Addiction rates have been soaring around the world over the past 20 years and the statistics are nothing short of horrifying. Overdose deaths caused by drug use tripled between 1999 and 2019, and early data coming out suggests that this grim trend increased dramatically since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, when many people with addiction problems were not able to access substance misuse rehab. Between 2015 and 2017, life expectancy actually declined in the United States due to opioid deaths.
These deaths have been driven by increasing numbers of people attempting to find solace from their pain in opioid drugs. Users who may have initially begun opioid usage by taking prescription drugs such as Oxycodone gravitated towards the even more deadly fentanyl when the FDA demanded that doctors stop prescribing strong opioid drugs so freely.
It is not only opioids that are ruining lives in the US. Stimulant drugs like crystal meth and cocaine remain popular. In 2017, nearly 1 in 5 overdose deaths were caused by cocaine use. This is a worrying statistic considering cocaine use is still socially acceptable in some parts of the US.
If you or a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, help is available. There are rehab centers across the country that can help you tackle addictions to all kinds of substances
1. Increased Tolerance
One of the most common early signs of addiction is developing a tolerance to a substance. This means that over time, you need to take more and more of the drug to get the same desired effect. For example, if you began taking one Oxycodone pill a day to relieve pain, you might find yourself taking two pills a day after a few weeks in order to get the same pain relief.
This increased tolerance can lead to users taking more of the drug than they originally intended, which can be extremely dangerous. It is one of the main reasons why overdoses are so common among addicts.
Withdrawal symptoms are another sign that someone has become addicted to a substance. Withdrawal occurs when a person suddenly stops taking the drug after becoming reliant on it. The symptoms of withdrawal can vary depending on the substance, but they can include everything from nausea and vomiting to anxiety and depression.
Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely unpleasant, which is why many addicts continue taking drugs even when they know it is harmful. They would rather feel the effects of the drug than face the prospect of experiencing withdrawal symptoms, then going through life without the drug.
3. Neglecting Responsibilities
Another sign that someone has become addicted to drugs is neglecting their responsibilities. This could include skipping work, not paying bills, or ignoring their family. Addicts will often prioritize their drug use above everything else in their lives, which can lead to them losing their jobs, homes, and even custody of their children.
Ultimately, neglecting responsibilities in this way can cause people with addiction problems to become homeless. While it may look like recovery is impossible for people who have fallen this low, it is absolutely possible. There are countless cases of people who have reached the very lowest points of addiction, have risen up again, and gone on to live happy and productive lives.
4. Impaired Judgment
A common side effect of addiction is impaired judgment. This means that addicts will often make poor decisions that they would not make if they were not under the influence of drugs. For example, an addict may decide, while under the influence of drugs, to drive which can lead to accidents, or have unprotected sex, which can cause them to contract STDs.
5. Physical Signs and Symptoms
Physical signs and symptoms that someone is addicted to drugs can vary depending on the substance, but there are some common ones that are seen with most addictions. One of the most common physical signs is weight loss. This is often due to the fact that addicts will neglect their own health in favor of drug use. They may not eat or may not eat enough, leading to weight loss.
Another common physical sign of addiction is changes in appearance. This could be anything from neglecting personal hygiene to looking disheveled or unkempt. Addicts may also start to look much older than they actually are due to the toll that drug use takes on the body.
Erratic behavior is another common physical sign of addiction. This could manifest itself in a number of ways, such as being unable to keep a job or being involved in criminal activity. Addicts may also start to suffer from health problems such as liver damage or cardiovascular disease.
How Rehabs Can Help
Rehabilitation centers, or rehabs, are places where people who are addicted to drugs can go to get help. There are many different types of rehabs, but they all have one goal: to help addicts overcome their addiction and lead healthy, productive lives.
Rehabs typically offer a variety of services, such as detoxification, counseling, and therapy. Detoxification helps addicts get rid of the drugs in their system so that they can start to recover. Counseling and therapy help addicts understand their addiction and why they turned to drugs in the first place. These services can also help addicts develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and triggers.
Rehabs also typically offer a variety of amenities, such as fitness centers, recreation facilities, and support groups. These amenities help addicts stay healthy and productive while they are in recovery.
There are many signs that someone has become addicted to drugs. These include withdrawal symptoms, neglecting responsibilities, impaired judgment, and physical signs and symptoms. If you or someone you know is exhibiting these signs, it is important to get help as soon as possible.
If you have a loved one who is addicted to drugs, the best thing you can do is get them help from a professional. This could be in the form of a rehab facility or therapist. It is important to make sure that the person is ready and willing to get help, as they will need to be committed to the process in order to see results. You can also help by being supportive and understanding. This includes being patient and listening to what they have to say. Addiction is a difficult disease, but it is possible to overcome with the help of those who care.