Drug addiction, also referred to as substance use disorder, is a chronic disease that is characterized by uncontrollable drug-seek, despite harmful consequences and long-lasting effects in the brain. Addiction to drug and alcohol begins as a mere recreational activity in a social setting. The recreational activity develops into dependency and progresses into a higher level of tolerance to the drug. Eventually, it becomes a frequent behavior characterized by intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms, which later turns out as almost impossible to quit drug abuse on your own.
Identifying the Signs of a Drug Addiction
The risk rate, as well as the signs of addiction, varies by personal circumstances, the individual abuser, the drug they are addicted to, and any genetic history of addiction in the family. Drug and alcohol abuse should neither be ignored nor minimized; one risks the addiction or alcoholism if no action is taken. Watch out for the following red flags if you want to recognize early signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse:
- Drug-seeking Behavior: This occurs when a significant proportion of your life revolves around drug abuse. Most of the time you spend using or thinking about getting drugs; where and how to get them, notably, seeking prescriptions from doctors and pharmacists, asking people with legitimate prescriptions to buy drugs on their behalf or buying from the streets at a higher cost.
- Drowsiness: The abuser may appear tired with bloodshot, droopy eyes. The abuser may also appear dizzy or resort to sleeping most of the time.
- Loss of Control: Loss of control over drug use is evident when you use them more often, or take more than you planned. You might feel like quitting, but you may seem unable.
- Dropping Hobbies and Activities: This involves a sudden loss of interest and decreased participation in extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports and other leisure activities.
- Risk Taking: Drug addicts may show signs of extraordinary courage. They engage in potentially dangerous and dreadful activities such as driving at high speed while under the influence of drugs.
- Financial Difficulties: When too much money is spent on drugs, one may land in debts as money is spent on drugs instead of other essential needs. There may also be the unexplained need for money, prompting one to steal.
- Relationship Issues: The addict may suddenly make drastic changes in their relationship with family and friends. They may change their friends and favorite hangouts. They may also not be in a position of meeting family duties, obligations, and assignments in the workplace, resulting in a family or marital strife.
- Secrecy and Solitude: Addicts can be secretive about their whereabouts. There may also engage in secret deals and suspicious behavior such as selfishness, irresponsible, illegal and criminal activities.
- Unhealthy Changing Appearance: There may be neglect of appearance characterized by a lack of interest in clothing, body appearance, and grooming.
- Family History: Genetic disposition may propagate drug addiction. Having a close relative with drug or alcohol-related problem is a risk factor; it may be an indicator of a possible drug addiction.
- Having Legal Problems: Drug users and addicts may most often find themselves possessing illegal drugs, stealing, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They may also engage in vices such as mugging, fighting, car accidents, and unruly behavior.
- Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences: This happens when you can’t stop using the drug even when it's too obvious that it does more harm than good. You may at times persist in drug use despite trouble with friends, colleagues and law enforcers.
- Withdrawal Symptoms: A drug addict may have withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to forfeit the drug. The user may experience physical and emotional symptoms when the body is deprived of normal substance and drug levels. Withdrawal symptoms may involve cravings, mood swings, depression, anxiety, bad temper, poor judgment, resentment, anger, and frustration.
When to Seek Help from an Addiction Professional
It is important to seek the help of a professional who is knowledgeable in addiction medication and psychiatry. Renaissance Ranch Ogden offers results-driven drug addiction therapy in Ogden, UT. We have an experienced team of friendly and passionate therapists that can help when continued drug abuse is increasingly getting out of control. Long-term recovery can be achieved if help is sought early enough. The sooner you seek help, the greater your chances for a long-term recovery.
When to Make an Appointment for Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery in Odgen, UT
A drug addict can make an appointment with a treatment professional if:
- One is unable to stop using a drug
- One engages in unsafe behavior such as needle sharing and unprotected sex as a result of drug use
- One experiences persistent withdrawal symptoms even after quitting
- A friend or relative becomes a serial drug addict
Drug abuse can lead to serious health complications and other devastating effects. As such, it's important to learn about drug abuse and addiction since it instills a better understanding of the drug addiction problem and how best to handle it.