definition of addiction

How does addiction develop and what are the key factors involved?

Several factors impact a person's risk of addiction. However, before discussing these factors, it is crucial to have a clear idea of what addiction is and what it is not.

What Is Addiction?

Simply put, addiction is a disease that affects the brain. It can alter the brain structure and the way the brain works. In the same way that cardiovascular disease affects the heart's function, addiction impedes the brain from functioning normally. Drug addiction is a chronic disease. However, like other chronic diseases, it is preventable and can be treated.

Drugs affect the brain in several ways. One is by interfering with the communication between nerve cells and how they create dopamine. When a person takes an addictive substance, their brain produces more dopamine.

Dopamine makes you feel good. The more dopamine that is released, the more a person will want to get that dopamine high again. With time, the body becomes accustomed to having higher levels of dopamine. As a result, a person loses the ability to experience joy and pleasure from everyday activities. Instead, they need to keep doing drugs to maintain a happy, joyful, or pleasurable feeling.

The need to seek that dopamine high becomes the driving force in a person's life. The pleasure they get from hanging out with friends or being in other people's company is replaced by an irrational drive to seek out drugs.

A popular myth is that addiction is the result of a moral failing. The truth is that it is a treatable disease that has a physical, emotional, and psychological impact on the person suffering from it.

What Factors Contribute to Addiction?

Drug addiction and alcohol addiction are ongoing problems in the United States and around the world. Researchers have devoted a considerable amount of time to see why people become addicted to drugs and why others who use the same drugs do not develop an addiction. Several factors can contribute to addiction. Some people may only have one of these factors and are less prone to addiction, whereas others may have several factors, increasing their propensity to develop an addiction.

Genetics

Genetics plays a role in the development of most diseases. If there is someone in your family who has dealt with substance abuse in the past, it does not guarantee that you will become addicted to a substance as well. In the same way, a person in your family having cancer does not automatically mean that you will develop cancer.

However, because a member of your family has a problem with addiction, genetically speaking, there is a greater propensity for you to become an addict if you use drugs. Statistics indicate that genetics contributes to up to 60 percent of the risk of someone developing an addiction.

Your Age When You Started Taking Drugs

Research indicates that the younger a person is when they start using drugs, the more likely they will develop an addiction as they age. A critical factor in this is how a person's brain develops, especially when they are a teenager. When a person uses drugs during their formative years, they can become more vulnerable to addiction as they get older. Studies have shown that most people who develop substance use disorder begin using drugs between the ages of 18 to 24.

Gender

Statistically, men are more likely to abuse and use drugs than women. There are some noticeable differences in how drugs affect the male body as opposed to the female body. There are also differences in the drugs that men and women use. Research shows that men are more inclined to use alcohol and marijuana. Women are more likely to become addicted to drugs that lower anxiety levels. In recent years, some of these statistics have been changing.

Mental Illness

If a person has several mental illnesses, there is a higher chance that they may abuse drugs. There are several reasons why this is true. One could be that the drugs give the user a sense of well-being and euphoria. It is also possible that certain mental illnesses will impact the parts of the brain that are also affected by drugs, thereby increasing the propensity for abuse.

Unstable Home Environment

Children who grow up in a home where their parents are involved and provide a stable home environment have a decreased chance of using or abusing drugs. Conversely, children who grew up in an unstable environment, especially one where parents are addicts themselves or have a mental illness, have an increased chance of using and abusing drugs.

Growing up in an Environment Where Drugs Are Present

Suppose you were growing up in an environment where drugs were readily available or in an environment where friends and family members used drugs. In that case, this is going to impact the likelihood of developing an addiction. There are some environments where it is just easier for people to get drugs. Because the drugs are there, they decide to try them.

Looking Beyond Risk Factors

While the above-mentioned risk factors do play a role in whether a person will develop an addiction, it is vital to go beyond simple risk factors and understand the human psyche. The psyche plays a huge role in making one person different from another person.

Two people could come from families where addiction was present and both could be exposed to people who used drugs, but one person will develop an addiction and the other will not. This does not mean that one person is stronger or weaker than the other. It means that the individual psyches of people differ.

It is important to remember that idea, especially when discussing addiction treatment. Since no two people have the same road to addiction, no two people will have the same journey to recovery. For recovery programs to be effective, they need to treat people as individuals and provide a safe, inviting environment that is conducive to recovery.

