Did you know that up to 60 percent of Americans are abusing alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, or prescription drugs?
That’s over half the population and 165 million people, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics.
That seems like a problem, especially considering 50-60 percent of everyone you know doesn’t act like they have a problem. Most people also will not even consider the option to go to rehab.
But denial is part of the addiction cycle!
Whether you suspect someone you love may have a drug or alcohol problem, or if you think you might be experiencing symptoms, it’s best to be objective about it and read with an open mind.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the tell-tale signs of addiction and why it’s important to get help before it’s too late.
Telltale Signs of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
While each person’s experience is unique, telltale signs of drug addiction are common in almost every case. We’re going to discuss seven signs that a habit has become a full-blown addiction.
If you notice even one of these signs, take the warning signs seriously. No hobby or even a non-addictive vice should be causing any of the following problems.
1. Your Work Is Affected by the Substance
If your vice or coping mechanism (a person rarely calls it “drugs” if they’re in denial) begins to compromise your work performance, then it’s an addiction that threatens your livelihood.
Most companies will fire employees if they test positive for illegal drugs, or if they show up to work drunk, or behave erratically.
2. You Ignore Friends and Family to Indulge
You may skip family meetings altogether, or ignore your friends, because of your need to indulge. You don’t even enjoy the vice anymore. You just “need it” to feel normal.
3. Friends and Family Admit They’re Worried About You
Most family members allow you a degree of privacy and independence. That means that when they finally tell you, “I’m worried about you”, you know it must be a big deal.
Your parents, siblings, or friends may accept the fact that you drink or smoke. But they also know when a person’s habit is getting out of control.
4. It’s The First Thing You Think About Every Morning
If you’re getting high every time you go to bed and thinking about the next high as soon as you wake up in the morning, there’s a problem. Now the habit has become mental as well as a physical addiction.
5. You Don’t Seem Like the Same Person Anymore
Your favorite pastimes of old, hobbies, and even your passion projects have been put on the back burner. Now it’s all about the vice, that thing that allows you to cope and feel in control.
6. Your Health and Wellness Has Changed
Addiction can cause mild to severe physical symptoms including:
- Change in appearance
- Weight loss or gain
- Change in appetite
- Constipation or diarrhea
Addiction can also cause mental problems, including increased anxiety, depression, psychosis, hallucinations, or violent emotions and behavior.
7. You’ve Developed a Tolerance for the Drug
Physical dependence refers to a user taking increasingly larger doses of the drug to feel the effects. Over time, your body’s tolerance may grow and you will need higher doses to feel the same euphoria you did in the beginning.
But the more you take, the more dangerous the withdrawal symptoms and the potential for fatal overdose.
According to the CDC, over 70,000 people die each year because of a drug overdose.
Why Many Don’t Go to Rehab
Many people don’t go to rehab because they either think they can’t afford it, or they’re simply not ready to stop using. Other reasons cited by a National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) included fear of being fired, or being embarrassed in the community.
In short, most people don’t go to rehab because they think the problem isn’t that bad yet. Or, they believe that if they just get tough on themselves, they won’t need to go to rehab.
Getting Tough on Yourself for Addiction
Unfortunately, in some cases, quitting drug addiction “cold turkey” can actually cause physical harm. According to Healthline, in the case of alcohol and some prescription drugs, abrupt drug withdrawal can lead to death.
In most cases, however, the user is never serious about trying to quit on their own. They say they’re going to make a change but continue to live in denial of the problem.
Ask yourself, (or the person you suspect has a problem) “What would have to happen before I admitted to myself that I have an addiction?”
Sometimes taking an objective look at one’s life can help. If you can’t imagine going a day or two or even a week without this substance, the problem may already be serious.
If you have given up jobs or family obligations to indulge in your habit, and people have already tried to intervene, the problem is beyond serious.
What’s a Drug Rehabilitation Center Like?
If you’ve never decided to go to rehab before, you may fear the whole experience. But going to rehab immediately gives you a few strong advantages.
You get a friendly and more conducive environment. You get medical assistance so you can stop the addiction safely and productively. You also get psychological services to address the reason why the addiction is so hard to quit.
Hope Rising Recovery has a detox program in Utah that offers a 24-hour phone number for admissions. Visit their website to see what visiting a rehab center is like.
Why It’s Important to Go to Rehab
Some people think that having optimal health is a sign that the addiction is still manageable. But that may well be another form of denial. An addiction to any food or substance is dangerous, particularly opioids or alcohol, which can have a poisonous effect on the body when abused.
When it comes to finding the best drug rehab center, price is a consideration, but so are good reviews of the practice, the credentials of staff members, as well as a clean and supportive environment.
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