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What Are The Physical Signs of Addiction?

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What Does Addiction Look Like?

Drug and alcohol addiction doesnt always look
like it does on TV. The signs of addiction can be subtle. 

The Physical Signs of Substance Abuse & Addiction

Signs of Heroine Abuse & Addiction, Signs of Cocaine Abuse, Signs of Alcohol Abuse & Addiction, Signs of Benzodiapepine Abuse & Addiction, Patient Contribution to Effective Addiction Treatment, Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse & Addiction, Inpatient Drug Rehab, How to Choose an Inpatient Treatment Center, Outpatient Drug Rehab, Rehab is Your Best Chance

Drug abuse impacts a person’s health as well as their psychological state. Under the grip of addiction, they might not realize the changes in their behaviour and state of mind, but their loved ones should easily be able to spot them. Some of the most common psychological signs of addiction include: anxiety, inattentiveness, lack of motivation, irritability, angry outbursts, personality changes, withdrawing emotionally or mentally from people, social isolation, sudden mood swings, and unexplained paranoia.

Family members and loved ones should try to recognize these changes instead of enabling the person’s addictive behaviour. Denying the existence of the problem is not a healthy coping mechanism.In certain cases, the signs of addiction are heavily related to the person’s drug of choice.

Signs of Heroine Abuse & Addiction

Detecting heroin abuse and addiction can be tricky, because many people who suspect that their loved one might be abusing the drug do not even know what the substance looks like.The Foundation for a Drug-Free World explains that heroin is white in its pure form. However, other substances are often cut into it, giving it a brown, gray, or black appearance.Looking for heroin paraphernalia can help when trying to identify signs of substance abuse. Examples of heroin paraphernalia are the following: small pieces of foil with burn marks, small tubes, needles, small colourful balloons, spoons with burn marks, shoelaces or rubber bands, lighters, and cut-up straws.

These items are used either to transport heroin or consume it. Of course, finding this substance or its residue is a solid tip-off that heroin abuse is happening. The person abusing heroin might have a portable lock box or some type of guarded container where they keep their drugs and paraphernalia.In addition to all the behavioral, physical, and psychological signs mentioned above, someone who is abusing heroin may experience the following symptoms: constricted pupils (lasting 4 to 5 hours at a time), disorientation, shallow breathing, sudden weight loss, track marks on arms or other body parts, stomach cramps, muscle cramps, diarrhea, and tremors.

Heroin is sometimes referred to as dope, brown sugar, Big H, junk, china white, horse, black tar, and smack. Abusing this highly addictive drug can easily lead to a fatal overdose. Signs of heroin addiction should therefore be taken seriously. Measures should be taken to stage an intervention. It is important to convince the loved one to join a rehab program for proper treatment.

Signs of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is most commonly seen in its white powder form. This drug is usually snorted or smoked, but some users inject it directly into their bloodstream for a much more intense high. Because cocaine is a stimulant, the effects wear off around 30 minutes to 2 hours after the last use. This means people are likely to take it again just to keep the rush going and avoid the so-called “crash”.

Signs of cocaine abuse include:

  • restlessness
  • dilated pupils
  • paranoia
  • increased energy
  • anxiety
  • feeling invincible
  • having an uncharacteristic elevated mood.

There are many street names for cocaine, but some of the most common ones are:

  • flave
  • snow
  • soft
  • aspirin
  • blow
  • uptown
  • fast white lady

Cocaine is the strongest naturally occurring stimulant in existence, according to Medical News Today. This drug is therefore highly addictive. Cocaine addiction is associated with dramatic personal losses. There are reports of professionals spending up to $50,000 on cocaine binges. But it gets worse: some parents sell their children, some people become unemployed, some file for bankruptcy, and some end up homeless. It is very easy to spiral out of control when abusing cocaine. The earlier the abuse is recognized and intercepted, the better.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse & Addiction

Alcohol is unusual, compared to the other substances on this list. The public perception is that because alcohol is legal, it is not a drug. But alcohol is a drug and is actually a lethal one if misused. Alcohol is also popular, profitable, and widely accepted as a “social lubricant”. Drinking is a common form of socialization among teens, young adults, and adults. For this reason, it can be difficult to tell whether a person is addicted to alcohol or just likes to have fun. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse and addiction is real.

Alcohol use disorder or AUD is also known as alcoholism and is commonly associated with problems such as weight loss, blackouts, legal trouble, and accidents. AUD also gives rise to many of the behavioral changes mentioned above. Many people are familiar with how a drunk person looks and acts. But someone who is addicted to alcohol may drink in the middle of the day or when they are all alone. They will prioritize drinking over everything else, or spend too much money on alcohol. They are also prone to binge drinking: drinking too much too soon or drinking for hours on end.