Enlightened Solutions provides a safe and inviting environment where recovering is our top priority. Contact us with any questions or if you need help with addiction.

 


People in treatment for addiction

5 Stages of Change During Treatment For Addiction

What are the 5 Stages of Change During the Treatment For Addiction?

 

Addiction is an issue that affects millions of people each year. It can be difficult to recover from addiction on your own, which is why professional treatment for addiction is so important.

There are 5 stages of change during professional treatment for addiction: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. We will go over what these stages mean below!

Who Does Addiction Affect?

Addiction can affect anyone: the unborn, young children, adolescents, parents, friends, spouses, and partners of addicts as well as society at large. Addiction can be to substances such as alcohol or drugs (e.g., heroin) but it also includes behavioral addictions such as gambling or sex addiction.

Addiction is a dangerous situation that needs professional treatment. Addiction is a progressive disorder, meaning it becomes worse over time if left untreated.

Is Addiction Treatment Important?

Alcohol and drug treatment is very important for anyone who is suffering from addiction. Without treatment, the effects of addiction can be detrimental to an individual's physical and emotional health and could even be potentially fatal. Some people may not understand why treatment is so important in their lives until it is too late, but treatment does help many individuals recover from addictions to drugs or alcohol.

Intake

When an individual enters treatment because he/she needs treatment or because someone else has helped them go into treatment, then it is called "intake" which means that the person will be evaluated before he/she receives treatment at a treatment center.

Intake may involve a lot of different things including a mental health assessment, medical assessment, and a substance abuse assessment. If the treatment center is licensed and has medical staff members on-site they will administer those assessments and treatment will begin as soon as possible depending on what kinds of treatment you need.

Treatment

Inpatient treatment means that you will have to check into treatment for a certain amount of time. Treatment may be from 30 days to 90 days or longer, but it depends on your treatment program. In some cases, an individual might just need outpatient treatment sessions. Some individuals may go to one session during the day around their work schedule or school schedule. Once treatment is done they can return home and continue going about their regular daily routine instead of being required to stay in treatment all of the time.

The Benefits of Addiction Treatment

The benefit of addiction treatment is that you get to be in a safe environment where everyone understands what you are going through and can share their stories with others who know exactly how they feel. Having this kind of environment will make an individual more likely to open up about what they are feeling or experiencing, thus creating more effective treatment goals.

Enlightened Solutions in New Jersey offers treatment for addiction in a group setting, among other programs. This could be beneficial to some who are shy or may not want treatment alone. The main benefit of addiction treatment is the fact that treatment works and our facility is always available.

Here are the 5 stages of change during addiction treatment:

The Precontemplation Stage of Change

This stage of change is when the addict does not believe that they have a problem with addiction. They might feel like their problems are caused by outside factors and will remain in this stage until those factors go away. During professional addiction treatment, counselors can help addicts understand how much their actions affect others as well as themselves.

The Contemplation Stage of Change

In the second stage of change, addicts begin to feel ambivalent about their drug or alcohol problems during professional addiction treatment. They have a desire to change but at this point, they may not be ready because it means giving up things that are important in their lives - such as friends and family members they spend time with.

The Preparation Stage of Change

In the third stage of change, addicts begin to feel a little more committed towards professional treatment for addiction and they are ready to make some changes in order to get better from their addictions.

The Action Stage of Change

In the fourth stage of change during professional addiction treatment, clients gain full commitment toward professional treatment for addiction and recognize that professional treatment for addiction is necessary to change their lives and get better from their addictions.

The Maintenance Stage of Change

In the final stage of professional addiction treatment, addicts feel confident that professional treatment for addiction has enabled them to gain control over their lives and they will be able to maintain an alcohol-free or drug-free lifestyle upon leaving professional addiction treatment.

The Dangers of Addiction

There are countless dangers associated with drug addiction. Some examples include kidney damage, loss of motor coordination, difficulty breathing, and memory impairment.

Those who become addicted to drugs or alcohol can also face legal issues involving theft or unlawful behavior in order to continue their drug addiction. Additionally, when individuals attempt to stop using the drug after becoming addicted, they may experience intense withdrawal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, fever, goosebumps, and intense cravings for the substance.

