Drug addiction is a chemical reliance on a particular substance. Typically, substances that become addictive are harmful when used for prolonged periods, so continuing to take them has increasing health risks. At the same time, the chemical reliance means that your body and brain become dependent on the drug, leading to drug-seeking behavior and possibly withdrawal symptoms that add to the difficulty of drug detoxification. These symptoms further complicate the process of addiction treatment in Atlanta.

Addictions vary considerably in terms of their strength and nature. For example, it is possible to become mildly dependent on coffee, but because there are few side effects and minimal withdrawal symptoms associated with consuming typical amounts of coffee, this addiction is not significant. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, opioids like prescription painkillers and heroin are highly addictive and can have quite unpleasant withdrawal periods.

In many cases, people with addictions build up a tolerance to the drug, meaning that they need larger and larger doses to achieve the same effects and satisfy their cravings. If you are interested in substance addiction treatment for yourself or for a loved one, please call us at (866) 266-6590 to talk to one of our addiction specialists.

Recognizing addiction

Addiction can look very different in different people. There are a variety of contexts in which drugs are used and an assortment of addictive substances as well. Some addictions are easier to recognize because the substances involved have more visible effects. For example, alcohol addiction is not hard to spot because it is generally not difficult to tell when someone is frequently intoxicated.

However, it is not always that simple. One of the key indicators is how the person reacts when they are confronted with the idea that they might lose access to their substance of choice. If someone doesn’t seem bothered by the prospect of not having access to their drug of choice for a time, they are less likely to need substance abuse help. If they try very hard to always have access to their substance and go to great lengths to ensure it is available, they are more likely to need addiction treatment.

One complicating factor is that people with growing substance abuse problems usually try to hide their drug or alcohol use. This makes it harder for friends and family to notice the symptoms and get their loved one to seek help with drug addiction recovery. Someone who has developed an addiction may become secretive, disappear for lengths of time, be evasive about what they are doing or where they are, or withdraw from previously active relationships. Sometimes, they resort to stealing in order to obtain money to purchase drugs.

Diagnosing an addiction can only be done by a doctor or a psychologist because they have the experience and training to determine when someone meets the right criteria. However, it is possible for anyone to spot the warning signs and encourage a loved one who might have an addiction to seek drug rehab in Atlanta.

If you’re in Atlanta or a neighboring area, our addiction specialists can find the right drug rehab program for you. Call us today at (866) 266-6590.

The warning signs of addiction

The withdrawal from friends and family might be the most important warning sign to watch out for because it’s often a signal that the person has something they want to hide. When combined with erratic behavior, requests for money or unusual changes in mood and personality, this withdrawal may indicate that something is wrong. While it could indicate a number of problems, including major depression, it could also indicate addiction.

Specific substances have their own signs. For example, people who have used meth for a long time tend to develop sores and other skin problems because one of the side effects is picking at the skin. Meth use also tends to lead to tooth loss. Opiate addiction varies depending on the exact substance. For example, heroin users might have track marks on their arms or legs where a needle has been inserted, but pill users won’t show the same visible signs. When under the influence, those addicted to opiates can appear sleepy, and they may potentially “nod off” or pass out.

Everyone reacts a little differently to addiction, but substance abuse almost always leads to significant changes in personality and behavior. A user might become suddenly impatient and irritable. They could become far more willing to party when that wasn’t a major part of their life before. Those who know the person well can often tell something seems off or that their loved one has changed somehow, but they may not be clear on the details.

If you are worried that someone you know might have developed an addiction, call us today. We can provide you with advice and discuss possible treatment options. We’re familiar with addiction treatment in Atlanta, so we can gear our recommendations to fit your individual situation.

Please don’t hesitate. It’s far better to go through a challenging recovery than to let a potential addiction go untreated. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one, pick up the phone, dial (866) 266-6590 and talk to a compassionate, experienced addiction specialist.


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