Do I Have A Problem?
Each person’s experience with substance abuse is unique. However, there are common signs and symptoms among those struggling with addiction that can act as indicators.
Common Signs of Addiction:
- Tolerance increase*
- Physical dependence
- Withdrawal symptoms (listed below)
- Isolating behaviors
- Neglecting responsibilities
*Be wary of an increase in tolerance. It may even progress slowly and subtly. But needing to use more and more of a substance to feel the same effects is very indicative of a substance abuse problem.
The presence of some or all of these signs is essentially the difference between a drug user and someone with a drug abuse problem.
How Do I Know If I’m Physically Dependent On Drugs?
Physical dependence is one of the main indicators of addiction. While most people start using drugs to treat a condition (including pain treatment) or to achieve a high, a person who is physically dependent on drugs or alcohol uses to be able to function and perform everyday activities.
Put simply, the body is so used to having that substance in its system that it will struggle severely to adapt without it. That’s withdrawal.
What Does Withdrawal Look Like?
Withdrawal is the most telltale sign that you’re physically dependent on drugs or alcohol. After extended use of a drug, the body becomes used to having certain levels of that drug in its system. In fact, it has become so used to those levels that it will struggle to function without the substance. That struggle surfaces as specific physical symptoms.
Withdrawal Symptoms Include:
- Muscle aches
- Rapid heart rate
Withdrawal symptoms can look like the flu or other common illnesses if you’re unaware of a substance abuse problem. If you do use drugs or alcohol, it’s critical to recognize these symptoms, as withdrawal can be lethal.