Addiction Impact on Society

Drug addiction also has an impact on society as a whole with increased crime rates being linked to those who have been arrested for buying illegal substances. In 2004 alone there were 3 million arrests for drug-related offenses. If you have been arrested for a drug-related offense the charges may affect your social status, employment prospects, and the custody of any children.

Addiction Effect of the Economy

Drug addiction is a complex issue that affects the life of the individual as well as those around them. Additionally, drug addiction has been shown to have an impact on the economy as the demand for health services as well as law enforcement resources increases through the increased prevalence of drug abuse.

In 2004 there were three million arrests for drug-related crimes in the United States alone. This shows how prevalent drugs are in society today. It costs billions of dollars every year to try and fight these drugs and their abusers but this doesn't seem to be doing much good. The cost will continue to increase if we don't find ways of solving the problem.

The goal of addiction treatment is to create a new, sober lifestyle. The treatment method that works best for one individual may not work for another. At Enlightened Solutions, we believe that professional addiction treatment is the way to go.

We offer a wide range of services for each individual client which helps them find their path towards sobriety. We provide them with all the tools they need to continue it after they leave our care. Contact us today if you or a loved one is suffering from addiction.


How is COVID related to Opioid Addiction

How is COVID related to Opioid Addiction?

How Has COVID Affected Opioid Addiction?

While the world is busy battling the COVID-19 pandemic, another silent killer is the opioid epidemic. Opioid was introduced to the market as a painkiller. Doctors were hopeful that there would be no addiction to it. Over the years, however, it is one of the most abused prescriptions drugs in America. The manufacture and sale of these drugs under wraps have led to an opioid crisis in the world. Many opioid addiction treatment centers like Enlightened Solutions have been started in a bid to tackle the crisis. There was a good number of people in recovery. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, things went from good to bad.

How COVID-19 Affected Opioid Addicts

At the onset of the pandemic, many opioid abuse treatment centers had to be closed to prevent the further spread of the virus. While it helped control the virus spread, it brought another issue - drug use was rising. Here are some of the reasons why there have been reports of increased drug use during this past year.

  • Self-isolation - self-isolation might be suitable for the prevention of COVID-19 spread. It is in no way helpful to an addict. Being alone in a house or room without any physical contact means one will have to get something to pass the time. For a recovering addict, it is easy for one to slip back into their old habits.
  • Lack of a home recovery program - in the initial stages of recovery, it is recommended that an addict stays at an opioid addiction treatment facility to be monitored. The withdrawal phase is the most complex stage, and even though opioids do not cause physical pain, they can get uncomfortable. Having someone monitor a patient as they go through detox for opioid addiction is vital to their recovery. Since there are restrictions in these facilities, many patients could not deal with the withdrawal symptoms. They often end up reusing the drug. There was also no detox for opioid addiction program rolled out for patients that could help when the patient is at home.
  • High-stress levels - the pandemic brought a myriad of stress factors that many people could not deal with. Most people have lost their jobs, been cut off from family, and do not have anything else to do. Many of the opioid users are casual laborers. There has been a reduction of work from casual workers worldwide. The entire thing was stressful to deal with, and as such, it is common for addicts to resort to their old ways. There is no one to monitor them and, slipping into serious addiction is almost paramount.

Impact of Opioids During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The one thing that can be noticed with the pandemic is an increased number of people overdosing on opioids. These overdoses are getting worse since many of the users are in self-isolation. The fact that Narcan drug is not easily available puts such a person's life at risk.

Medical institutions also noticed a drop in the number of patients they received for rehabilitation. Running an opioid abuse treatment center needs a lot of money, and when the money is not coming in, these rehabilitation centers might close down. The policies on rehabilitation centers had been tightened to reduce COVID-19 infection, but the government is looking into this. It will go a long way to ensure that any opioid addict can check into a facility like Enlightened Solutions to get the help they need.

What to Do If You Need Help

Times have changed, and things might not work the way they used to before the pandemic. Despite all this, there is hope for you. You can still get the help you need if you put thought into it. Reach out to any opioid addiction treatment facility like Enlightened Solutions and ask to speak to a professional. Most of the facilities have a professional on call at any time of the day or night. They will talk you through your addiction and figure out whether or not you need to check into the rehab. You might have to do the COVID-19 test before you go in.

