Addicted to Drugs? Drug Addiction Symptoms
Curious about different drug addiction symptoms? Get the facts.
Are you or someone you love struggling with addiction? Do you think you are experiencing drug addiction symptoms? Once you can identify specific symptoms, you may be able to determine if you have a drug addiction. There is help available for people with drug abuse or dependence issues. You can make the right decision today and get the help you need before it is too late.
There are differences between drug dependence vs. drug addiction. An individual who has a dependence on drugs has built up a physical tolerance to the drugs and will experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drugs. Tolerance means that the body has adapted to the drug and the drugs have become ineffective. To achieve the same effects of the drug as before, the user has to take more of the drug. Most often, tolerance leads to addiction because the user has to keep increasing his intake of the drugs to get high.
Drug addiction is a chronic brain disorder that causes the addict to compulsively seek and use drugs regardless of the negative consequences. Drug use can change the physical and chemical structure of the brain, making it difficult for the user to control his behavior or drug use. The brain and body will begin to crave the drug and demand that it be given what it has become accustomed to. Drug use usually begins voluntarily but may lead to drug dependence and addiction. Addiction to drugs can affect both the brain and behavior of the addict, affecting areas of the brain associated with reward and motivation, memory, learning, concentration, decision making and behavior.
How long it takes an individual to become addicted to drugs varies depending on the type of drugs he is using. Some drugs are highly addictive and an individual can easily become addicted to them. Once a person becomes addicted to drugs, they will begin to experience a variety of symptoms and behaviors that are associated with addiction. Some of these symptoms and behaviors include:
- Needing the drug just to feel “good or normal”
- Having intense cravings for the drug
- Not being able to reduce or stop your intake of the drug
- Neglecting your obligations and responsibilities at home, at school or at work
- Withdrawing from family and friends, and becoming socially isolated
- Borrowing or stealing money to buy drugs
Because drug addiction is a chronic disorder, it takes time and continued treatment to stop using drugs and stay sober. After the initial phase of recovery treatment, a recovering addict should continue with long-term aftercare counseling, and support group meetings. Drug addiction treatment has three main goals:
- To help the addict stop using drugs
- To remain sober
- To become a productive member of society
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) evidence-based scientific research has concluded that an effective drug addiction treatment program should consist of the following:
- Treatment should be easily accessible to all addicts
- Addicts should remain in the treatment program for a minimum of sixty days for it to be effective
- Medications and behavioral therapy are both highly effective treatments for drug addiction
- Each patient should be assessed, and treatment should address his unique addiction plus other physical and mental challenges
- Treatment for mental disorders should be integrated into the drug addiction treatment program
- Outpatients should be screened for drug use during treatment
- Treatment does not have to be voluntary for it to be effective
Drug addiction treatment usually begins with the detox process, where the patient is gradually weaned off of the drugs. Medications may be given to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and the patient is kept stable and as comfortable as possible. After the successful completion of the detox process, the patient should begin a series of psychological counseling and therapies which can include: individual and group counseling, family and parenting counseling, relapse prevention, cognitive behavioral therapy, and perhaps alternative treatments.
It you have an addiction to drugs and are struggling with drug addiction symptoms, there are recovery programs available. You do not have to be a victim of drug addiction and fall prey to its downward spiral. You can get your life back by contacting a drug rehab center to begin recovery treatment today.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.