Drug or alcohol addiction starts with abusing the substance, whether by using it more than recommended, getting it by illegal means or gradually taking more prescription pills than was prescribed. Abusing drugs can lead to physical dependence which ultimately leads to addiction. When someone is in the abusing stage, they are using them more often than they should, and once they become dependent, their body will experience rough withdrawal symptoms during sober periods. Due to this dependence, they can become addicted where they feel like they can’t live without the drugs or alcohol. Addiction is dangerous on many levels and treatment should be sought immediately.
Side Effects and Health Concerns of Drug Abuse
Drug abuse, being the first step of addiction, includes a variety of short term and long term effects which are only worsened as time progresses. Short-term effects are the changes in your body or mind while you are under the influence of drugs such as nausea and vomiting, migraines, muscle spasms, body tremors, slurred speed, poor coordination, dilated pupils, and some personality changes. The long-term effects can range from mild to severe, such as decreased brain function and memory, menstrual cycle changes and hormonal changes, and a wide range of personality and behavioral changes like irritability and aggressive behavior. Health concerns of drug abuse and drug addiction include heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, seizures, hallucinations, an increased risk of cancer, lung damage or disease, impotence, psychosis, coma, stroke, heart attack, respiratory failure or death.
Signs of Drug Addiction
To determine the fact that someone we love has an addiction can be very intimidating at first, but when you get proper information about the signs of addiction situation becomes much clearer. There are many different ways to recognize addition in yourself and your loved ones. They include a combination of physical, behavioral, and psychological signs that are usually shown as changes in the person. Someone who previously was very well groomed and is suddenly not caring about their appearance is showing a physical sign of addiction. A loved one who was always the social butterfly of the group that has become isolated most of the time is showing a behavioral sign of addiction.Each is unique so is addiction he or she has.That is why specific signs for some addictions will vary because of that unique complexity addicted person will conduct.The following shows each type of sign and symptom that you should look out for.
When are Treatments for Addiction Needed?
Physical Signs of Addiction – The first signs you may notice are physical changes in the person. This may be bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils, which are usually an indication of being intoxicated and you may notice it often which indicates drug abuse. Other physical changes include a sudden change in sleep patterns or appetite, significant weight loss or weight gain, poor grooming habits, bad personal hygiene, unusual clothing or body odors, poor coordination or an overall lack of concern over their outer appearance.
Behavioral Signs of Addiction – Behavioral signs of addiction include suddenly calling in sick to work or skipping classes at school, lack of effort or motivation at work or school, constant legal or financial troubles, borrowing money on a consistent basis, acting suspiciously, wanting to be isolated or hanging around new groups of people that also seem suspicious.
Psychological Signs of Addiction – Lastly, there are psychological signs of addiction to be aware of. Pay close attention to mood swings or irritability that seems unwarranted, along with acting paranoid, anxious, depressed or having sudden violent outbursts also with no reason. Someone who is constantly alternating between agitation and relaxation lacks motivation or has changed in their personality, moods or attitude is throwing up red flags for addiction.
When to Seek Addiction Treatment
If you or someone you know is showing signs of addiction, they should seek treatment immediately. Not next week or next month, but now. If it is a friend or loved one, you should sit down with them and discuss your worries. Avoid speaking to them when they are currently under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but wait until they are sober or showing calm characteristics. Be open-minded to their struggles and offer your support, rather than your judgment. It is vital they get help immediately. If you are the one dealing with addiction, a visit to a local drug rehab center should be your first step.
Why Addiction Treatment is Important
Once the signs of drug abuse or addiction are shown, the person struggling with the addiction should seek treatment. The reason for this is because it can worsen with time. Someone addicted to pain killers for a few months won’t deal with as many struggles quitting as someone who has been addicted for years. The potential physical effects will also worsen as time goes on and the risk for severe medical disorders, disease, infection, or even death. The decision to get treatment for addiction is a big one, but one that could change your life. Begin on your road to recovery by contacting a local drug treatment facility to start a treatment plan that is right for you.