Do You Know The Symptoms Of Drug Addiction

The symptoms of drug addiction can often be masked by other problems in a person’s life.  Drug use becomes an addiction when a person has a compulsive need to use drugs without care or regard for the consequences that might arise either physically or emotionally.  There are plenty of signs and symptoms to look for to tell if you or someone you love has a drug addiction.

Probably first on the list would be the inability to resist taking the drug.  People who are addicted to drugs can’t imagine functioning in life without the help of their drug of choice.  They go to great lengths to obtain the drug and use it on a regular basis often over-indulging at times.

Addicts begin to lose interest in things that they used to like to do.  Their whole life is dictated by when and where they can “get a fix”.  They put aside hobbies, families, even work and school.  Nothing else is as important as using their drug of choice.

A drug addiction can be shown in a person’s mood.  Are they often either really “up” or really “down”?  Mood swings are common with drug addiction as are angry outbursts and irrational behavior.  People with a drug addiction will find themselves doing things they normally wouldn’t do without the drug.

Physically, the ravages of drug addiction will show in the body.  They may experience a sudden weight loss and appear gaunt or pale to others.  They neglect to groom themselves such as not showering on a regular basis or taking the time to comb their hair.  They may have physical sores on their body and their eyes may appear dull and listless with a faraway look most of the time.

By the time addiction has taken hold of a person, the body has become used to having the drug in its system.  It builds up a tolerance thus the addict will need to take more of the drug in order to achieve the same effect it had before.

They may start engaging in secretive or suspicious behavior such as retreating during gatherings or making frequent, unnecessary trips just to be alone.  They can also become emotionally distant from those they were previously close to.  This alienation makes it easier for them to use drugs without judgment from those around them.

Depression often accompanies drug addiction, so look for signs of hopelessness, negative talk, and withdrawing from all activity.  Sudden changes in work or school performance can also be a sign of addiction.  They may feel exhausted and not want to get out bed sleeping for long periods of time.

Drug addiction is a serious disease, so if you see these symptoms in yourself or someone you love, seek treatment.  The healing has to begin somewhere, and when the symptoms arise, the time to get help is now!

What Is Drug Addiction

Even though drug addiction is a complex disease, assigning a definition for that disease is actually quite simple.  Drug addiction is, in its simplest form, defined as the continued compulsive use of drugs in spite of adverse health or social consequences.

The definition of drug addiction should also include the fact that it is a state of heavy dependence on a specific drug.  Generally, it’s thought of as a physical dependence, but in actuality, there is a psychological addiction as well as an emotional dependence.  Some say that it is compulsive and pathological drug use or substance dependence.

Drug addiction is also a behavior disorder as the initial drug use is generally done as a reaction to a behavior or situation that seems out of control to the user.  The user seems to have no other choice but to use that drug because of the body’s dependence on the fact that the drug will remain present in the system.

A distinction should be made between drug use and drug addiction.  It is possible for people to use drugs without becoming addicted, but that is generally limited to prescription drug use.  People who take drugs to cope with a physical ailment do so to control pain or the adverse effects of a physical condition.  Those drugs improve the quality of life for the sufferer, but they are not necessarily addicted to the drugs.

To be dependent on a drug – or addicted to it – the user must take the drug regularly, and they experience unpleasant symptoms if they stop using the drug such as nausea or sleep disturbance.  Substance abuse or addiction is present when a person uses a drug despite the harm that it causes to their system.

There is a difference between drug abuse and drug addiction.  Drug abuse occurs when a person uses excessive amounts of a drug at one time or frequently.  Drug addiction is present when a person cannot stop using the drug and stopping the drug seems like an impossibility.

Of course, no definition of drug addiction is complete without noting that it is both a physical dependence as well as a psychological one.  Physical dependency occurs when a drug has been used habitually and the body has become accustomed to its effects.  Psychological dependency is present when the drug is used habitually and the mind has become accustomed to the effects the drug produces.

When drug addiction affects a person’s life, the definition of that drug addiction becomes a bit less important than the reasons why people use.  However, it can help multitudes if a definition is specified so that a better understanding of drug addiction can occur.

Drug Addiction- How Do You Recognize The Signs

There is frequently some confusion when discussing dependency and addiction and the signs have similarities as well as significant differences. Almost all of us would develop a dependency if we take certain substances for an extended period of time. This dependency may manifest as feeling out of sorts, sweating, nausea, vomiting, achiness, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, aggitation, anxiety and many other symptoms that are a reflection of our bodies physical need for the substance we have been subjecting our body to. This is most frequent with narcotic medication that may have been prescribed for treatment of some type of pain disorder or medications such as benzodiazepines prescribed for nervousness or sleep. The symptoms usually arise after taking the substance for a period of time and then suddenly finding yourself without the next dose. These symptoms will typically ressolve with a little time after discontinuing the medication.

The problem with addiction arises when the medications are taken on an ongoing basis and the individual begins to have problems socially, due to the effects of the medication or not readily having the medication available resulting in the onset of withdrawl. The individual then may go to great lengths to obtain the medication including illegal activitiy. The obcession with obtaining the medication as well as the effects it has on the individual personality can cause problems with relationships, work, finances, and even legal problems.

Recognizing the signs of drug addiction is the first step in the individual moving forward to recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

 How do you know what to look for in trying to recognize drug addiction?  The signs can be obvious when you know what you are looking for.

A person with a drug addiction generally acts in an erratic manner and does things they normally wouldn’t do.  Their moods can be quite unpredictable alternating between bouts of exhilaration or agitation and then exhaustion and lethargy.  They may have trouble sleeping or will “crash” and sleep for long periods of time.

Drug addiction is often accompanied by depression, so look for a loss of interest in activities they used to find enjoyable and an abrupt drop in weight.  They may hesitate to participate in gatherings or family events and begin distancing themselves from people they used to be close to.

Eyes that are bloodshot or that have a dazed or expressionless look can be a sign of drug use and addiction.  They may appear to be daydreaming and may have to be spoken to several times before they answer you.

Drug addiction can also have some outward physical signs such as excessive sweating, flushed skin, or an unexplained rash.  Inflamed nostrils or an excessively runny nose can indicate an addiction to an opiate such as cocaine.  People who use methamphetamine – or meth – will have a sudden and dramatic loss of weight.  They may lose their teeth and will most likely have open sores on their bodies.

Recognizing drug addiction in yourself is a much harder process.  Because most people don’t want to admit that they have a problem, it’s much more difficult to come to terms with an addiction problem.

You may find that you have an intense, uncontrollable craving for a drug and feel like you can’t function without it.  You always make sure that you have an ample supply of your drug of choice and become frantic when your supply starts running low.  You might find yourself doing things you wouldn’t normally do when using the drug such as stealing or being promiscuous to obtain the drug or money to buy the drug.

Your drug addiction begins to take hold of your life and you see it spinning out of control with no way to stop.  You try to stop using the drug but repeatedly fail causing you to use even more to combat the feelings of hopelessness.

Recognizing  potential alcohol and drug addiction is imperative if you have any hope of helping the addict or for the addict to have any hope of overcoming the problem. When addiction is present in your life or someone you love’s life, it can have a detrimental affect and leave scars in the relationship that may never heal.  That’s why it’s essential that intervention take place as soon as addiction is recognized, so that the healing process can begin.