7 Signs You Have a Problem With Substance Abuse

It is a fact that individuals who struggle with substance abuse never intended on becoming addicted. And it is also true that many who are addicts, do not recognize the severity of their drug use until the consequences are very severe. With increased use the brain begins to change as time goes on, so there is no single point to identify as the start of addiction. Here are some signs to look out for.

1. Increased Drug Use

An addiction test is a self-assessment individuals can take to help make a decision about their increased drug use. If you find yourself needing more of a substance to get the effects that you once did, there may be a substance abuse problem afoot. The brain is adapting to the presence of the substance and its tolerance levels are increasing.

2. You’re Hiding Your Drug Use

If you are covering up your drug use or attempting to make others believe that you’re using less than you actually are, this is another sign. Lying and trying to manipulate others so that you can indulge in substance use is problematic and you’ve likely already lost control of the situation.

3. You’re Unable to Cut Back or Stop Using

When you earnestly try to stop using or decrease your usage, and fail, you may be an addict. If you’re unable to keep to a schedule of when you indulge in substances or use a predetermined amount, treatment may be a logical and necessary next step. Addiction is more than a mental affliction. There is a biological change that occurs in the brain that makes quitting extremely difficult without professional intervention.

4. Legal or Health Problems Due to Drug Use

Being charged with a DUI or possession of illegal substances is a red flag. But other legal troubles such as theft and fraud could signal an inability to control drug usage and that you are willing to go to any lengths for a hit. Drug use often leads to risky behavior that can put both your freedom and health in jeopardy.

5. Job Loss and Financial Trouble

Drugs are expensive. It’s easy to get into financial trouble supporting a habit. As you spiral deeper into addiction, it can become increasingly difficult to perform at work and at home. If your drug or alcohol use keeps you out of work, it may result in termination and even deeper financial struggles.

6. Getting High is All That Matters

Addiction is well underway when the thoughts are constantly focused on getting high. This is a signal that your priorities have shifted and all else comes after using. When nothing else but your substance of choice matters, professional or medical help is needed.

7. Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms

Once the body becomes dependent on a particular substance, it doesn’t remember how to function in its absence, and it will react very acutely to being without it. The symptoms could be physical, emotional, mental, or any combination of the three. Withdrawal symptoms can include headache, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and more.

If any of these scenarios are resonant with your life, you’re not alone. Substance use disorder is treatable. Getting help from a drug and alcohol testing course, or treatment program, can help you learn positive responses to your triggers and develop healthy habits that do not include substances. You can live a regular life that is free from the burden of substance abuse.

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