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Addiction is a real condition that affects millions of people throughout the United States. It impacts their lives in many ways and is often overlooked by others who do not understand the signs of addiction.
Over 17 million adults are addicted to alcohol. Another 20 million have used illegal drugs recently, with 48 million more using prescription medications for reasons other than why they were prescribed. These numbers provided by the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, Inc. show what a prevalent problem this is for society. The first step in overcoming this disease is learning to recognize the signs of addiction and seeking help.
The signs that someone is addicted to a substance can be difficult to recognize in the beginning. As the need for the substance grows and the person consumes a higher dosage, at a more frequent rate, the signs of addiction often become more prevalent.
First, you must know the most common substances abused so that you have an idea of what to look for. The list of substances includes the following:
Many addictive substances can be taken and not cause abuse or dependence. For instance, many people drink alcohol at social gatherings or to relax at home in the evenings. Prescription drugs are taken for specific conditions to alleviate pain, manage symptoms or to assist in the healing process. The key is to recognize when someone becomes addicted to the substance.
Indications that someone is suffering from substance dependence include:
In addition, each substance provides individual signs:
Along with the physical symptoms, the person may also experience abnormal behaviors. He or she may become withdrawn and lose interest in former favorite activities. You may also notice the person has begun spending time with new friends and abandoned other friends and family. As the addiction becomes more serious, the person may lose his or her job and suffer financial difficulties. Relationships often become damaged or are ended when one person becomes an addict. Health problems develop with long-term use, which may linger even after the person receives help. These can include:
While many of these conditions occur with prolonged use, they can happen with just a few instances of abuse. Besides the physical problems they can cause in the brain such as stroke, these substances can also impact mental functioning and result in memory loss, inability to focus and pay attention, and difficulty making decisions.
Addiction is a serious illness that can cause long-term and even permanent damage to the addict and those who love them. However, treatment options exist to help the person overcome their disease. The first step is recognizing that there is a problem and this often happens when someone recognizes the symptoms of substance dependence. It’s never too late to get help. Call Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers Rye at 914-829-5799 for help with your chemical dependency issues.