Addict Behavior: 4 Sure Signs It’s Time to See an Addiction Specialist
Recreational drug use has been in existence almost as long as humans have. We have proof that drugs have been used at least since the late Stone Age. Among the most common substances used back then were opium, alcohol, and marijuana, all of which are still used today.
Much of the staying power of these substances comes from their addictiveness. Drug addiction is a major issue in many parts of the world, and the United States is, unfortunately, one of them.
People with addictions often display addict behavior. This can be a blessing in disguise because these behaviors can tell us that someone needs help. We’ll talk about some of these behaviors in the paragraphs below.
If you’ve been using drugs for a while, you may have noticed that it’s harder to get high now than it used to be. This is known as tolerance, and it’s common among addicts.
Drug tolerance occurs because the cells in our body that originally reacted to the drug start responding less and less. This causes us to need more of the drug to experience the same effects.
Science still doesn’t understand why the body responds this way, but for some reason it does. It’s also been found that the more you’re exposed to something, the faster your body learns to process it.
Are these two things linked? Only time will tell.
Regardless of why this happens, it’s still quite dangerous. Higher tolerance often causes people to take larger and larger doses. Eventually, the dosage can get to the point where the body can no longer withstand it, and it triggers an overdose.
This is why it’s essential to get help immediately. Drug overdoses kill roughly 70,000 Americans every year, and this number appears to be growing.
People who are physically addicted to a drug may experience symptoms when they go for some time without using it. Heroin withdrawal symptoms, for example, can start less than a day after you stop using.
Each drug has its own list of withdrawal symptoms, with some being worse than others. Alcohol withdrawal, for instance, can cause irritability and clammy skin. It can also cause seizures and, in extreme cases, death.
Some of the other worst drugs to withdraw from are cocaine and heroin. Heroin withdrawal symptoms are often described as the worst flu you will ever have, complete with nausea, shivering, and diarrhea, among other things.
Some of cocaine’s worst withdrawal symptoms are mental. They include nightmares, paranoia, and depression that may lead to suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
Getting treatment for addiction will probably stop these, but some additional depression counseling couldn’t hurt. Plus, treatment centers will often administer their own set of drugs and medications to help control withdrawal symptoms.
The bad news is that people often don’t get treatment at a medical facility. In many cases, addicts get arrested for possession and are forced to detox in a jail cell.
3. Inability to Stop Using
Getting clean can be a daunting task, and usually, we can’t do it on our own. This can be especially difficult because many addicts are broke.
It’s not uncommon for them to use all their money attempting to get their drug of choice. Thus, when they finally seek treatment, their options may be limited based on what they can afford.
In some cases, family and friends are happy to help, but not everyone has that advantage. Addiction often creates rifts between family members because the drug is so strong that the addict may resort to lying, stealing, or manipulation to support their habit.
In other cases, the addict first started using because of issues with their home lives. They may come from an abusive or neglectful home.
Perhaps one or both of their parents had problems with addiction. A person raised in this type of household may have both genetic and environmental factors working against them.
Many of those who are equipped to seek treatment are reluctant to because they’re ashamed of themselves. Drug possession is usually criminalized, and drug addicts are painted to be troublemakers or dregs of society rather than victims of an illness.
4. Secrecy and Dishonesty
It’s common addict behavior to attempt to hide or fuel their addiction. Addicts will often keep stashes of drugs hidden away so they can use without others knowing it.
They may also start stealing money from friends and family members. Sometimes, family members willingly provide money to the addict because they fear what else their loved one will do for money.
Some addicts may even resort to prostitution to support their habit. In many cases, this makes it easier to control and exploit them. Human traffickers will often give drugs to their victims, which makes them dependent on the traffickers to sustain their habit.
Others may sacrifice necessities, leading to homelessness. Substance abuse is among the largest causes of homelessness among adults.
Addict Behavior and When to Seek Help
The best way to tell if drug use has gotten out of hand is to pay attention to your behavior and compare it to common addict behavior. We’ve mentioned a few things in particular that you should be looking out for, but there are others as well. We encourage you to do more research on your own if you’re interested in seeking treatment.
If you want to know more about psychological health and conditions please visit our site. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who struggle with anxiety, you may want to look into counseling.