After drinking heavily, some people do not recall the events that took place while they were intoxicated. Drunk driving and fighting are common negative behaviors associated with drinking. These could lead to a criminal arrest.

Signs of Benzodiapepine Abuse & Addiction

Benzodiazepines are prescription medications used to treat anxiety, seizures, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, and other conditions. Because of their benefits, these drugs are the most highly prescribed in the US. Benzodiazepines, also known as BZD or benzos, are mainly available in tablet or capsule form. Only a few of them are manufactured as injectable liquids or syrups.

Short term use of benzodiazepines is generally safe, but abuse can cause numerous complications. As sedatives, some of the side effects of abuse overlap with the general signs of addiction mentioned previously. However, a person abusing BZDs may also experience side effects like dizziness, impaired coordination, grogginess, trembling, depression, confusion, vision problems, and headache. Some of the most well-known brands are classified as benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Diazepam, Klonopin, and Valium. Although these are prescription drugs, it does not mean they are harmless and can be abused. In fact, the illegal circulation of BZDs does not just happen on the street—it also happens when someone with a prescription shares these drugs with others.

Just because they are prescribed by a doctor doesn’t mean they are any less dangerous when abused. Even though they are legal, benzodiazepines or “benzos” may be used in a way that makes the use illegal. If someone is showing the signs of abuse, it is important to seek help from a rehab facility.

Patient Contribution to Effective Addiction Treatment

Drug treatment is an organized process. But for any plan to succeed, it requires the participation of the patient. This is one of the most important things that a patient can bring to their rehab experience: the willingness to cooperate and endure. Each patient needs to have a realistic understanding of what drug rehab provides. It is not a magical solution that will wave the problems goodbye. It is a process that requires long term commitment. They will only be given the resources and support they need to succeed. Patients will have to utilize those resources to the best possible outcome. This means following instructions and remaining resilient through difficult times.

Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse & Addiction

Prescription medications can fall under three main categories: depressants, stimulants, and pain relievers. The signs of abuse for these drugs vary depending on the specific medication or drug category.

Depressants like benzodiazepines slow down the central nervous system, causing poor judgment, unsteady walking, etc.

Prescription stimulants include amphetamines and methylphenidate (such as Ritalin). They are the most commonly abused drugs in this category. Prescription stimulant abuse may cause insomnia, agitation, irritability, impulsive behaviour, irregular heartbeat, restlessness, high blood pressure, and weight loss.

Prescription painkiller abuse has become an epidemic in the US. These drugs are usually opioids or opiates: drugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant. Common pharmaceutical painkillers of abuse include Opana, OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin.

Signs of prescription painkiller abuse include: drowsiness, inability to concentrate, drug-seeking behaviour, and being secretive.

Recognizing the signs of drug abuse and addiction is not only for trained professionals. Family and friends are the first to notice these things. One of the best things to do after witnessing the signs of addiction is to talk to a qualified counsellor about how to get help.

Again, this is only the first step towards recovery. The patient will have to go through rehab in order to get better and learn how to readjust to the drug-free lifestyle. It will be a challenge, but all journeys start with a single step.

Inpatient Drug Rehab

Getting sober alone is extremely difficult and also dangerous. Not only is the risk of relapse high, the cravings and withdrawal are also very challenging to deal with. This is therefore not recommended. Many addiction treatment centers provide residential treatment, also known as inpatient treatment, as mentioned earlier. The main benefit of inpatient treatment is its structured treatment plan that follows a strict schedule. This establishes control, which is important for any patient who has been feeling helpless over their situation.

How to Choose an Inpatient Treatment Center

There are a variety of differences among treatment programs. It is therefore important to ask the right questions in order to find the treatment program that is most suitable. The first thing to ask is what type of addiction the program treats. It helps to find a center that has experience and a high success rate in terms of treating the patientʼs specific addiction as well as their co-occurring disorders. Every substance has different physical and psychological effects, and so the detox and counseling process could be very different with each facility.

Outpatient Drug Rehab

Outpatient drug rehab is less focused, but more flexible. This means it has a higher chance of relapse, and that is why it is not recommended for those with long term addictions or severe dependence. It is perfect for those with more manageable conditions who want to continue working or could not stay in a treatment facility for 30 days for any reason. Because it is an outpatient program, it requires frequent visits to the treatment facility. Patients are encouraged to stay sober. Because it does not take the person away from their environment, they are still exposed to all the temptations and issues they were previously dealing with.

Rehab is Your Best Chance

Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.

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