People start using drugs or alcohol for many different reasons. Some are introduced to them in social situations, and use them as a tool to let loose or to fit in. Others use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism to feel more at home in their bodies and in the world. Still more just go along with the peer pressure to pick up. Yet, no matter how you start using drugs or alcohol, one thing’s for sure: You never start out planning to become addicted.
Despite the best intentions, though, roughly ten percent of the people who pick up drugs and alcohol will find themselves addicted down the road. How do you know when you’re a part of that ten percent, though?
When does a little drinking on the weekends cross the line into being out of control? How do you know when the party's over? Read through the signs of addiction below to see if it’s time to get help and take back control of your life.
Addiction & Physical Changes
One easy way to tell when your substance use is becoming a problem is to take a look in the mirror. Literally. When your drinking or drug use is getting out of hand, your body literally will send you signs like these.
Gaining Weight From Drinking & Drugs
Addiction can cause significant changes in a person’s weight. The direction depends on your drug of choice.
For example, drinking often causes weight gain. Beyond the liquid calories, many find that their drinking prevents them from making good food choices. A midnight sandwich or bar nachos look a whole lot more appealing after a few drinks.
At the same time, cocaine or speed can act as an appetite suppressant, causing weight loss over time.
If you’re losing or gaining weight unintentionally, your substance abuse may be to blame.
Bad Skin From Drinking & Drugs
Drinking and drug use can cause noticeable changes to your face, including broken blood vessels from booze, scabs from picking, or even just poor skin tone.
That declining appearance can extend to the rest of your appearance, too. A person that once dressed very well in clean, matching clothes, may start to wear dirty or wrinkled clothing. Hair appointments and makeup may go by the wayside in favor of getting the next fix. If your hygiene or appearance has taken a hit, drugs or alcohol may be to blame.
Alcohol, Drugs & Sleep
Drug and alcohol use causes serious disruptions in the quantity and quality of your sleep. Whether you begin to sleep more, less, or inconsistently depends on what you are using and how much, but the impact will be felt regardless.
For example, people with substance disorders may find themselves unable to sleep without having their preferred drug or drink first. Other folks can’t sleep at all because of the effects of their drug of choice. If you can’t remember what it feels like to wake up clear-headed and well-rested, your substance abuse may be to blame.
Addiction & Behavior Changes
Addiction lights a fire in your brain. Understandably, that can cause serious mood swings and behavioral issues.
Mood Swings & Drug Use
Drug and alcohol use often cause very noticeable mood swings. While everyone has highs and lows, drugs and alcohol make those peaks and valleys much more drastic. If you feel like you’re on a roller coaster, it may be time to get off.
Alcohol & Judgment
Drugs and alcohol impair judgment. So, making a series of bad decisions may be a sign of addiction — and not just bad luck.
Do you find yourself doing or saying things you never thought you would do? Are you hit with a wave of shame when you wake up in the morning? You can break that cycle by hitting the road to recovery.
Addiction & Social Changes
As drug or alcohol use increases, that often comes with a change in social group. Heavy users tend to gravitate to people who drink or use as heavily as they do.
A person who is struggling with addiction may begin to avoid spending time with the people that love them, for fear of having their drug or alcohol use questioned. They may have a group of new friends and may even be hanging around with people they wouldn’t have associated with before addiction.
A Solution for Addiction
Does any of this sound familiar? Struggling with addiction alone or seeing someone you care about lose themselves to drugs or alcohol is heartbreaking, but there is hope. Country Road Recovery Center offers drug and alcohol treatment in Oklahoma to help you take your life back.
Everyone deserves safety, stability, and serenity. Country Road can give it to you.