How Do Drug Addictions Start?
Drug addictions might start in a few different ways. First, it’s important to understand that some people are more predisposed to addiction than other people. Drug addiction has both genetic and environmental factors, and those with an addicted family member are more likely than other people to develop an addiction themselves.
Sometimes, addiction starts because a person uses drugs recreationally. Drugs and alcohol affect brain chemistry, so repeated drug use can cause the brain to rely on the drugs to feel normal. Drugs used for social purposes or to unwind at the end of the day can lead to a gripping addiction.
At other times, a drug addiction starts with a prescription, usually for opioid pain medication. The individual takes the prescription for legitimate pain but accidentally becomes dependent on this highly addictive substance. He or she might then seek out alternate, often illegal ways to get more pain medication.
In 2014, about 20.2 million adults dealt with a substance use disorder.
Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors include, but are not limited to these signs:
- Taking larger doses of a drug
- Taking the drug over a longer time period than you originally intended
- Feeling sick after a high
- Failing to stop using the drug when attempted
- Excessive sleeping
- Making sure you always have a supply of the drug
- Spending more money on a drug than you can afford
- Having an intense desire for the drug
- Needing more and more of the drug just to get the same effect
- Doing risky things when on the drug
- Spending a lot of time getting, using, and recovering from the drug
- Stealing in order to get the drug
Mental and Emotional Symptoms
In addition to physical symptoms, drug addiction also comes with psychological symptoms. If you have a drug addiction, you might notice any of these issues:
- Feelings of shame; the need to hide your drug use
- Excessive thinking about drugs and how to get more
- Depression or anxiety
- Lost interest and focus
- Difficulty getting along with friends and family
- Failed attempts to cut back or quit
If you or someone you know are experiencing any of these common symptoms, please call our helpline.
Recognizing a Loved One’s Addiction
If someone you love has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, he or she will probably try to hide the addiction from you. However, you may be able to recognize the signs of an addiction in your loved one. For example, if a friend or family member with whom you used to get along starts acting angrily toward you, he or she may have an addiction. Furthermore, you might notice any of these signs:
- Borrowing or stealing money or other valuables
- Engaging in risky behaviors
- Neglecting appearance
If you need help confronting someone about drugs, you should prepare yourself by reviewing our tips.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, call Rehab Info at 800-492-QUIT today.
What to Do if Your Loved One is Addicted
If you have a friend or family member who is addicted to drugs, and other attempts to help haven’t worked, you might want to hold an intervention. The most common form of intervention involves an addicted person’s loved ones gently confronting him or her about the drug use.
Interventions can be effective because they allow the addicted person to see how much the drug use has impacted other people’s lives. After a successful intervention, the individual will often be transported to a rehab facility where he or she will learn healthy coping techniques to deal with addiction.
Types of Drug Treatment
To heal from a drug addiction, a person may first have to go through medical detox. Depending on the drug of choice and the severity of the addiction, detox can be dangerous. The individual will experience withdrawal symptoms, and he or she may also face seizures or heart problems. Detoxing in a medical facility can provide comfort and safety during this difficult process. Detoxing at home without medical supervision can be dangerous depending on the drug involved.
An addicted individual may also participate in either inpatient or outpatient rehab. Those with more severe addictions should consider inpatient rehab, which is highly structured and can last for 30 to 90 days. Outpatient rehab works well for those with less severe addictions. It provides many of the same therapies that patients can get with the inpatient option, but it is less structured because participants don’t live in the facility. Additionally, options such as support groups and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help an addicted person learn healthy coping techniques and prevent relapse.
One of the many good things about attending inpatient rehab is that an aftercare plan will be put in place. Getting clean is only part of successful sobriety. Remaining clean can be a real challenge. A strong support system is necessary in the after rehab phase of sobriety. Support groups, sober living homes, and counseling can all play a part in a successful after care plan.
How to Get Help
A simple google search for “rehabs near me” might overwhelm you. You have many options and a lot of different factors to consider. How do you even begin to make the right choice? That’s where we come in. Instead of doing hours of research, call Rehab Info instead. We’ll help you figure out the best choices for your current situation.
Call us at 1-800-492-QUIT