Recognizing when you are exhibiting symptoms of drug abuse is the first step toward recovery.
If you are concerned that your recent behavior, at times, may show signs you have drug addiction problem, there are symptoms to be aware of and questions you can ask yourself honestly to determine if your substance use is out of control. Even if you aren’t a user of illicit drugs, it can be easy to develop an addiction to prescription medications that are used for conditions such as anxiety, pain, or attention deficit disorder. There are many signs of drug addiction to become familiar with:
- Blacking out or memory loss after alcohol or drug use.
- Experiencing constant mood swings and irritability that are also driving forces behind frequent arguments with friends and loved ones.
- If you drink alcohol daily and find yourself starting to drink in the morning or if you often drink alone.
- If you have become secretive or tell lies about how often or how much you drink, or if you are hiding alcohol or drugs.
- If you feel like you are losing control of your life because your drinking or drug use has increased despite promises you’ve made to yourself that you would cut back or stop all together.
- Risk taking that is typically out of character for you in order to obtain more drugs is also one of the textbook symptoms of drug abuse.
- Continued use of alcohol or drugs even though your job, relationships, health, or finances have begun to suffer as a result.
- If you have acquired a tolerance and require higher amounts of drugs or alcohol to produce the same high you want to achieve.
- Your appearance has deteriorated and regular hygiene is no longer a priority.
- You experience physical withdrawal symptoms if you stop using drugs or alcohol, such as anxiety, nausea, vomiting, depression, irritability, tremors, headaches, or even flu like symptoms and abdominal cramping.
In addition to the ten signs you have drug addiction problem above, if you have a family history of alcohol or drug addiction problems, which is also a significant consideration. Those that exhibit symptoms of drug abuse are often addicted if they are unable to stop using on their own, or if they become ill when they attempt to. This is indicative of someone that needs to get help, and the earlier signs of drug addiction are noticed, the better it is to obtain help immediately. Early action increases the chances of successful recovery and reduces the risk of permanent physical and mental damage to one’s health.
The reason it is so important to become familiar with and recognize the signs you have drug addiction problem is because nobody starts taking drugs planning to get addicted to them. People begin to drink alcohol or take drugs make them feel good or to help them relax, or they were prescribed medication that takes away their anxiety or pain. However, long-term drug use changes the physiology of the brain. It changes how the brain works and these changes can last for years, and may even become permanent in many cases. Drug abuse taxes the liver and kidneys, and it can cause severe damage to several other organs. Drugs destroy the mind and body, and if they don’t kill the addict, they will cause enough damage to destroy his or her quality of life completely. Other symptoms of drug abuse to be mindful of:
- Because addiction is a brain disease, depression is often accompanied by anger outbursts, and even the frequent inability to make decisions.
- Feeling incapable or insecure at the thought of having to enter into a social setting without drinking alcohol or taking drugs beforehand is common in someone with an addiction problem.
- Taking drugs when upset or angry to make those feelings go away is also common.
- Taking one drug to overcome the effects of another drug taken earlier is a vicious cycle addicts often find themselves repeating.
- Addicts often fear the possibility of running out of drugs or alcohol.
Recognizing the signs of drug addiction in your own behavior is a major step forward to becoming clean. Know the facts about the effects of drugs and alcohol on your body – learn them here: The Mayo Clinic. Valuable information that includes additional symptoms of drug abuse can be found by visiting The National Institute on Drug Abuse. Getting educated will be beneficial in seeking help and making a commitment to recovery.