Has your experimentation with drugs gone too far? These 8 signs of addict behavior are clear warnings that you might have a problem with drugs.
Drug addiction can happen to anyone regardless of socioeconomic background, education level, or financial status.
Maybe you experimented with drugs and got in too deep. Or maybe you were prescribed medication for an injury and have begun using it beyond pain management.
Regardless, you have begun exhibiting addict behavior without realizing it.
You might be even asking yourself, “Do I have an addiction?” The answer may very well be yes.
Signs of Addict Behavior
The following are 8 signs you have a drug habit, and what you can do about it.
1. You find yourself craving your drug of choice or any drug that will put you in an altered state
One sign of addiction is craving your drug of choice after you haven’t used for a while. Maybe it’s been a week since you’ve last used but you’ve suddenly got an urge to swallow a pill, snort some powder, or smoke a rock.
Cravings come on in times of stress, boredom, sadness, and even during joyous events. The simplest things can trigger cravings.
2. You spend most of your time trying to get your drug of choice
Drug-seeking behaviors consume most of your day. From the time you wake up, you’re thinking about how to get your drug of choice. You might visit emergency rooms or see different doctors trying to get prescriptions.
If you’re not in a medical facility trying to get it, you’re calling people who can get it for you or dealers. You might even rifle through other people’s medicine cabinets trying to find your drug or something similar.
3. You find yourself using more frequently and in higher doses
With prolonged use, you develop a tolerance and begin to notice you need to use more of the drug to the get the same effect. You also lose your high faster, so you have to use at shorter intervals.
Perhaps when you began using the high lasted about four or five hours. Now you start to come down after two hours. You’ve built a tolerance and are becoming more physically dependent on the drug.
4. You’re lying and stealing from loved ones
Lying to loved ones is common addict behavior, as is theft. You might lie to your family about needing money for a bill but you intend to spend the money on drugs. Perhaps you’ve sold all your own personal possessions and now you’re stealing valuables from their homes to sell for cash to spend on drugs.
You might even be stealing money from family members and friends to feed your drug habit. Whichever the case, you’ve crossed the line into addict territory.
5. You’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms
Physical dependence on drugs leads to withdrawal. As your body becomes accustomed to having the drug in its system, the absence results in physiological symptoms.
You might have abdominal pain and nausea with or without vomiting. Tremors and cold sweats are common as well. Severe withdrawal can lead to seizures and even death.
You might even be using to simply not feel sick rather than to get high.
6. You isolate yourself from loved ones
Drug use can become so engrossing that you begin to distance yourself from family and friends. And they might have started to notice signs of drug abuse and mention it. As a result, you might feel shameful or embarrassed so you isolate yourself from those who love you out of fear of being judged.
If your family hasn’t become wise to your drug use, you might even isolate yourself to keep them from finding out you’re an addict.
7. You put yourself in high-risk situations
In pursuit of drugs, you commit acts and frequent places you would otherwise avoid if you were sober. Some of these situations include trading sex for money or drugs and hanging around unseemly places and people.
Endangering your life to get your hands on money or drugs is the most high-risk addict behavior you can do.
8. Your social circle has changed
Instead of the people you associated with prior to the start of using drugs, your friends now consist of people you do drugs with. You might have a parasitic relationship with them, using them to get drugs and vice versa.
What You Can Do About It
If you want to quit using and get sober, you might not know where or how to start. Quitting cold turkey isn’t a good idea since the odds of recovery without intervention is slim. The detox process can be severe and you risk going into withdrawal which can lead to complications.
Read more for info on detoxing and recovery.
Talk to Your Loved Ones
If you’ve been struggling with addiction for a while, your friends and family have probably been trying to help you quit. Now is the time to talk to them about getting help.
They will likely be receptive and eager to help you take the first step.
Turn to Your Religious Leader
Your place of worship should be a safe haven where you can go in times of need. Many religious leaders support addiction treatment either through religious intervention or in conjunction with treatment facilities.
If you have a religious leader you trust, it’s a good idea to discuss your options with them.
Treatment facilities are positioned throughout the country. Whether you’re looking for a luxury facility, one that is faith-based, or one that has outpatient services for busy people, there are rehab centers to meet every need.
Some facilities accept health insurance while others are cash-only. A little research and a few phone calls can get you on the path to recovery and out of addiction.
It’s important to note that you’ll want a place that specializes in detoxing. Detox can last for days and the urge to use will be at its peak as your body adjusts to waning levels of the substance for which you’ve sought treatment.
Take the First Step
If you acknowledge that your addict behavior has gone from bad to worse, and you want to get help. The good news is you’ve done the hardest part–deciding to get clean.
It can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to go and what to do. That’s why there are resources to get you moving in the right direction.
Your addiction might be due, in part, to an underlying personality trait. Learn more about addictive personalities and if you have one.