You can get into detox for Opioid Addiction program, which allows you to flush the drugs out of your system before starting your journey to recovery. Self-detox is a hard thing to do, and often you end up so weak and tempted to go back to the drugs. Checking into the Enlightened Solutions will ensure that you have someone who will monitor you all the time. A team of doctors and nurses works around the clock to help you go through the program without significant difficulties. They also monitor and advise you on what you should do if there are any changes.

Enlightened Solutions Opioid Addiction Treatment

At Enlightened Solutions, we are dedicated to helping you walk into your healing and drug-free life. We have a team of professionals. They will help you go through the healing journey and deal with all the issues causing a relapse for you. You can contact us today and book an appointment. We have top-notch specialists to find a way through which you can get help. We have a simple admission process. You can check in online before physically coming into the facility.

Our treatment process follows the 12-step approach with added holistic treatment. We have art therapy, music therapy, and yoga to help with the healing process. We also look out for your biological, mental, and social well-being. We ensure that you can easily integrate back into the community. You can reach out to us today and get started on your recovery journey. We will walk with you on your opioid abuse treatment journey and ensure you get out of the program with the right tools to face the real world.


Benefits Of Drug Addiction Treatment

5 Benefits of Drug Addiction Treatment

Millions of people in the US need treatment for some type of substance use disorder (SUD) but do not seek help from an alcohol or drug addiction treatment facility. According to The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), only 10 percent of the 23 million people aged 12 or older with a SUD receive the treatment they need.

So it's a big deal that you're curious about the benefits of drug addiction treatment in preparation for recovery. A list of benefits awaits, whether you're going to rehab for prescription drug addiction or addiction to illicit drugs such as heroin or cocaine.

What Is Drug Addiction?

The term "addiction" is used to describe a substance use disorder. The substance can be drugs or alcohol. SUD is a mental health disorder marked by a psychological dependence on a certain substance.

Concerning drugs, people develop an addiction from abusing prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines, Adderall, methamphetamines, and opioids. Commonly abused opioids include codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. Prescription drug abuse mainly involves taking more pills than prescribed or taking medication prescribed to someone else.

Illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and hallucinogens are addictive and cause dependency.

One of the telltale signs of addiction is compulsively seeking and using drugs while disregarding the health, financial, social, and legal consequences.

Why Drug Abuse Can Be a Difficult Habit to Kick

Drug use is habit-forming and often results in addiction because of how it affects the brain. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), drug addiction is a complex disease. This makes it difficult to overcome on your own.

Addictive drugs such as heroin and prescription opioids, for example, cause euphoria (feeling "high") coupled with a false sense of well-being. They adversely affect the dopamine system in your brain. The chemicals in the drugs cause the brain's reward system to stay "on" which makes you feel as if you need the drug to feel normal.

The longer someone uses an addictive substance, the more of it they'll need to feel good. But the dopamine system is never satisfied. Meanwhile, it becomes increasingly difficult for you to quit. Even when you're ready to start recovery, it will take more than strong will or good intentions to regain your sobriety. What's usually needed is comprehensive treatment at a drug addiction treatment facility and the tools to prevent relapse.

5 Benefits of Drug Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a treatable disorder and there are various benefits to reap by going to a drug addiction treatment facility. Here are five important ones.

1. It is a safe way to quit

Quitting "cold turkey" or on your own can be potentially dangerous or life-threatening. Instead, you can receive medical detox at an inpatient or outpatient detox facility under the supervision of a physician and a therapist. Detox helps you to physically withdraw from drugs. You'll get help managing discomforting withdrawal symptoms such as pain, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, or insomnia. Detox also prepares you for receiving drug addiction treatment or therapy. Types of therapies include cognitive-behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, and family therapy.

2. You can receive treatment for a co-occurring disorder

You will need to undergo a detailed physical, mental, and psychological evaluation at the drug addiction treatment facility of choice. The evaluation helps to determine the extent of treatment required including the need for addressing mental health conditions. Common conditions that occur alongside addiction include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A co-occurring disorder is often the reason for drug abuse in the first place or the reason it's hard to quit.

