If you are wondering if you have a substance abuse problem, the unfortunate answer may be “yes.”
Of course, all drug use does not necessarily lead to full-blown addiction. Still, no matter in which stage of abuse you are, it is almost always easier to quit now than it will be in the future.
According to HelpGuide.org, a lot of drug addiction begins with simple misuse of prescription medications. Your doctor may direct you to use a drug that helps with concentration, tension relief or pain management.
However, you might begin to take the medication outside of the strictly prescribed method or start using a drug not intended for you. This can qualify as misuse and start you down the slippery slope to addiction.
As your reasons for using a prescribed or recreational drug shift from medical necessity to a desire for the euphoria or other effects, you may enter the abuse stage. Some signs that might point to your use becoming a problem include:
- Increased relationship problems, such as fighting or withdrawal
- Participation in risky behavior like driving while under the influence
- Neglect of and failure to perform self-sustaining responsibilities, such as work and school
- Onset of illegal activity directly related to drug use
Substance abusers often deny or simply do not realize that they have a problem and continue taking higher dosages to reach the same high.
Consistent and increased substance use chemically alters the brain and changes how you experience pleasure. Many recreational drugs and prescription medications trigger a release of dopamine known as “a rush.”
A common characteristic of dangerous drug addiction can be the body’s physical need for the substance. As you grow accustomed to the constant flood of pleasure hormones, it becomes incredibly challenging to resist cravings for the drugs that give you those feelings. Yet, recognizing your addiction and seeking support and treatment can help you stop the substance’s disruption of your life.