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Spiritual-Addiction-Treatment

While it may be tough to evaluate the question “am I an addict?”, by recognizing warning signs and understanding harmful behaviors, it is possible to help an addict before it is too late.

Recovery begins by answering the question, “am I an addict?”. Drug abuse looks different for each person. While one person may misuse prescription drugs, and another may use cocaine, the answer to whether one is an addict lies in what happens to the person using and not what they are using. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it is possible to develop an addiction to certain drugs after only a handful of uses.  Drug addiction changes the chemical composition of the brain, making it difficult to quit.

The fifth edition Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is the standard diagnostic tool published by the American Psychiatric Association that outlines drug addiction symptoms. In this new edition published in 2013, addiction diagnosis was changed to “substance use disorder.” So, rather than refer to a person who uses heroin as an “addict,” the clinical term is “opiate use disorder.” This new language reflects a positive tone to reduce stigma and reflects addiction as a brain disorder.

What are the signs of addiction?

Addiction has behavioral, physiological, and psychological symptoms that may help a person decide if they may have a problem:

BEHAVIORAL SIGNS OF ADDICTION

Certain behaviors and actions can serve as red warning flags that there is a larger problem of addiction.

  • Continued use of a prescription drug after it is no longer needed from a previous health problem.
  • Over time, it requires more and more of a drug to feel the same effects, also known as an increase in tolerance.
  • There are harmful consequences to using the drug (often legal, financial, or family-related issues), but it is still impossible to stop.
  • Many hours in the day are consumed thinking about the drug (how you will get more, when can you retake it, how will you feel while on the drug).
  • There is a lack of motivation, and you may not feel happiness from activities you used to enjoy.
  • Money to obtain the substance becomes a top priority. As a result, financially irresponsible and illegal decisions (like borrowing or stealing) are made to get money.
  • In addition to physical changes such as bloodshot eyes, bad breath, shakes or tremors, frequent bloody noses, or fluctuating weight, you neglect personal appearance or hygiene.

Behavioral changes may start slowly and gain momentum over time. The key is to identify these behavioral signs of a substance use disorder as early as possible to take action in getting addiction recovery treatment.

Recovery begins by answering the question, “am I an addict?”. Drug abuse looks different for each person. While one person may misuse prescription drugs, and another may use cocaine, the answer to whether one is an addict lies in what happens to the person using and not what they are using. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it is possible to develop an addiction to certain drugs after only a handful of uses.  Drug addiction changes the chemical composition of the brain, making it difficult to quit.

The fifth edition Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is the standard diagnostic tool published by the American Psychiatric Association that outlines drug addiction symptoms. In this new edition published in 2013, addiction diagnosis was changed to “substance use disorder.” So, rather than refer to a person who uses heroin as an “addict,” the clinical term is “opiate use disorder.” This new language reflects a positive tone to reduce stigma and reflects addiction as a brain disorder.

What are the signs of addiction?

Addiction has behavioral, physiological, and psychological symptoms that may help a person decide if they may have a problem:

BEHAVIORAL SIGNS OF ADDICTION

Certain behaviors and actions can serve as red warning flags that there is a larger problem of addiction.

  • Continued use of a prescription drug after it is no longer needed from a previous health problem.
  • Over time, it requires more and more of a drug to feel the same effects, also known as an increase in tolerance.
  • There are harmful consequences to using the drug (often legal, financial, or family-related issues), but it is still impossible to stop.
  • Many hours in the day are consumed thinking about the drug (how you will get more, when can you retake it, how will you feel while on the drug).
  • There is a lack of motivation, and you may not feel happiness from activities you used to enjoy.
  • Money to obtain the substance becomes a top priority. As a result, financially irresponsible and illegal decisions (like borrowing or stealing) are made to get money.
  • In addition to physical changes such as bloodshot eyes, bad breath, shakes or tremors, frequent bloody noses, or fluctuating weight, you neglect personal appearance or hygiene.

Behavioral changes may start slowly and gain momentum over time. The key is to identify these behavioral signs of a substance use disorder as early as possible to take action in getting addiction recovery treatment.

Am I a Drug Addict? Is there a test available?

To test if you are suffering from addiction, you can ask yourself these questions and answer with a simple “yes” or “no.”

In the past 12 months, have you…

  • Been unable to stop using drugs despite a strong desire, or even many attempts, to do so?
  • Taken more drugs at a time, or taking them more often, than originally intended
  • Experienced drug cravings when you were not currently using them?
  • Spent a great deal of time working on ways to obtain drugs, using them, and recovering from drug use?
  • Stopped participating in social and recreational activities that were previously a priority and replaced them with activities related to drug abuse instead?
  • Repeatedly used drugs in situations that are deemed hazardous or physically dangerous?
  • Continued drug use despite the negative impact on relationships and the adverse social ramifications?
  • Continued drug use in spite of the knowledge that using them is creating emotional, social, and physical consequences?
  • Failed to consistently attend to important work, school, and family obligations as a result of drug abuse?
  • Felt the need to increase the dosage of a drug in order to feel more intoxicated due to an increase in drug tolerance?
  • Experienced drug withdrawal symptoms when drug wears off, which may include gastrointestinal upset, headaches, depression, anxiety, insomnia, irregular heart rate and blood pressure, irritability, agitation, and fatigue?

A “yes” to just two of these symptoms within the past year can indicate a substance use disorder.

Admitting that you may have a substance use disorder is difficult. As such, meeting with a qualified addiction professional is the first step to getting help and changing one’s life. The sooner someone receives help, the better the chance they have at recovery. There is no better time to make a healthy life change than right now.

Are you or a loved one wondering if you are an addict? You are not alone. We are here for you and we are here to help.