You, or someone you love, is using drugs or alcohol. You’ve become very worried, and you’re wondering: what are the symptoms of addiction? It’s important knowledge to have because recognizing the onset of addiction is the most important step in seeking treatment.
Yet the symptoms of addiction can be maddening. Initially, they may be easy to dismiss — remember that addiction is a disease of the brain, and it alters judgment and perception in a way that is very dangerous to your well-being.
Unfortunately, no bell goes off to let you know when you’ve become physically dependent on drugs or alcohol. That’s why being attuned to the symptoms of addiction, then getting help from a qualified medication management treatment center such as Fresh Start, is so important.
What is Addiction?
Before exploring the symptoms of addiction, it’s important to understand what addiction is. Addiction is a disease of the brain triggered by the misuse of alcohol or drugs, both legal and illegal.
The maddening thing about addiction is there is no objective measure of the point of no return. It’s not about how much of a certain drug you take, or how much you drink.
Addiction is measured through behavior and lifestyle changes. When drugs or alcohol cause problems in your life, and you continue to drink or use drugs in the face of those problems, it is likely you have reached the stage of addiction.
Don’t misunderstand, though. Addiction does create physiological changes. The use of drugs or alcohol essentially reprograms your brain into believing the body cannot survive without that chosen substance.
Because of those changes, when you show the symptoms of addiction, it’s usually time for addiction treatment therapy programs.
Symptoms of Addiction
You may have a misleading picture in your mind about what addiction looks like due to how it is portrayed in movies or on television. Not every addict walks around with telltale signs of marks on their arms or bloodshot or puffy eyes. The symptoms of addiction can be subtler than that. But some of the signs to look out for include:
- Intense cravings
- Developing a tolerance
- Failing to live up to obligations of family, work, or school
- Shunning friends and family
- Getting into legal trouble
- Opting for risky behaviors such as driving under the influence
- Experiencing withdrawal
No single symptom from this list automatically makes you an addict. But if several seem to fit the bill, you should consider getting help from a rehab or treatment facility such as Fresh Start.
The ABCs of Treatment
Going into treatment or rehab can sound scary. Don’t let it intimidate you. Treatment and rehab have helped millions get their lives back after experiencing the symptoms of addiction. Understanding the stages of rehab helps highlight what to expect:
- Medical and psychological assessment
- Treatment planning
- Detox, to flush the drugs or alcohol out of your system, under the supervision of doctors
- Counseling, to develop coping skills for the future
- Aftercare, for resources aimed at lowering the risk of relapse
Help is Here at Fresh Start Recovery Center
In certain instances, the symptoms of addiction may seem subtle or hard to recognize. If you have doubts in your mind, then it’s probably smart to consult your local substance abuse treatment center, such as Fresh Start Recovery Center. We employ an experienced team of doctors and addiction specialists, including therapists, who work with you to restore hope. Fresh Start addresses all forms of substance abuse, through services such as our drug-addiction treatment program. Our counselors also apply all forms of therapy to help you identify issues and build new coping skills. Start your new life today. Contact Fresh Start Recovery Center at 833.625.0398 to understand your options and map out a plan to return to sobriety.