A substance use disorder is a chronic disease. Are you its victim? Is a loved one struggling with it? What are the signs of drug abuse? Here are the signs that may help you make that determination.
Evaluating the Signs of Drug Abuse and Understanding the Condition
Pain pills, alcohol, cough medicine, and street drugs are just a few examples of what you might be dealing with. When you’re taking street drugs, it’s fair to say that you’re abusing a substance. It gets trickier with prescriptions and legal over-the-counter medications. What are the signs of drug abuse here?
For starters, you might be taking more of the medicines than the instructions suggest. Maybe you’re no longer taking medications for a condition but for the effects of drug abuse. Some people continue with prescription drugs because they fear the withdrawal symptoms. Perhaps you can’t envision life without the chemical crutch.
Psychological, Emotional, and Behavioral Signs of Drug Abuse
What are the signs of drug abuse when the substance begins to affect your mind? Depending on the drug, you might present with anxiety, depression, or paranoia. You can’t focus on what’s right in front of you. You plan, scheme, and connive to get and use drugs.
Emotionally, you begin withdrawing from others. You experience mood swings, and your sense of self-worth diminishes. You become inflexible in your thoughts and feelings. Many people suffer emotional exhaustion because of the rollercoaster of emotions they encounter during and after drug abuse.
Behaviors change as well. Most importantly, you’ll do whatever it takes to score another dose or hit. You’ll lie, steal, make promises, and break them just as quickly. You start taking risks that you typically wouldn’t consider. Over time, your focus on drug use eliminates concerns for everything else. Loved ones, career plans, an education, and even your health take backseats. Your day revolves around buying the drug and using it. Nothing else matters.
Counteracting an Addiction
Addiction’s a disease with physiological and psychological symptoms. What are the signs of drug abuse if not an opportunity to seek help? Rehab facilities offer Residential Treatment and Outpatient Treatment programs to assist you. Therapies include:
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment for co-occurring psychiatric disorders that aggravate addiction
- Motivational Interviewing as a therapeutic approach that combines hands-on care with counseling
- Medication-Assisted Treatment for managing cravings and withdrawal symptoms
- Mindfulness-Based Sobriety training, which helps you ground yourself in the present
- Individual counseling for goal-setting, psychotherapy, and long-term sobriety planning
The destructive effects of drug abuse continue to compound unless you interrupt the cycle. Your health suffers. Besides that, your mental wellbeing deteriorates as well. If you’re dealing with a dual diagnosis situation, the psychiatric disorder may worsen, too.
If you notice the signs of drug abuse in your life or in that of a loved one, don’t wait. Reach out immediately to connect with experts in the field of addiction treatment programs. Addiction specialists at Gateway routinely work with people just like you. Call 877.505.4673 now to connect with an intake counselor.