what he said was cocaine but it ended up being meth. The first time you get high on meth is one of the most surreal, euphoric, and insane experiences.
After that night I spent years trying to reach the same high that I experienced the first night he introduced me to meth. Meth is a crazy drug, though, and the highs after that first one are never the same. It was an awful time in my life.