Drug addiction is a disease that causes the body and mind to develop a dependency. Repeated patterns of substance use can develop rapidly, especially with highly addictive substances such as opioids or cocaine. However, all drug use presents the danger of addiction. It includes alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine. But here’s the good news, if you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, recovery is possible.
What Are the Patterns of Substance Use?
As mentioned above, some substances cause an almost immediate need. Some drugs develop dependency over time, and a pattern is apparent. According to Schaeffer’s model, patterns of substance use include:
- Experimental: this would be someone who uses the substance one time or for a brief period
- Recreational or Social: an individual only uses drugs or alcohol in a social setting such as a party, concert, or sports event.
- Situational: uses the drug for a particular situation, such as during recovery from surgery or after an injury.
- Intensive: a person taking high doses of drugs or alcohol and often binges.
- Compulsive: substance use is out of control, and withdrawals occur when the drug is discontinued
Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder
There can be many indicators of substance use disorder. Signs may differ depending on the substance or substances being abused and may also be unique for each person. However, common symptoms of substance use disorder include:
- Uncontrollable urges to use. Inability to decrease or stop using the substance.
- Continuing to use when you know it is negatively impacting your relationships with family and friends or your performance at work or school.
- Spending money on the substance, even when you cannot afford it. Increasing financial problems or need for money.
- Developing a tolerance. Needing to use larger amounts of the substance more frequently to feel the same effect.
- Feeling that you have access to the substance all the time. Becoming anxious, fearful, or agitated if your supply runs low.
- Engaging in dangerous or illegal activities while under the influence or to obtain the substance. Legal problems resulting from substance use.
- Spending most of your time seeking, using, or recovering from the effects of the substance.
- Sudden mood swings, uncontrollable anger, or violent outbursts.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms that can only be relieved by using more of the substance.
What Should I Do?
The first step is admitting there is a problem. Many times the addict is unable to do this. In this case, friends or family may need to do an intervention. This should only be done under the direction of a trained, licensed therapist. For an addict who wants to get clean, there is hope. Realizing that drugs are affecting your life and health is key. Some drug addiction is a side effect of depression, anxiety, or fear – a need to escape these intense feelings. Rehabilitation can teach you coping skills and assist in conquering your drug dependence.
Granite Recovery Centers offer a full continuum of care, including medical detox, medication-assisted treatment, residential rehab, outpatient and intensive outpatient programs (IOP), and sober living facilities. Our friendly, compassionate staff is ready to help. Our New Hampshire addiction treatment centers offer a unique blend of evidence-based clinical practices with a comprehensive 12-Step curriculum. Are you tired of having your addiction ruin your life? It doesn’t have to be that way – call us today to get started on your recovery: 855.712.7784 .