There are multiple reasons as to why an individual may turn to alcohol or drug use. Some experiment out of curiosity, cave in due to peer pressure, or to ease stress, depression, and anxiety issues. People not only can become addicted to illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine but can also abuse prescription medications as well and of course alcohol. Alcohol and drug use doesn’t automatically lead to abuse, there is no specific set turning point when someone’s substance use turns from recreational to problematic. However, there are common signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse that when experienced alone or together may be a sign of addiction.
The following are some common signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse to look out for in yourself or a loved one:
- Experiencing legal trouble (DUIs, stealing, disorderly conduct)
- Relationship issues (tension among family members or loved ones, losing friends/family)
- Neglecting responsibilities (missing appointments, being late to work or not showing up)
- Using to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms (continually taking the substance to avoid shaking, anxiety, sweating, nausea, etc.)
- Your life revolves around drug use (much of your time is spent thinking about drugs or recovering from its effects)
- Isolating behaviors (you stop routine activities that you used to once enjoy)
- Cravings (some people may experience intense urges for the drug as their addiction develops and worsens}
- Poor judgment (doing anything to obtain more alcohol or drugs, including risky behaviors such as stealing, lying, and engaging in unsafe activities)
- Financial trouble (spending large amounts of money on alcohol and drugs, including going outside of ones normal budget in order to get the alcohol or drug they are abusing)
- Increased use of the alcohol or drugs (needing to use more to experience the same effects that used to be attained with lesser amounts)
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction or is looking for information, contact Footprints to Recovery’s Helpline at 855-628-2899. The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year and is free and confidential.
Author: Lindsey Bozzi – Footprints to Recovery – Admissions Coordinator
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