Drug addiction affects the lives of many addicts, their families, and loved ones. Many times, people operate under the perception that drug addiction is easy to spot— but all stereotypes aside, there are many faces of addiction. An addiction may not be so easy to spot, but there are definitely warning signs to a drug addiction. If you abuse substances, you may be addicted to them, whether or not you have experienced physical withdrawal symptoms.
When you take substances, your brain chemistry is changed and adjusts to having that substance in your system. Because of the new chemical imbalance in the brain, substance abuse may have already turned into an addiction without you producing physical symptoms. If you would like to know the criteria for a substance use disorder, or addiction, please consult the diagnostic criteria below, from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
In the past year, have you:
- Taken the substance in larger amounts or for longer than you intended to?
- Wanted to cut down or stop using the substance, but couldn’t?
- Spent a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from the effects the substance?
- Had a craving— or urge to use the substance?
- Failed to fulfill obligations at work, at home, or at school because of substance use?
- Continued to use, even when it causes problems with co-workers, family, or personal relationships?
- Gave up interest in social, occupational, or recreational activities because of substance use?
- Engaged in risky or physically hazardous behavior after using substances (i.e. operating a motor vehicle, having unprotected sex, blacked out, etc.)
- Continued to use the substance despite knowing that you have a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to be caused or exacerbated by the substance
Tolerance, as defined by markedly increased amounts of the substance in order to achieve intoxication or the desired effect and/or markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount.
- Withdrawal, as manifested by either the characteristic withdrawal symptoms for the substance or the same (or closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
If you or a loved one meets two or more of the above criteria, a substance use disorder is present and you should seek addiction treatment immediately. For guidance and support for the recovery process, please reach out to one of our addiction specialists.
Major Signs of Addiction
Some other major signs of drug addiction include: stealing, lying, repeated unusual behavior, dilated pupils, repeatedly missing obligations, weight loss, and recurrent cancelling of any plans. If you notice that money, jewelry, or any valuables go missing, please talk to those who have access to your things. If you have suspicion that a loved one is lying to you repeatedly, they may be struggling with an addiction. Prescription drugs are also a cause for concern if any of the signs listed above are displayed, just because a drug is prescribed, does not mean it is being used as directed. If any of these major signs of an addiction are current for any friend or family member in your life, try to talk to them about it in a non-judgmental way.
Talking to a Loved One About Addiction
If you identify some common signs of a drug or alcohol addiction, it is best to try and talk to your loved one. Alcoholics and addicts often carry a lot of shame around their addiction, which is why choosing to discuss the topic in an understanding and hostile-free environment is key. If you are unsure whether or not you can discuss addiction appropriately with your loved one, please consult a professional, like an interventionist, who can guide you through the process. Royal Life Centers has a team of addiction specialists who are reachable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week— our addiction specialists are also a great resource for guidance and support, and can help you get your loved one help through addiction treatment.
At Royal Life Centers, we take a holistic approach in treating the mind, body, and spirit, for a full recovery experience. We provide comprehensive addiction treatment, that offers intensive therapies and only proven effective methods of addiction treatment. Royal Life Centers has treatment programs designed to follow guests through the stages of the recovery process. Our addiction treatment offers both inpatient, or residential treatment, and outpatient treatment options.
Our drug rehabilitation programs start with medical detox, which is a full medical detoxification and stabilization. Our medical detox features 24/7 direct supervision of guests by our medical professional staff, making the detoxification process as safe and as comfortable as possible. Our treatment centers also offer many other addiction treatment options, including: a residential inpatient program, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), an outpatient program (OP), sober living and graduate housing. Each of our rehabilitation centers are staffed by highly-trained professionals in the field of addiction treatment. Our treatment facilities are currently located in the Pacific Northwest and the Southwestern portion of the United States, in Washington state and Arizona. Our rehab programs treat addiction with a variety of intensive therapies, including: individual therapy sessions, group therapy, behavioral therapies, support groups, adventure therapy, activity therapy, and equine therapy. All of our treatment programs support long term, lasting sobriety. Our drug rehabilitation centers are nationally accredited, recognized for having the highest standards in addiction treatment and using only the best practices.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, may be abusing drugs, or shows any signs and symptoms of a substance use disorder, please reach out to our addiction specialists at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our team of addiction specialists make themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.