How Do You Know If You Have an Addiction?

How do you know if you have an addiction? It’s a question that many don’t know the answer to. The signs and symptoms of drug addiction can end up slipping through the cracks. Addiction can be a crippling situation for you and your entire family. In most cases, everyone involved is affected to a certain extent. This is why it’s important to know the potential signs so you can get help for yourself or a loved one. 

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people fall victim to addiction. Whether they are legal or illegal, there are many types of drugs that are abused every year. While they go by different names and have different effects, they all have specific symptoms and signs that appear after continuous misuse. These signs can be essential to identify addiction in yourself or a loved one. Knowing how to tell if someone is on drugs can make all the difference when getting treatment. 

The Signs and Symptoms of Drug and Alcohol Addiction

If someone continues abusing a particular drug or alcohol, their body and behavior will begin to show it. Behavioral changes can be one of the prime ways in telling if someone is suffering from an addiction. While the symptoms of specific drugs vary from case to case, there’s a list of general signs that can help determine an addiction. Understanding and being able to recognize a possible addiction in yourself or a loved one takes honesty and a close eye. 

When it comes to a drug like alcohol, there may be apparent warning signs of an alcoholic – whether it be yourself or a loved one. This same idea applies to many other drugs as well. In many cases, a person may not even know they are addicted until it’s too late. Addiction can take a toll on a person’s entire life and can cause multiple health problems down the line. Some of the common signs of addiction in you or a loved one may include the following:

  • Feelings of having to use the drug regularly (sometimes up to several times a day)
  • Spending too much money on the drug, even if you can’t afford the drug
  • Engaging in risky and dangerous behavior while under the influence (driving or other activities)
  • Continuing to use the drug even if you know it’s causing you harm (physical and mental)
  • Acting in ways you normally wouldn’t when not taking the drug
  • Multiple failed attempts to stop using the drug
  • Strong urges to use when you stop using
  • Building a tolerance to the drug (needing more for the desired effect)
  • Spending lots of time trying to acquire the drug, using the drug, or recovering from it
  • Making sure you have enough of a certain drug in your possession
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after you stop using
  • Failing to meet responsibilities at work, school, and home due to constant drug use

When it comes to the physical effect of drugs, there are specific symptoms depending on the drug at hand. At times, certain addictions can become fatal if overdosing is a factor. If you notice any of these symptoms it’s always best to reach out for help sooner than later. Rehab centers like Sana Lake can help you or a loved one get proper addiction help. 

Symptoms of Drug and Alcohol Addiction

The Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

One of the most commonly abused drugs in the world is alcohol. While having a few drinks here and there is fine, frequent and uncontrollable drinking is a bigger issue. Alcohol can completely change a person’s behavior while causing numerous health risks down the line. Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) occurs when someone struggles to control their drinking and spends too much time drinking/recovering from its effects. 

As with all other drugs, alcohol use disorder has a list of different symptoms and behaviors that emerge over time. The warning signs of an alcoholic are typically characterized by behavioral changes along with negative effects on a person’s work, social, or school life. Some of the common signs of a drinking problem include:

  • Drinking to relieve stress or memories/trauma
  • Trouble functioning or managing stress without drinking
  • Unable to sleep or wake up without drinking
  • Frequent ‘binge-drinking’ (drinking five or more drinks in a single sitting)
  • Failure to maintain relationships, interests, or hobbies because of alcohol
  • Suicidal thoughts and dangerous behavior due to drinking
  • Coping with life’s emotions by drinking alcohol
  • Drinking way over the limit (the limit which you create)
  • Urges to drink alcohol when feeling worried or depressed

In addition to these behavior changes, a person will face several negative health effects on the body. Not only does alcohol affect the body but it also affects the mind as well. These symptoms can be big indicators of alcohol/drug abuse and only worsen over time. Some of the common symptoms of frequent alcohol abuse include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Blackouts
  • Trouble sleeping or staying awake
  • Mood swings
  • Coma
  • Worsened concentration and memory problems
  • Impaired judgment and motor functions
  • Intense withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, sweating, increased heart rate, nausea, etc.)

Commonly Abused Drugs

There are many different drugs, some are prescribed painkillers while some come in the form of generic alcohol. Over time, using too much of a drug or using it in ways that were not intended can cause problems. Some people don’t even know they have an addiction until it’s too late. It’s important to be informed about some of the most widely used drugs. While the symptoms and effects vary from drug to drug, it’s important to know the signs.

Some of the most commonly used and addictive drugs include:

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • Hallucinogens
  • LSD
  • Marijuana
  • Prescription drugs
  • Opioids

Every year, thousands of people develop a drug addiction. These addictions can stem from drugs that are intended to help a person medically. It’s important to be aware of these along with knowing how to tell if someone is on drugs.

Alcohol Addiction

Addiction Questions to Ask Yourself or a Loved One

How do you know if you have an addiction? The answer is best described as identifying the signs and symptoms of addiction. However, there are also questions you should ask yourself or a loved one if you are worried about possible addiction. When answering these questions it’s important to be truthful in your answer as this is the only way you can take the first step towards change. Honestly answer these questions if you feel you or a loved one may be suffering from addiction:

  • Do you use drugs to forget something in the past (trauma or other events)?
  • Do you have issues maintaining relationships, hobbies, or other activities as a result of your drug use?
  • Do you ever experience withdrawal symptoms when not using drugs? These can include anxiety, nausea, muscle pains, vomiting, etc.
  • Do you struggle to cope with stress when not using the drug?
  • Do you ever have thoughts of suicide or put yourself in dangerous situations due to your drug use?
  • Do you act strangely or not like yourself when using/accessing the drug?
  • Do you experience strong cravings or urges to use the drug?
  • Do you constantly find yourself going over the limits you set yourself?

Getting Addiction Treatment

Commonly Abused Drugs

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, now is the time to reach out for help. There are many different types of treatment options available to those with addiction. While there are lots of different routes to take, each case of addiction is different. Treatment usually depends on your personal preferences, limits, and the severity of your addiction. However, if you stay committed and persistent in treatment, recovery is achievable and possible. 

Most addiction treatment usually starts with detoxification (or detox). Detox is a process that rids the body of any substance or drug. During this process, a person may experience some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting out of the blue. Fortunately, there is usually a qualified medical professional by your side the whole journey.  After detox, a person can move onto more personalized treatment through inpatient or outpatient treatment. 

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment (also called residential treatment) is one of the most commonly used methods for addiction treatment. Inpatient treatment lets you stay in a comfortable and drug-free center for a period of time. During this time, you will have access to therapists, counselors, and medical professionals at all times. This is recommended for cases that require attention throughout the process.

Outpatient Treatment 

Outpatient treatment is a bit different from inpatient treatment in that you don’t actually stay at a rehab center. Instead, you only attend weekly sessions (3-5 times a week depending on your case). This allows for a level of flexibility if you have work or school commitments. It is worth noting that outpatient treatment is best for milder cases of addiction as there is not around the clock monitoring like inpatient programs.

Therapy for Addiction

Therapy is one of the most widely used ways to treat addiction. Therapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is used to help incite change and understanding for one’s addiction. It is a vital part of the recovery process and can be done alone or in a group setting. 

Start Your Journey at Sana Lake BWC

Now that you know the warning signs of an alcoholic and addiction in general, it’s time to get comprehensive help. Sana Lake BWC is here to help you towards a brighter and better future. We offer the above-mentioned treatment options and much more. Contact us today to learn about all our treatment opportunities and addiction resources.