Drug addiction is not the same as drug abuse. When people start abusing drugs, it means that they are already starting to get hooked on the substance. This does not mean that they are already addicted to it.
If interventions are not taken, however, drug abuse is going to lead to drug addiction.
The problem is, the slide to drug addiction can often go unnoticed. A person may feel that he is just using drugs for recreation only to realize later on that he is not anymore able to get out of its grip. A person has a better chance of winning over drug addiction if treatment is obtained while the addiction is in its early stages. Thus, being able to identify the symptoms of addiction is crucial.
If someone is using drugs, these are the signs and symptoms that addiction has already taken hold:
Increased doses are needed because the same high can’t be experienced with smaller ones. When someone has already started to build a tolerance for drugs in smaller amounts, he would need bigger doses in order to get that much sought-after “feel good” effect. This is a very obvious sign of addiction.
Drugs have to be taken to relieve withdrawal symptoms. When someone does not do drugs for a certain period of time, they begin to feel typical withdrawal symptoms like sweating, nausea, restlessness, shaking, insomnia, depression and anxiety. Thus, they have to take drugs in order ease these withdrawal symptoms.
It’s difficult to stop no matter how much the person wants to. In a nutshell, they have simply lost control over their drug use. Even if they initially wanted to take only a few sniffs, they’ll still end up using more than what they had initially planned. They don’t have the power to control their drug use.
Everything is all about drugs. When people become addicted to drugs, all their waking hours are devoted to drugs. If they are not taking drugs, they are trying to get over the drug use for the day. If they can’t take drugs because they’ve run out of money, they are trying to figure out where to get the funds for the drugs. It’s all about drugs.
Drug use has become a way of life. Those addicted to drugs don’t anymore engage in hobbies, do sports or meet with their friends who don’t touch drugs. They have become isolated from those who truly care for them. Drugs have become their life.
They continue to do drugs even if they know that it is harmful to them. Those who are already addicted to drugs know that it is bad for them. They know that it is the reason why they are so moody, paranoid and depressed. They have acknowledged the fact that drugs are not good for them. Yet they can’t seem to do anything about it and continue to use these substances.
When any of these symptoms start to exhibit themselves, it’s a good idea to start getting help in earnest. Otherwise, it might just be too late.