It isn’t easy coming to terms with the fact that you depend on a dangerous drug in order to feel normal. One of the things that makes drug and alcohol addiction so dangerous is that when people realize they are addicted, they have already developed a chemical dependency. Formidable withdrawal symptoms make quitting impossible for many people. If drugs are causing more problems in your life than they are solving, contact Crestview Recovery today. Now is the time to increase your addiction education and learn about our life-changing addiction treatment programs by calling 866.262.0531 to learn about the following program options:
How Does Drug Addiction Develop?
In the beginning stages, people often don’t know that they have a drug addiction. They don’t understand that addiction is a chronic disease. Prescription opioids can cause severe withdrawal symptoms, similar to those of heroin. Without knowing about addiction, you could put yourself in a potentially fatal situation. If you need to ask yourself whether you’re a drug addict, it is likely that you have developed a chemical dependency.
Addiction affects many aspects of the brain. It causes the prefrontal cortex to stop functioning properly. The prefrontal cortex helps with self-awareness. Without being self-aware, you have to look for subtle signs of addiction, and some of these warning signals include:
- Do you have a mental obsession and physical craving?
- Do friends or family comment on your drug use?
- Do you experience the symptoms of withdrawal?
- Does your life revolve around getting and using drugs?
Signs of a Drug Addict
What about observing symptoms of drug abuse in others? The signs of a drug addict can vary depending on the person and the substances they are using. However, there are some general signs that may indicate someone is struggling with addiction.
If you notice any of the following in someone you know, it could be a sign of a problem with drugs:
- Withdrawing from friends and family: Relationships are strained or severed as addiction takes over.
- Changes in mood or behavior: These may be dramatic or subtle.
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities: Suddenly, the substance is the only thing addicts care about.
- Financial problems: Mounting debts are an obvious clue.
- Secretive behavior: A once open personality now becomes closed and guarded.
If you are concerned that someone you know is struggling with addiction, reach out to them and offer your support. You can also contact a professional drug treatment center for help.
A Drug Addict has a Mental Obsession and Physical Craving
People have different misconceptions about addiction. Most people think that to have an addiction, you need to be homeless, jobless, and without family. In reality, most people with an addiction live seemingly normal lives in the outside world. Americans who have jobs, homes, and families are not immune to overdose.
Since social and financial standing are irrelevant when it comes to addiction, you must look at two primary symptoms.
- A physical drug craving means that once you have one, you have difficulty stopping or moderating. Those with an addiction may say they’ll limit their use, but they can’t.
- Those with a mental obsession are constantly thinking about drug use and the next high.
Issues with Friends and Family
Along with the prefrontal cortex, addiction also affects the part of the brain responsible for survival, which causes delusions. For instance, friends and family might approach individuals about their signs of drug use. Since the brain thinks it needs drugs to survive, affected individuals may become extremely defensive. The mind has a problem separating truth from fiction and thinks loved ones don’t understand.
In reality, your friends and family care about you, and they bring up your substance abuse issues because they love you. In a person’s addiction, he or she thinks that the problem isn’t affecting anybody, but it is. Loved ones are in the middle of the situation, and it causes a lot of concern and worry for them. They’re only discussing the issue because they want you to be well.
The Physical Dependency of a Drug Addict
The easiest way to know if you have a problem is to recognize a physical dependency. If your body has come to the point where you feel sick when you don’t have drugs, there’s a problem. Long-term, consistent drug use makes the body dependent to the point that individuals experience withdrawal when they stop using. If you reach this point, you need to look into addiction treatment programs in Portland to get the help you need.
If you believe you have a problem with drugs, take action. Call Crestview Recovery today at 866.262.0531 to find out about our addiction treatment programs.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.