Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by pursuing drugs in a compulsive manner. Over time, drugs create a permanent change in the user’s brain that prevents him from controlling his urges. Most drugs influence the brain’s reward circuit, bombarding it with a chemical messenger called dopamine. This circuit controls the way we feel pleasure, influencing us to repeat behaviors that trigger a dopamine response. That is why addicts take the drug again and again, in an attempt to achieve that pleasurable high.
Symptoms of drug addiction
How can you tell if drug use has turned into an addiction?
When a user reaches a point where he needs the drug to function normally, and if he stops the drug he feels physically ill, this could be a sign of addiction. Common drug addiction symptoms include:
- Feeling intense cravings for the drug and needing it daily.
- As time passes, needing more and more of the drug to achieve the same effect.
- Spending money on the drug even if you cannot afford it or stealing in order to get the drug.
- Failing to meet work obligations or decreasing social activities due to drug use.
- Undergoing withdrawal symptoms if you do not take the drug.
How to recognize drug addiction in loved ones
It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between typical moodiness and drug abuse. Possible indications that your loved one is addicted include:
- Problems at work or school, including a disinterest in usual activities and a decrease in performance.
- Behavioral changes, especially acting secretive.
- Disheveled appearance or lack of energy.
- Stealing or spending excessively.
Reach out for help
If you are worried that your loved one has a drug addiction, it’s vital to reach out for help.
To help you determine if you do need help, take our self-test quiz. The answers don’t provide a diagnosis, but they can give you an indication if you should seek professional help.
For expert assistance, reach out to Retorno today. Call us or just fill out the contact form and press Send.Please share this post!