3. You'll learn the root causes of substance abuse

Substance abuse does not happen in isolation. There is usually some underlying factor or reason why people turn to drugs. Factors (also called triggers) include stress, grief, trauma, negative thoughts or emotions, belief system, family history, or a mental health disorder. These individuals tend to see drug use as a way to cope and don't usually set out to get addicted. While receiving drug addiction treatment, your therapist will help you peel back the layers to learn what pushes you to drug use and healthy ways to cope.

4. You will receive tools for protecting your sobriety

The main goals of drug rehabilitation are to stop drug use and prevent relapse. You will learn the tools to handle drug use triggers, whether it's a person, place, thing, thought, feeling, or mental health condition. You'll be able to focus on building a productive life as you commit daily to abstaining from drugs. Your coping strategies can also include a network of people who can keep you in check, especially at times when you feel vulnerable to relapse.

5. You can finally get your life back

Many people addicted to drugs may suffer setbacks in life such as losing their job, friendships, money, home, or family. The loss can be devastating and make it seem impossible to rebuild your life. Whether it's you or a family member, going through rehabilitation is a major stepping stone to putting your life back together. Part of the rehab program may involve providing you with the skills and tools to help you reconnect with loved ones, find work, or secure transitional housing.

Addiction Treatment at Enlightened Solutions

Now that you know more about the benefits of drug addiction treatment, hopefully, you feel more ready and empowered to take the next step. That step could be contacting a rehab facility to ask about their recovery programs. Enlightened Solutions have programs and therapies designed to meet the individual needs of the men and women in our care. They include:

Programs

  • Outpatient
  • Intensive outpatient
  • Partial care program
  • Medical detox

Therapies

  • Dual-diagnosis treatment
  • Dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • 12-step program

Our addiction specialists take a comprehensive approach to treatment by seeking to address addiction from various angles. Addressing the addiction may include recommending dual diagnosis treatment to help you overcome substance abuse and a co-occurring mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression. Studies suggest that those who receive dual diagnosis treatment have a greater chance of staying sober after leaving a drug addiction treatment facility.

Call 833-801-LIVE to speak with our admission counselor or find out more about our programs and therapies.


The Best Inpatient Drug Rehab Facility

10 Tips for Choosing the Best Inpatient Drug Rehab Facility

You always want the best provider when it comes to selecting an inpatient drug rehab facility for yourself or a loved one. Here are 10 Tips to help you choose the Best Inpatient Drug Rehab Facility

If you or your loved ones are addicted to drugs and are struggling with addiction, you need to undergo inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment can provide highly effective therapy and help addict individuals transform their lives. It can also save them from the lifestyle of substance abuse that often leads to serious consequences such as overdose or death. This article will help you understand how to choose the best inpatient drug rehab facility.

 

1. Ensure that the Facility Is Licensed

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that there are more than 40,000 medical and non-medical facilities for substance abuse treatment in the United States. It is important to choose a licensed facility because unlicensed facilities do not have proper licensing to protect their clients' well-being. They can also be fined or even lose their license for violating the laws. It is recommended that you visit the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Providers Association of New Jersey (ADAPANJ) website to find out if a facility is licensed and has any complaints against it. You can also check with your state department for licensing to verify that the facility you choose is licensed by your state.

2. Choose a Facility that Has a Good Reputation

A good reputation is built on years of delivering quality services, treating clients with respect, and offering them therapies and treatment that meets their needs. A reputable facility will also have licensed specialists like physicians, nurses, mental health counselors, addiction counselors, and other professionals to help you recover. Licensed professionals are held responsible for their actions because their licenses act as a credential that they are qualified.

3. Choose a Facility Near to Your Home

A New Jersey inpatient drug rehab facility close to your home is the best. Studies show that substance abuse often occurs in the same geographical region. So, if you or your loved ones are struggling with addiction, you need to choose a facility that you can easily reach from your home. This will also make it easier for you to visit your loved ones often. You can check to see if a particular facility offers medical, psychological, or psychiatric treatment following detoxification and subsequent rehabilitation. This will make it easier for you to access the services that can help you with your recovery.

4. Choose a Facility that is Close to Amenities

You need to choose a New Jersey inpatient drug rehab facility that is close to amenities, restaurants, and shopping centers. You will need to go for therapy sessions in the morning and afternoon. This means that you will have to leave the facility in between the sessions as well. While you are away, it would be best to visit places to get food and buy items that you might need. For this reason, it is recommended that you choose a facility that is close to amenities such as restaurants, shopping malls, or even a gym.

