American culture has embraced drugs and alcohol as a societal norm throughout the years, and it has blurred the line between having a good time and being addicted to drugs or alcohol. For many that think they are on the side of culture that is having a good time, they eventually find themselves swimming in a sea of consequences lead on by their addictive behaviors. So, how can one tell if they are living a life brought on by their cultural influence or living a life that will end in addictive consequences? There are a few red flags that hail potential warnings that an individual is addicted to drugs or alcohol, and recognizing them can be a sign that treatment may be necessary.
Constant Thought and Hierarchy of Importance
Those that become addicted to drugs or alcohol somewhere along the way placed a bigger importance on their drug of choice. What was once a social activity may have turned to a nightly occurrence. Or, what once was a pain pill now is a shot of heroin. How much importance does your drug of choice have in your life? Do you find yourself thinking about it more than you did when you began use? Is it starting to define who you are? Are you spending less time doing things you liked to do before you started to use? If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, you may be placing a higher importance on your drug of choice and allowing addiction to creep in.
Using in Higher Dosage and More Frequently
Another major sign of developing addiction is increased tolerance. After using so many times, the body needs more of the drug or alcohol to experience the desired effects. This is called tolerance. Heightened tolerance is a warning for developing an addiction because once tolerance is raised, the body recognizes the drug and needs it to function properly. If you find yourself using more frequently or upping the dosage of your drug of choice, you may be developing or have already developed a physical dependence of the drug, which makes it increasingly more difficult to stop using.
Trying to Stop Using Drugs or Alcohol
A warning sign of addiction to drugs or alcohol is not being able to stop using when tried. Although individuals may want to stop using, a few days pass until they may brush off the promise to themselves and use again. Often times, the decision to use after ceasing is due to experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal is the body’s way of telling you that it wants the drug that it is addicted to, so it acts out by providing symptoms of pain, sweating, and sickness. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms upon trying to stop using is a major key to determining addiction.
Experiencing Consequences Due to Addiction
Lastly, one of the most recognizable characteristics of addiction is the consequences it brings. It could take weeks into addiction or it could take years, but eventually, addicted individuals have to face the consequences of their actions throughout active addiction. Life consequences led on by addiction can come in many forms. Broken relationships, lost jobs, failing school, evictions, legal action, and much more can be caused by the decisions individuals make based on their need to use. Usually, when an individual decides to get help for their addiction on their own, it is because of the consequences their lives are taking because of their addictions. Unfortunately, sometimes the consequence of using is death, and many people don’t get to experience rock bottom long enough to get help.
Think that you May be Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol?
If you can relate to any of these characteristics of a developing addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may wish to look into treatment. Many individuals do not understand or even recognize the development of addiction in their own lives and do not live long enough to find that they could have had help. Don’t allow yourself to be one of the many lives taken each year by the powerful clasp of addiction’s power. Stand up for the person that you wish to be today. View the programs and services available to you through the compassionate care at The Lily Pad of St. Augustine. Have questions about how treatment can be effective in your life? Give us a call to talk to one of our addiction specialists confidentially at