Addiction is a disease with a range of harmful conditions and behaviors. Recognizing these signs can help a person with addiction receive the. Each person's experience of addiction is slightly different, but usually involves a cluster of some of the following signs of addiction. Bloodshot eyes and mood changes are just two of several signs that Addiction -- both to prescription and street drugs -- is a growing problem.
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This only reinforces feelings of isolation. With the right treatment and support, you can counteract the disruptive effects of drug use and regain control of your life. The first obstacle is to recognize and admit you have a problem, or listen to loved ones who are often better able to see the negative effects drug use is having on your life. Prolonged exposure to drugs alters the brain in ways that result in powerful cravings and a compulsion to use. These brain changes make it extremely difficult to quit by sheer force of will.
Short-term medical use of opioid painkillers can help to manage severe pain after an accident or surgery, for example. However, regular or longer-term use of opioids can lead to addiction. The brain changes associated with addiction can be treated and reversed through therapy, medication, exercise, and other treatments. Addicts have to hit rock bottom before they can get better. Recovery can begin at any point in the addiction process—and the earlier, the better.
The longer drug abuse continues, the stronger the addiction becomes and the harder it is to treat. People who are pressured into treatment by their family, employer, or the legal system are just as likely to benefit as those who choose to enter treatment on their own.
As they sober up and their thinking clears, many formerly resistant addicts decide they want to change. Recovery from drug addiction is a long process that often involves setbacks. Signs and symptoms of drug abuse and drug addiction Although different drugs have different physical effects, the symptoms of addiction are similar.
If you recognize yourself in the following signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction, talk to someone about your drug use. Neglecting responsibilities at school, work, or home e. Using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high , such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
Experiencing legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit. Problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of friends.
You need to use more of the drug to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts. You use to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety. Loss of control over your drug use. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless.
Your life revolves around drug use. Drug abusers often try to conceal their symptoms and downplay their problem. Glassy, red eyes; loud talking, inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness; loss of interest, motivation; weight gain or loss. Stimulants including amphetamines, cocaine, crystal meth: Dilated pupils; hyperactivity; euphoria; irritability; anxiety; excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times; may go long periods of time without eating or sleeping; weight loss; dry mouth and nose.
Inhalants glues, aerosols, vapors: Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self or other objects, slurred speech; confusion. Contracted pupils; no response of pupils to light; needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting; coughing, sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite.
In recent years, prescription drug abuse has become an escalating problem, most commonly involving opioid painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, and stimulants. Many people start taking these drugs to cope with a specific medical problem—taking painkillers following injury or surgery, for example.
However, over time, increased doses are needed to achieve the same level of pain relief and some users can become physically dependent, experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they try to quit. One of the earliest warning signs of a developing problem is going through the medication at a faster-than-expected rate.
In other cases, people start abusing medication not prescribed for them in order to experience a high, relieve tension, increase alertness, or improve concentration. Being aware of any signs of dependency can help identify prescription drug problems at an early stage and help to prevent them progressing into an addiction.
Opioid painkillers including OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco: Drooping eyes, constricted pupils even in dim light, sudden itching or flushing, slurred speech; drowsiness, lack of energy; inability to concentrate, lack of motivation, decline in performance at work or school; neglecting friendships and social activities. Anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, and hypnotics including Xanax, Valium, Ambien: Contracted pupils; drunk-like, slurred speech, difficulty concentrating, clumsiness; poor judgment, drowsiness, slowed breathing.
Stimulants including Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Dexedrine: Dilated pupils, reduced appetite; agitation, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, high body temperature; insomnia, paranoia. If you suspect that a friend or family member has a drug problem, here are a few things you can do:. Talk to the person about your concerns, and offer your help and support without being judgmental.
The earlier addiction is treated, the better. Take care of yourself. Make sure you have people you can talk to and lean on for support. Letting the person accept responsibility for their actions is an essential step along the way to recovery. Discovering your child uses drugs can generate fear, confusion, and anger. Explain your concerns and make it clear that your concern comes from a place of love.
In fact, teens are more likely to abuse prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including painkillers, stimulants, sedatives, and tranquilizers. In many cases, these drugs are much easier for teens to procure, yet they can have dangerous, even lethal, side effects. Risk of drug abuse also increases greatly during times of transition, such as changing schools, moving, or divorce. Sometimes called the "opioid epidemic," addiction to opioid prescription pain medications has reached an alarming rate across the United States.
Some people who've been using opioids over a long period of time may need physician-prescribed temporary or long-term drug substitution during treatment. If your drug use is out of control or causing problems, get help. The sooner you seek help, the greater your chances for a long-term recovery. Talk with your primary doctor or see a mental health professional, such as a doctor who specializes in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry, or a licensed alcohol and drug counselor.
If you're not ready to approach a doctor, help lines or hotlines may be a good place to learn about treatment. You can find these lines listed on the internet or in the phone book.
People struggling with addiction usually deny that their drug use is problematic and are reluctant to seek treatment. An intervention presents a loved one with a structured opportunity to make changes before things get even worse and can motivate someone to seek or accept help. An intervention should be carefully planned and may be done by family and friends in consultation with a doctor or professional such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, or directed by an intervention professional.
It involves family and friends and sometimes co-workers, clergy or others who care about the person struggling with addiction. During the intervention, these people gather together to have a direct, heart-to-heart conversation with the person about the consequences of addiction and ask him or her to accept treatment.
Like many mental health disorders, several factors may contribute to development of drug addiction. The main factors are:. Physical addiction appears to occur when repeated use of a drug changes the way your brain feels pleasure.
The addicting drug causes physical changes to some nerve cells neurons in your brain. Neurons use chemicals called neurotransmitters to communicate. These changes can remain long after you stop using the drug. People of any age, sex or economic status can become addicted to a drug. Certain factors can affect the likelihood and speed of developing an addiction:. Drug use can have significant and damaging short-term and long-term effects. Taking some drugs can be particularly risky, especially if you take high doses or combine them with other drugs or alcohol.
Here are some examples. The best way to prevent an addiction to a drug is not to take the drug at all. If your doctor prescribes a drug with the potential for addiction, use care when taking the drug and follow the instructions provided by your doctor. Doctors should prescribe these medications at safe doses and amounts and monitor their use so that you're not given too great a dose or for too long a time.
If you feel you need to take more than the prescribed dose of a medication, talk to your doctor. Once you've been addicted to a drug, you're at high risk of falling back into a pattern of addiction.
If you do start using the drug, it's likely you'll lose control over its use again — even if you've had treatment and you haven't used the drug for some time. Drug addiction substance use disorder care at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.
This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Overview Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person's brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication.
Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. References Substance-related and addictive disorders. American Psychiatric Association; Accessed July 17, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Understanding drug use and addiction.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. Your brain and addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. Drugs, brains, and behavior: The science of addiction.
Misuse of prescription drugs. Lessons from prevention research. Treatment approaches for drug addiction. Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide third edition. Ventura AS, et al. To improve substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery: Journal of Addiction Medicine.
Mendola A, et al. Addiction, step programs, and evidentiary standards for ethically and clinically sound treatment recommendations:
What are the symptoms of addiction?
With drug addiction (substance use disorder), you can't control your use of legal or illegal drugs or alcohol and may continue using despite the. Addiction is a powerful disease. Check out the physical, behavioral and emotional signs of addiction. If you or your loved one needs help, call MARR Addiction. There are no blood, urine or tissue tests that alone diagnose the disease of addiction. It is diagnosed by a person's behavioral symptoms, which.