5. Choose a Facility that Offers Individualized Approach to Treatment

A facility that offers individualized approaches will be able to offer therapies and treatments suitable for your recovery. This also means that the staff and the counselors are well versed with addiction and substance abuse. They have years of experience in treating individuals with addiction. An individualized approach also allows you to get help in many areas, including medical care, detoxification, mental health, and addiction counseling.

6. Choose a Facility that Offers Less Intrusive Treatment

A less intrusive approach will help you learn how to manage your addiction, and it will also help you move forward in your recovery. You can also decrease the chances of relapse if you are treated with fewer efforts and in fewer sessions. This is because the therapy sessions can be shorter than in other facilities.

7. Choose a Facility that Helps You Find an Aftercare Program

An aftercare program will help you deal with your addiction by creating a support network for you. For instance, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one of the most popular support groups that offer peer-to-peer counseling and support. Aftercare programs are also important because they give you a chance to practice what you have learned during treatment. This is because you will need to apply what you have learned from the sessions in your daily life. This will help you build a better relationship with your loved ones and ensure that you stay drug-free.

8. Choose a Facility That Offers Professional Counseling

Professional counseling will also help you address your problems before you came to the facility. For instance, if you have a family problem, professional counseling can help you deal with it. It will also help you to understand your problems better and make appropriate decisions in life.

9. Choose a Facility that Can Offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

You need to consider an inpatient drug rehab facility that offers cognitive behavioral therapy because it is one of the most effective treatments for addiction and substance abuse. CBT is based on the belief that the thinking patterns of an individual play a role in determining their behavior. It focuses on changing negative thoughts and behaviors through behavioral changes. This therapy is beneficial for treating people with substance abuse because it can help them understand how their behavior has affected their lives. It can also help them to change their behavior and make more appropriate decisions.

10. Choose a Facility that Can Offer You Long Term Treatment

It's important that you choose an inpatient drug rehab facility that can offer you long-term treatment because it is the most effective way to treat addiction and substance abuse. Long-term treatment helps you in moving forward in your recovery. It gives you enough time to make progress and be ready to come out of the facility for your aftercare program. Long-term treatment can also help reduce the chances of relapsing because you will have time to integrate the lessons learned during treatment into your daily life.

Conclusion

If you or someone close to you is struggling with addiction, consider visiting Enlightened Solutions today. Talk to our professional doctors and schedule the first available appointment for detoxification followed by rehabilitation. Remember that substance abuse does not only affect your life; it also affects those around you. Their lives are also going to be disrupted if they do not stop using drugs or alcohol. So, contact us today for more information.


Signs of Drug Addiction

10 Signs of drug addiction to look out for

Signs Of Drug Addiction You Should Be Aware Of

Drug addiction is a problem that knows no race, class, or gender. And it’s something that’s not always easy to overcome. But the first step in that process is always the same. It’s learning the common signs of drug addiction so you’ll know when to get help for yourself or a loved one who’s struggling.

Some of the tell-tale signs of drug addiction are easy to spot. There are often physical and behavioral effects that are obvious to all. But some of the other signs are so subtle that they’d go unnoticed by an addict’s friends, family, and social circle if they’re not on the lookout for them.

To help, here’s a list of ten signs of drug addiction to look out for that paint an unmistakable picture of someone in need of drug addiction treatment. We’ll begin with the most obvious signs and work our way down to some of the harder-to-spot symptoms. Let’s begin.

Physical Changes

Drug addicts often display one or more physical symptoms of the effect a drug is having on their bodies. And although they’re not definitive signs of an addiction, they should be enough to get your attention. Some of the most common physical signs of drug abuse are:

  • Pupils that are enlarged, too small, or unresponsive to changes in lighting
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Poor coordination or motor control
  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden changes in weight
  • Chemical odor on breath or clothing
  • Unusual marks on the skin
  • Lethargy and/or insomnia

Although some conditions other than drug addiction may cause some of the symptoms listed above, none of them are routine. And if the person in question is suffering from an overdose or another serious adverse reaction to a drug, they may also:

  • Have difficulty breathing
  • Suffer hallucinations
  • Become aggressive or outwardly agitated
  • Lapse in and out of consciousness

If any of these are present, get help immediately.

