Do I Need Help with Addiction? Warning Signs and Ways of Getting Help

Addiction is not just a bad habit. It is a sickness that could take control of a person’s life. The insidious nature of addiction lies in the challenge of diagnosing it on your own. A huge amount of psychological protection activates immediately: “It’s just a way to relax, there’s nothing wrong with that.” But if you are struggling to understand this, most likely “something wrong” is still there.

How do you understand that a bad habit grows into addiction, and how do you recognize it? This article will help you answer questions: “Am I addicted?” and “How to get help with addiction?”

Am I addicted?

Use, Abuse, or Addiction?

The terms “use,” “abuse,” and “addiction” are evaluative, have vague borders, and are often used interchangeably. Here we use them as a matter of convenience to illustrate the main stages of addictive syndrome forming.

Addiction is always formed by the same pattern. A person performs a pleasant action or uses a psychoactive substance. As a response, the brain releases dopamine, which causes good feelings and improves mood and motivation. When the effect of dopamine wears off, the person either returns to normal life or decides to repeat the action. If the second option is chosen all the time, it develops an addiction.

Stages of Addiction Forming

Substance Use

This is a stage when a person uses substances (alcohol, drugs, nicotine, etc.) irregularly and even on a single occasion. Typically, it’s moderate, occurring under controlled conditions, normalized, and accepted as a part of our culture. Substance tolerance is starting to develop. The person has not yet experienced any negative consequences.

Substance Abuse

It is already a habit characterized by stable use and dosage increases. Behavior becomes inappropriate and aggressive; addiction crowds out other areas of life; and cousin problems. Anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts may occur.

Despite the strong influence on the body and mind, at this stage, a willing decision to quit could be enough. You can decide to say no you are offered drugs or alcohol as a result of an honest conversation or face social problems that substance abuse causes.

Substance Addiction

It’s a social disease, and it’s very difficult to stop or reduce it. The body accommodates the substance effect and requires the dosage to increase to achieve the desired effect. When the substance is not acceptable, it leads to withdrawal syndrome. The situation is getting out of control completely, and the whole life is subjected to addiction. At this stage, it is almost impossible to cope with the illness on your own. Getting help with addiction is crucial, medical assistance in particular.

Main Signs of Addiction

  • Your social circle has changed. You don’t have time anymore for your old friends, or you’re bored with them. You seek out new acquaintances with the same habits.
  • All your thoughts are about the object of your pleasure. You became fixated on it and left your previous interests. Your previous pressing problems do not seem significant anymore.
  • You get angry when you are told not to use something or criticized for using it. In response, you snap, make excuses, or joke. You convince everyone that your habit is not a problem but just a way to relax.
  • You spend too much money on your addiction. It’s the main priority, more important than food in a fridge or paid bills. You are ready to do anything to achieve the object of your pleasure.
  • You stopped taking into account other people’s opinions. You may have scandals with your family members or problems at work, but it doesn’t matter. You continue to follow your habit and defend your right to do so.
  • You can’t live a single day without a source of pleasure.
  • You don’t feel well and look bad. You can forget to eat, sleep badly, and feel tired. You don’t have time to take care of your physical and mental health.
  • Your life has a new routine. The day begins with your favorite habit and ends with it. If, for some reason, you can’t return to the source of pleasure, you feel empty or irritated.

Signs You Need Help with Your Addiction

At some point, your own resources may not be enough to overcome an addiction. Also, it’s very easy to get into more severe dependency in a short period of time, as addiction is a progressive disease. That’s why it’s so important to get proper treatment on time. A sign that you may need help with addiction is at least one honest “yes” answer to the following questions.

When Self-Help Isn’t Enough?

  • If you already had attempts to quit on your own but failed.
  • If you escalate substance use despite negative consequences.
  • If you can’t imagine your life without a source of pleasure.

How to Get Help for Substance Abuse Decide to Say No You Are Offered Drugs or Alcohol

For a person with addiction, it may be difficult to admit a problem. Often, relatives can become a good and important support for fighting addiction. The first step in getting help for drug abuse is a conversation with someone you trust.

The second step is visiting an addiction treatment center. Here, specialists could examine the severity of your substance misuse and develop a personalized treatment plan.

Addiction Treatment Options Offered in Rehabs

Taking into consideration your type and level of addiction, you will be offered one way of treatment or a combination.

  1. Behavioral counseling. It could be individual or family therapy sessions or group meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. They will help you to find the roots of substance misuse and cope with the social consequences that it has caused.
  2. Detoxication. It’s medications and other supportive methods that help to purify your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.
  3. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Can be provided as inpatient treatment (with hospitalization) or outpatient treatment (at home or with partial hospitalization).
  4. Aftercare. Ongoing efforts after completing the formal program. It helps to manage addiction and prevent relapse.

Make a First Step to Recovery

If you or your closest people have a substance use disorder and are willing to make a change, seeking treatment could be an excellent option. Addiction is a lifelong condition, and the sooner you get appropriate treatment, the better. So the best time when to help is now. Contact a treatment provider today if you need assistance finding your treatment program.