Determining whether you or someone you care about has become addicted to drugs is difficult for many. The signs of addiction aren’t always obvious, and many times it’s difficult to admit that the problem has gotten so far out of hand.
Those addicted to or abusing drugs may exhibit different physical signs, as different drugs have different effects, but the symptoms of addiction remain generally the same, regardless of the substance.
When diagnosing issues of addiction, we look at whether someone is abusing substances or has moved into dependence. Some of the symptoms of abuse are:
- Regularly neglecting your responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g. flunking classes, being chronically late for work, neglecting your children) because of use.
- Taking risks while using, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
- The use is causing legal trouble, such as arrests for driving under the influence, drunk and disorderly conduct or stealing or dealing to support a drug habit.
- The use in general is causing problems in relationships, partner or employer.
Common signs and symptoms of drug or alcohol dependence include:
- Tolerance. This is the need to use or drink more to get any effect.
- Withdrawal symptoms. Experiences symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety from a lack of use. People with this problem often times can’t go 3-4 days without using something to feel better.
- Loss of Control. When someone can no longer make choices about how, when or how much they use, even though they told themselves they wouldn’t.
- The addict spends a lot of time using and thinking about drugs or alcohol, figuring out how and when they can get their substance, and recovering from it’s effects.
- When someone is abusing substances, we are concerned that they are neglecting their roles and responsibilities. In dependence, people are more likely to abandon activities they used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing.
- Continued use despite knowing it’s causing major problems in one’s life—blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia—but they continue to use anyway.
The earlier someone recognizes the symptoms of addiction, the more likely they are to avoid some of the major consequences that often go hand in hand with addiction.
Are you asking yourself?
- Am I addicted to drugs?
- Am I an alcoholic?
- Does my son or daughter have a drug problem?
- Is my husband or wife or partner an alcoholic or drug addict?
If so, working with a therapist specializing in the drug addiction and alcoholism area will make a difference. Contact JLS Consulting today to learn more.