Changes to Grooming Habits

Someone addicted to a drug will frequently begin to alter their daily routines, prioritizing procuring and consuming the drug above almost all else. For that reason, it’s common for an addicted person to begin letting some of their normal grooming habits fall by the wayside. They might shower less frequently, neglect to wash their clothing, and stop shaving or styling their hair. As their condition deteriorates, the effects of these changes become more and more obvious.

Poor Decision-Making

Drug addiction often interferes with the addict’s ability to use sound reasoning and make good decisions. This might lead them to engage in behavior that they would never have considered before becoming addicted. They might:

  • Frequent dangerous areas in search of drugs
  • Begin stealing from friends and family to support their habit
  • Drive while high or otherwise impaired
  • Engage in risky sexual behaviors

Lying About Drug Consumption

In many cases, drug addicts will go to great lengths to deny or downplay their drug use. This almost always includes them lying to family and friends about their drug consumption. They do it as a defense mechanism – rationalizing their problem away as either being nobody’s business or not bad enough to warrant attention from others. They will also frequently become defensive when challenged about their drug habits, lashing out at those trying to get them the help they need.

Secretive Behavior

Because it’s so difficult to conceal the signs of drug addiction from others, addicts often begin to exhibit secretive behavior as their condition worsens. They might start to isolate themselves at home or drop out of sight with increasing frequency as they seek to feed their addiction. This is a symptom that goes hand-in-hand with lying about their drug consumption – and is frequently the next escalation of that behavior.

Changes in Friends and Social Groups

Drug addiction often drives a person to drift away from their established friend group or social circle. This may be due to their need to conceal their addiction or a result of them seeking out others in similar circumstances to their own. You may also notice a parade of new acquaintances appearing and disappearing out of their lives. It’s all an indication of the instability that drug addiction creates in the addict’s life.

An Increase In Crisis Situations

Another common sign of drug addiction is an increase in the number of crises that appear in the addict’s life. They may neglect their work or home obligations, leading to frequent blow-ups and emergencies as they try to cope. They might seek out others’ help to get them out of trouble when it happens, and as these incidents pile up, it will become clearer that there’s an underlying cause at work.

Sudden or Frequent Financial Difficulties

As a drug addiction worsens, the addict will likely consume more and more of the substance at the root of their problem. And that leads to financial difficulties as the drug eats up more and more of their budget. They may begin asking friends and family to borrow money, often in odd amounts, reflecting the cost of the drug they’re trying to procure. They may also be hesitant to disclose why they need the money or offer unusual or implausible excuses for their behavior.

Drastic Relationship Changes

Because of the toll drug addiction takes on a person, both physically and mentally, it’s often difficult for an addict to maintain stable relationships with others. They may begin to neglect those they care about or begin to behave in a way that drives those close to them away. The result is often a string of broken relationships that forms an unmistakable sign of a person in need of drug addiction treatment.

An Increase in Drug-Related Illnesses

Although it’s difficult to draw a straight line between drug use and specific illnesses, there are some types of illnesses that addicts frequently fall victim to. Those addicted to intravenous drugs like Heroin might end up with bacterial infections, hepatitis, or even HIV (if they’re sharing needles with an infected person). And those addicted to Cocaine might suffer respiratory complications such as breathing difficulty or pulmonary edema. If someone begins getting diagnoses like these with no other obvious causes, drug addiction might be to blame.

The Bottom Line about signs of drug addiction

Drug addiction creates a painful and difficult situation, both for the addict and for the people who care about them. But the sooner you can identify a drug addiction, the easier it may be for the person to get the help they need to recover. Learning the signs of drug abuse detailed above is the first step in spotting someone who might be suffering from drug addiction. And although they may hesitate to admit their problem, they’ll at least know where to reach out to seek treatment when they’re ready.

And at Enlightened Solutions, we stand ready to provide that treatment. We’re a licensed treatment center that offers recovery services rooted in the 12-step philosophy. We build an individualized recovery program for each client that is designed to heal them as a person – not to just address their addiction.

We combine a variety of treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), art and music therapy, meditation, and yoga to help our clients overcome their addiction and emerge from treatment with the tools they need to live better healthier lives.

If someone you love is exhibiting any of the signs of addiction discussed here, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information. We’re ready to help.