Drug Addiction, Symptoms, and Treatment

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According to the American Psychiatric Association, substance use disorder (SUD) is a disease characterized by uncontrolled and harmful substance use. Changes in the structure and function of the brain in individuals with SUD result in cravings, personality, and behavioral alterations, and more.

Substances that provide pleasurable experiences in the brain and body can be abused. Addiction can occur with alcohol, amphetamines, opiates, prescription medicines, and other substances. Addiction to drugs or alcohol, also known as substance use disorder, alters a person’s brain and behavior to the point that they cannot regulate the amount of the substance they take. The longer a person consumes a substance, the greater the dosage required to have the same effect. As tolerance increases, it becomes increasingly challenging to avoid the chemical. Opiates, alcohol, and other illegal and prescribed drugs can all induce organ failure, mental disorder, cognitive decline, and overdose fatality.

How to identify drug addiction in someone?

It may be difficult to spot addiction if you have never been around substances or abusers. If you or a loved one have been suffering substance abuse, it is crucial to recognize the indications of addiction, regardless of how difficult it may be.

Whether you are looking for signs in yourself or someone else, it is easy to tell whether a person has developed a dependence on drugs or alcohol. Preoccupation, apathy, interpersonal problems, and physical warning signs are the easiest methods to recognize signs of drug or alcohol addiction.

Signs of addiction

Addiction, a long-term brain illness, can affect every aspect of your life. It is common for people to fail to see the warning signs of substance abuse until it is too late.

Physical signs of drug addiction

A person abusing drugs or alcohol may exhibit a wide range of physical symptoms. Some of these signs are evident, while others are more subtle and may be difficult to see or notice.

Runny noses, convulsions, tremors, lack of muscular coordination, severe sluggishness, a chemical odor on the breath or clothing, bloodshot or watery eyes, changes in eating habits, clenched jaws, irregular sleeping patterns, and skin blemishes are some of the physical signs of drug use. In drug abusers, personal hygiene is lacking.

Behavioral Signs of drug abuse:

It is possible for someone who is abusing drugs or alcohol to take on the persona of another. As many behavioral signs of addiction are there as there are medical symptoms.

The most notable ones are: changes in interests and social circles, decreased involvement in family activities, poor work or school performance, lying, deceit, or deception regularly, no concern for the law, discretionary conduct, self-isolation, and obliviousness to duties and financial problems.

When to talk to your healthcare provider

The first step is recognizing that you have a drug use issue. As soon as you realize you cannot live without the drug or alcohol, get treatment immediately. Your healthcare physician will be able to recommend you to a drug counselor and other counseling services specializing in substance use disorder.

Drug addiction treatment:

Addiction therapy may be necessary if you or someone you care about has tried and failed to quit using drugs on your own. As a patient, it can be difficult to know what to expect and whether or not therapy will help. It does not matter how severe the condition is; recovery may be achieved with constant therapy and recovery efforts.

 There is no one-size-fits-all approach to addiction therapy. There are several possibilities for the treatment depending on the substance you are misusing, the degree of care you require, your unique mental health needs, or the healthcare options you can pay for. Depending on your circumstances, your course of treatment may differ. The most popular methods for helping people overcome their addictions include detoxification, cognitive behavioral therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), contingency management, and treatment with medication.

Important takeaways

Typically, treatment begins with detoxification, which involves the use of medication to alleviate withdrawal symptoms as a drug departs the system.

Behavioral therapy and counseling can also supplement treatment by deprogramming drug-related behaviors and situations.

Occasionally, an individual will enter a 6- to a 12-month rehabilitation program at a specialized institution. They may reside in monitored housing while readjusting to manage their money and obtain jobs.

Certain drugs can also aid in managing extended withdrawal symptoms and maintaining sobriety in specific individuals.

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