Even though millions of Americans suffer from addiction every day, there is still confusion around knowing the signs of someone addicted to drugs. This is made even more difficult because each and every person is unique and the signs of addiction for one substance may be extremely different from that of another.
There are also social factors, health factors, and environmental factors that impact how and whether or not a person becomes addicted. In fact, a person may become addicted to one substance and not another. At Ocean Coast Recovery we believe in giving our clients everything they need to get sober and stay that way. In this post we will examine what addiction is, the signs of someone addicted to drugs and how to get someone help with a drug addiction.
What Is Addiction?
The first thing to note is that addiction is not simply a behavioral pattern, it is a disease that continues to affect people long after they enter recovery.
An addiction is defined as a behavior that has harmful consequences and continues even when the person knows their behavior needs to change. For instance, someone abusing alcohol may know they are damaging their relationships or health but continue drinking anyway. Addiction can manifest in many ways and it’s important to understand what you’re dealing with before taking any action.
Addiction is caused because of changes in the brain and this is why some people find it difficult to stop using. When a person takes drugs, their dopamine levels increase making them feel pleasurable sensations which reinforces drug use.
Different drugs interact with the brain differently and can affect each individual person in different ways. This is why one person may not seem to be affected by a drug while another is completely addicted.
The Stages of Addiction
Addiction is not something that happens all at once, but rather in stages as a person continues to use a substance. For instance, a person may be prescribed a drug for pain which they begin by using as directed. From there, the brain begins to change and they become dependent on the substance. This is when people can become addicted to a drug as they now need it for their daily life; no matter what, if they don’t have access or use of the drug then withdrawal symptoms occur.
The stages of addiction are:
- Dependence- When someone becomes dependent on something and needs it to function in everyday activities.
- Intoxication- At this stage, not only does an individual’s body depend on the substance but so do their thoughts and feelings about themselves which leads to them depending on substances to make them happy. This is one of the most dangerous phases because when dependence starts interfering with your quality of life you will feel depressed without that particular chemical (drug).
- Addiction- At this point a person is completely addicted to the drug and may even commit illicit acts, harm others or themselves in the pursuit of attaining the drug.
What Are the Signs of Someone Addicted to Drugs?
There are some general signs that could be a warning sign that someone is addicted to drugs.
- Change in appearance – weight loss, pale skin with dark circles around the eyes from lack of sleep and other reasons.
- Lack of energy or motivation to do anything besides use drugs – then when they are high they act like people who have tons of drive and ambition in life. These swings can also lead an addict feeling depressed without their drug/substance which leads them into a cycle where it becomes hard for them to feel good about themselves unless they are doing something risky (drugs).
- The person always seems preoccupied with getting more drugs, grasping at any opportunity even if it means hurting others by stealing money or using illegal substances just for one more fix.
These are some general signs that a person is addicted to drugs, but it is important to note that each drug and each individual person is different so it is important to pay attention to their behavior for any signs that they may be abusing a substance.
How to Get Someone Help With a Drug Addiction
The best way to get someone help with a drug addiction is by sending them to a treatment facility like ours at Ocean Coast Recovery. Treatment facilities like ours offer medically supervised inpatient treatment programs where a client can detox and get the counseling and other services they need to get and stay sober before moving to aftercare and getting the continuing support they need to lead a normal life.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of being addicted to drugs, contact Ocean Coast Recovery today.