What Are the Signs of Addiction?
Being able to recognize the signs of addiction can save your life and the lives of others. While some are better at hiding their addiction than others, identifying clear indicators is essential for seeking help, identifying what substance(s) is being used, and knowing what precautions to take in life-threatening situations. The signs of drug or substance use, in general, vary from physical, behavioral, and social warnings.
Individuals that are in denial about their addiction may not be able to see the symptoms themselves, which makes knowing the signs and symptoms even more important. Because substance abuse is becoming even more prevalent, there has been an increase in fatal overdoses and other complications due to drug use. Millions of Americans battle substance use disorder (SUD) and, with more access to prescription and street drugs, the epidemic continues to worsen. If a person or their loved one suffers from addiction, it is imperative that they consider entering into a treatment program, such as the ones offered at The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center.
Common Signs of Addiction
The signs of addiction vary based on the substance. For example, common symptoms of heroin use include unusual sleep patterns, contracted pupils, loss of appetite, and visible needle marks. The signs of addiction to stimulants like cocaine or crystal meth are similar but also cause symptoms such as hyperactivity, dry mouth, weight loss, irritability, or even excessive periods without eating or sleeping. Some people may be experts at hiding symptoms, but even they will display warning signs of addiction. For example, people that are trying to hide their substance use may avoid social situations, experience a decline in hygiene, or make excuses for erratic or out-of-character behavior.
As previously mentioned, the symptoms of substance use can vary between behavioral, physical, and social changes. Some mental health and substance use disorders cause behavioral changes, including poor work performance, erratic behavior or mood swings, and driving under the influence. The physical changes may include extreme weight loss or gain, lack of personal hygiene, tremors, and general impaired coordination. Social warnings to take note of could be a change in social circles, loss of interest in hobbies or enjoyable activities, and being confrontational with friends, families, and loved ones. If you notice someone close to you exhibiting these signs, or you’ve recognized them in yourself, consider seeking treatment immediately.
Long-term recovery from addiction is more likely when treatment plans are tailored to one's needs and provide a whole-person approach. Treatment plans will vary based on substances, the severity of the disorder, the amount consumed, and the length of time that the substance has been used.
One way to treat substance use disorders includes an inpatient program, where clients live at a treatment facility and are able to detox under medical supervision if needed. Although intense immersion that is provided in inpatient programs has been linked to higher rates of recovery, outpatient programs are also an option. This program allows individuals to travel to a location for treatment and continue living in the comfort of their own homes.
The range of potential treatment methods for drug addiction varies. Some possibilities, according to the National Institue on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), include:
- Behavioral counseling
- Medical devices that help withdrawal symptoms
- Treatment for co-occurring mental disorders
- Emphasis on relapse prevention programs
One of these treatments may be more effective than the other. In many cases, a combination of two or more may be the best option. Speaking with a medical professional or addiction counselor may help you learn the methods best for you. Treatment facilities, such as The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center, can help individuals not only identify the signs of addiction but can help individuals overcome them as well.
Treating Addiction at The Ohana
At The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center, we employ a Therapeutic Living Program. This integrates an intensive outpatient program (IOP) with recovery residence which provides clients intensive care, a safe and welcoming environment, and the ability to continue pursuing work or education goals. This unique method beyond a residential or IOP increases our client's chances of maintaining long-term recovery upon leaving treatment. One of the biggest threats to a client's recovery is the premature transition from residential treatment back to their everyday environment.
If you or someone you love is exhibiting these signs and symptoms of substance abuse, consider having a conversation with a medical professional today. The number of people suffering from addiction and experiencing overdoses is alarmingly high. Don’t spend another day suffering from your addiction. Start your recovery adventure today.