Recognizing the signs and symptoms of substance use disorder is the first step to getting help for yourself or a loved one. Substance abuse and addiction go hand-in-hand. Alcohol and drug addiction is a disease with physical and psychological symptoms like any other illness. Alcoholism and drug dependence can significantly impact a person’s life, such as changing their physical appearance or consuming their thoughts until it’s impossible to concentrate on anything else. If alcohol or drug abuse goes untreated, the consequences can be severe. Take a look at these eight warning signs of addiction to get the necessary help for yourself or a loved one.
Eight Warning Signs of Addiction to Help You Start Your Journey to Recovery
1. Denial of Drug or Alcohol Addiction
You may notice secretive or suspicious behaviors if you suspect someone you know is experiencing an alcohol or drug problem. They may have alcohol hidden around the house, or whenever you suggest doing something together, they immediately mention an activity involving drinking or taking drugs. However, the second you ask them about their alcohol or drug use, they shut down or outright deny having a problem.
This denial of alcohol or drug abuse could indicate a drug addiction. Individuals misusing substances will typically deny their addiction or do drugs secretly to avoid questions from loved ones.
2. Changes in Behavior
A person struggling with addiction will often exhibit changes in their behavior or mood. For example, they may find falling asleep without drugs or alcohol difficult, leading to increased doses or stealing others’ prescription drugs. Sudden mood swings can also occur. A person may feel depressed one day but energetic the next.
Other behavior warning signs of drug abuse include:
- Increased irritability
- Unexplained absences
- Social isolation or withdrawal
- Lack of motivation
- Issues at work or school
- Trouble upholding commitments or responsibilities
3. Loss of Control
If you no longer feel like you’re in control of your drug use, this may be a sign you’re struggling with an addiction. Taking larger doses for the same effect as before, experiencing drug cravings and continuing to use drugs even if they lead to negative consequences are big warning signs of a substance use problem.
People who keep doing drugs or drinking may not do it because they want to. Being addicted to a substance makes quitting extremely hard because of the withdrawal symptoms that may happen if they do. Professional treatment can help one get off drugs and prevent relapse safely.
4. Relationship Problems
Addiction can cause conflict with others at home, work or school. Family members or friends may become frustrated or angry seeing their loved one continue using drugs even though it harms them. A person with an addiction may also become less interested in family or friends, becoming more withdrawn and losing contact with people.
The physical effects of taking drugs or excessively drinking can also make it hard to concentrate at work or school, leading to complaints from colleagues or termination, depending on the severity of your behavior.
5. Decrease in Daily Functioning
Mental health and substance use are often linked. An individual may experience one or more symptoms of a mental health problem, such as depression or anxiety, because of their addiction. Signs of drug addiction can also include difficulty taking care of daily responsibilities.
The effects of poor mental health can make it harder to function normally, resulting in strange sleep patterns, skipping personal hygiene routines, poor judgment or avoiding basic responsibilities and tasks.
6. Physical Symptoms
While drug use is often associated with mental health issues, other physical signs and symptoms can also indicate a substance use problem, such as:
- Dilated pupils
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Bloodshot eyes
- Poor physical condition
- Slurred speech
- Unusual body odors
Symptoms may get worse when you stop taking a drug or drinking. When you’ve built up a tolerance for a substance and suddenly stop taking it, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Shakiness, jumpiness and trembling
- Nausea and vomiting
- Headaches and fever
- Sudden mood swings
- Unexplained paranoia
- Angry outbursts
7. Financial Problems
An individual may experience financial consequences because of their drug abuse. They may spend more money to maintain their alcohol or drug habit instead of taking care of necessary expenses such as bills. If someone tends to move around a lot and is struggling to maintain stable housing even with a steady income, this could also be a sign their money is being used for something else.
You may share a household with a person struggling with substance abuse. If that’s the case, keep a close eye out that no money goes missing. Out of desperation, an individual may steal money or run down a bank account to fund their habit.
8. Switching Doctors Frequently
People with an addiction may visit more than one doctor in a short timeframe hoping to score a drug prescription. They may also frequently ask a doctor for new prescriptions. Once that doctor refuses to comply, they’ll try their luck elsewhere.
Signs of prescription drug abuse include keeping a stockpile of drugs in their medicine cabinet or accumulating prescriptions. The most commonly misused prescription drugs include:
- Opioids such as oxycodone or hydrocodone
- Stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall
- Antianxiety medications such as Xanax or Valium
If an individual seems unusually energetic, is sleeping less or is suffering from severe mood swings, they may be misusing prescription drugs.
Seek Treatment for Substance Abuse at Alta Loma in Texas
Substance abuse can affect a person’s life without proper treatment. If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, it may be time to seek help and treatment for substance abuse. Alta Loma in Georgetown, TX, offers various services designed to help individuals beat their addiction and live a drug-free life.
Call us today at 866-457-3843 to speak with a trained professional and take the first step toward getting the help you need.