Did you know that there have been 700,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States since the year 2000? Drug abuse is a serious issue. It’s even more serious because those who suffer from substance abuse often don’t realize they have a problem. What is a substance abuse problem? It’s a situation where someone has become addicted to drugs or alcohol to the point that it’s unhealthy and also effects on mental health. It can lead to serious injury and even death.
Are you concerned that you or a loved one might be dealing with a substance abuse problem? Keep reading to compare your experience with these warning signs.
Risk Factors For Substance Abuse
Before we cover the warning signs of substance abuse, let’s talk about the factors that increase the risk.
For example, studies show that genetics can affect a person’s susceptibility to substance abuse. If you have a family member who is an alcoholic, you may be more predisposed toward alcoholism.
Additionally, certain demographics are more susceptible to substance abuse. Those who have experienced past trauma or suffer from PTSD are especially likely to struggle with substance abuse.
For example, abuse survivors and veterans are at risk for substance abuse.
But you can only treat drug or alcohol abuse if you acknowledge the problem. If you’re concerned that you’re struggling with substance abuse, you should consider whether these symptoms of drug addiction are familiar.
Warning Sign 1: Frequent Use
Especially with painkilling drugs, you may need to use a drug multiple times per day.
But if you find yourself feeling like you need to take a certain substance more and more often over time, you may be dealing with drug addiction.
If you’re concerned about your frequency of use, you should start tracking how often you use a drug over time.
Warning Sign 2: Diminishing Returns
At first, you only took a small amount of a drug to achieve a certain effect. But now, you need to take a much larger amount just to achieve the same effect.
If that sounds like you, you may be dealing with a substance abuse problem.
Warning Sign 3: You’re Lying About Your Substance Use
Your subconscious might be better at acknowledging your substance abuse than you are.
Do you feel the need to lie or cover up how much or how frequently you take a drug? If so, it may be because deep down you know you have a problem.
Take note of how you feel when you talk about your substance use. Are you ashamed to talk about it? If you are, that should be a big red flag for you.
Warning Sign 4: You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms
When you go on a trip, you worry about making sure you have access to this drug. If you don’t, you know you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms.
You should be able to go a few days without your substance. If you experience headaches, chills, irritability, or fatigue when you go without your drug, you’re probably experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms are associated with substance abuse. The worse the symptoms, the worse the abuse.
Keep an eye on how you feel without the substance.
Face Your Substance Abuse Problem Head On
Do you recognize yourself or a loved one in these warning signs? Do you think you might be struggling with a substance abuse problem?
You’re not alone. Reach out and get the help you need.
Want more ways to improve your lifestyle? Take a look at our Health category.