Drug addiction, or substance use disorder, affects millions of Americans. This includes any misuse of drugs such as alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, prescription painkillers such as opioids or benzodiazepines, stimulants, hallucinogens, inhalants, and more. Drug use often begins as social use or even prescription use and then escalates into loss of control, using despite social or financial problems, and needing more of the drug to achieve the same desired effect. Drug addiction or substance use disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe and can intensify over time if not treated early. Here are some symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic:
- Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly and having intense urges
- Over time, needing more of the drug to get the same effect
- Spending money on the drug, even though you can’t afford it
- Not meeting obligations and work responsibilities
- Continuing to use the drug, even though you know it’s causing problems in your life or causing you physical or psychological harm
- Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop taking the drug
Drug addiction or substance use disorder is said to be caused by a variety of factors: genetics, starting to use at a young age, social/cultural influences, attempts to self-medicate mood disorders such as depression or other mental health concerns, and more. If not treated, substance use disorder can lead to significant health and safety concerns, such as high-risk behavior, violence, legal issues, liver damage, heart and digestive issues, sexual dysfunction, and more.
It can be extremely difficult to admit or recognize that drug has become problematic. Often, loved ones notice before the individual does. If you or a loved one is concerned about drug use, Mindful is your first step toward treatment. We can provide appropriate medication management to ease cravings and symptoms of withdrawal, provide support and counseling for emotions associated with becoming sober, and link you to a supportive sober network for follow-up care. Call us today to get started.