When does the recreational use of a drug or alcohol turn into something more sinister? Since therapists now understand that signs of addiction are symptoms of a disease, is it possible to catch it early? Perhaps more importantly, do you recognize these signs in yourself or a loved one?

Addiction or Abuse?

Typically, abuse starts with the recreational use of a drug. It may also refer to the use of prescription medication in off-label ways. When misuse changes into addiction, the user no longer has control over whether or not to take the drug. There are three signs of addiction.

Physical and Behavioral Signs of Addiction

The most obvious indication that someone has a drug problem is a change in weight and health. If a loved one loses a lot of weight in a short period, it could be a symptom of stimulant abuse. Bloody noses, red eyes, skin abscesses that don’t heal, and oral health problems also point to an addiction problem. You may notice increased sweat and body odors as well.

Behavioral signs are harder to spot since people are good at hiding them. Examples may include problems at work or school, frequent absences from family events, and an unwillingness to welcome visitors. Self-imposed isolation and increasing secrecy about activities and new peer groups accompany drug abuse. You may notice someone with unexpected financial problems who sells personal property such as furniture or heirloom jewelry.

Emotional Signs Underscore the Changes Addiction Creates

If someone has an underlying mental illness alongside an addiction, therapists refer to them as co-occurring disorders. Each can worsen the other one. In some situations, a psychological disorder may go undiagnosed, which leads to the need to treat both diseases. Failure to do so makes a relapse more likely.

Below is what therapists at high-quality rehab centers look at for potential dual diagnosis patients.

  • Assessment. Clinicians assess program participants’ abilities to relate and interact with others. They look for extreme changes in mood and sleeping patterns.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment. After an exhaustive evaluation, those struggling with an addiction and a mental illness receive treatment for both conditions.
  • Residential treatment. This level of care exists at the residential care level, where program participants receive the highest level of support.

Another emotional sign that someone suffers from a substance abuse problem is defensiveness when others ask about it. A person may be in denial and doesn’t want to examine this aspect of daily life. If a loved one does admit to having a problem, her or she most likely plays down the seriousness of the situation. People in this situation may blame shift, lie, and justify their behaviors.

Don’t Wait to Get Help!

Overcoming an addiction isn’t something you can do at home or with the aid of friends. Those who have an addiction need professional drug addiction treatment that assists individuals with overcoming cravings and compulsions. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, talk and family therapies, as well as holistic treatments, assist people to overcome addiction.

Don’t wait any longer. Call (855) 425-4846 now to connect with a caring counselor!

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