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How to Know If You’re Addicted to Drugs

by | Last updated Nov 23, 2020 at 6:10PM | Published on Nov 23, 2020 | Drug Addiction

How to Know If You're Addicted to Drugs

Everyone thinks it’s relatively easy to recognize a drug addict. Although the reality is quite different. Addiction to prescription medications or illegal drugs can often go unnoticed. Addicts themselves deny their addiction for so long they have a hard time picking up the signs. Sometimes people start taking pills without realizing they’re developing an addiction. So, how to know if you’re addicted to drugs? Keep reading to learn more about the hidden warning signs. 

The Truth About Drug Addiction

Most people attribute addiction to a lack of willpower. However, in reality, addiction has nothing to do with their will. To this date, people still believe the misconception that addiction is a moral issue or a choice. However, these statements couldn’t be further from the truth. Addiction is a complex and progressive chronic disease of the brain reward system. Because their brain is rewired, it receives misinformation associated with drug addiction or drinking with a positive and rewarding experience, completely stripping the danger or consequences from the equation. 

The Cycle of Addiction

The problem with addiction is that it turns into a vicious cycle that most people can’t escape. The majority of drugs, including prescription drugs, cause a physical dependence that results in withdrawal symptoms when stopped. So, most addicts must take these drugs to perform properly. Simple tasks like walking, working, or even having dinner can seem impossible without their medications. Most of it because when they don’t use them, they struggle with nasty withdrawal symptoms that can be physical and mental. 

How to Know If You’re Addicted to Drugs

It’s common for someone addicted to drugs to struggle with the signs of their addiction. On many occasions, they’ll find ways to justify your substance abuse and minimize the damage it causes to your health and your relationships. The most glaring signs of drug addiction include:

  • Unable to stop or control your drug use
  • Work, school, or family consequences as a result of your drug abuse
  • Dangerous or risky behavior while under the influence
  • You keep lying about your use – to yourself and others
  • You’ve experienced legal issues for using
  • You keep missing important events or obligations, both at work and in your personal life
  • Someone, either a friend or family member, has already suggested you need help
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you limit, control, or stop taking the drug
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
  • Preference to spend time with your drug-using group of friends instead of those who are sober
  • You look into other people’s medicine cabinets for potential drugs to take
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Recognizing Signs of Substance Use Disorders

Interestingly enough, it’s more common to recognize the signs of drug addiction in others. Even though addicts are experts at hiding their addiction, family members and friends can spot the general symptoms. It’s mostly because they often develop behavior, moods, and personality that trigger the warning signs for most friends and family members.

Behavioral Changes:

  • Isolation
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or usual activities
  • Lack of care in hygiene and appearance
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability or aggressive behavior
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Missing important events

Physical Changes:

  • Glazed eyes
  • Recurring illnesses
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Sudden weight changes
  • Vomiting or shakiness
  • Speech changes
  • Track marks

Mental Health Changes:

  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Apathy
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Self-harm thoughts 

Getting Help

It’s never easy to see someone fall for the dangers of addiction. No two addicts behave the same, so sometimes recognizing the signs can be a challenge. Besides, unfortunately, addicts usually wait until the very last minute to get the help they need. Most of the time, they only notice the severity of their problem when their drug abuse results in an overdose that sends them to the hospital. 

For Yourself

If you believe your drug use is turning sour and that you might be struggling with an addiction, please know there’s help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your primary care doctor. They can, most of the time, help you navigate the medical detox process and refer you to a drug rehab facility for continued care. If you don’t feel ready yet, try to talk to a family member or friend and ask for support. Sometimes, it’s easier to receive help from others than to seek out help by yourself.  

For a Loved One

It can be challenging to find the right way to talk to a drug addict. You’re probably wary of saying something that will set them off or something that might upset them. All of that is understandable. When trying to get help for a loved one, you first have to start getting help for yourself. Reach out to an addiction treatment center and ask all the questions you might have about addiction. Then, consider staging an intervention to convince your loved ones to seek the treatment they need to get better. It may take more than one try, but your loved ones will need your support and consistency to get better. 

Finding Drug Addiction Treatment Near Me

Drug addiction can literally take your life away. In 2018 alone, over 67,000 people died of a drug overdose. It’s paramount to seek treatment and find a comprehensive addiction treatment facility that looks at addiction through a holistic lens. More than therapy, it needs to provide people with a clear path to recovery and offer support throughout each step.

Medical Detox: In this clinically supervised detox process, we ensure the patient’s safety and make the withdrawal phase as comfortable as possible by minimizing withdrawal symptoms and using medication-assisted treatment services to guarantee a complete detoxification process.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Long-term use of drugs can lead to mental impairments, including paranoia and depression. Dual diagnosis programs can help treat co-occurring conditions as well.

Inpatient Rehab Programs: Depending on the types of drugs abused and the environment someone lives in, inpatient rehab might be the only route to recover from addiction. Spending 24/7 at a rehab facility can create that barrier between drugs and alcohol, so people can start the healing process.

Intensive Outpatient Programs: When patients are looking to seek addiction treatment while maintaining daily obligations like work, school, or caregiving, IOPs are a more flexible option that still gives people access to the help they need.

Long-term Recovery Programs: With long-term recovery assistance, patients can have the ongoing support they need to maintain long-lasting sobriety. Recovery programs are crucial to relapse prevention.

Group Therapy: Through treatment, support groups become a huge part of recovery. It helps those in recovery build a sense of community. Besides, it encourages communication to discuss struggles, pitfalls, and other particularities of recovery.

If you’re ready to learn more about our addiction programs, don’t hesitate to call us. We offer unique and personalized treatment programs because we believe no two addictions are alike. The journey towards recovery is a long one, but together and with your family and friends’ support, we’re sure you’ll make it. If you have questions for yourself or a loved one, our admissions specialists will be more than happy to answer all your doubts. Start your addiction treatment journey today.

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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