One of the most difficult parts about addiction is the lack of ability to be self-aware. Survival mechanisms in the brain make it difficult to see the negative consequences of drinking or using in addiction. What happens is that the brain begins to believe that the person needs substances in order to feel well. If you’re wondering if you need substance abuse treatment, below are some of the signs that you should be looking for:
- Do you have a physical dependency?
- Is it difficult to stop or limit your drinking or using?
- Have friends or family had a problem with your drinking or using?
You May Need Substance Abuse Treatment if You Have a Physical Dependency
A physical dependency to drugs or alcohol is one of the easiest signs to look for because it shows excess use. The body only develops a physical dependency to a substance when the user has been consuming it regularly for a long time. The body changes its equilibrium to balance the alcohol or drugs coming into the system. Depending on your substance of choice, the symptoms of physical dependence can vary from physical to psychological.
Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and opiates include:
- Aches and pains
- Body tremors
- Cold sweats
Withdrawal symptoms from meth and cocaine include:
The Symptoms of a Physical Craving
Many people with a problem see how others drink or use drugs and assume they can do that too. Those who need the help of an addiction treatment facility have issues stopping or moderating once they start. Addiction initiates an extreme physical craving so individuals continue drinking or using past the point of moderation. It’s important to look at past situations and think about how many times you were able to stop or moderate.
Now, there are those who may read this and be able to identify a few times when they were able to moderate. It’s important to be honest with oneself and ask if it was difficult to do this because most experience anxiety when moderating. People often refer to this as “white knuckling it” because the person wants to drink or use more. This is common when a person is out with coworkers or at another important function, but the craving remains.
Have People Commented on Your Drinking or Using
Due to the combination of a lack of self-awareness and a survival instinct, it’s quite common to be defensive. When loved ones approach a person who may have a problem with alcohol or drugs, she may get defensive. The brain has a problem separating truth from fiction, so it may say, “They’re just trying to ruin my fun.” The reality is that your family loves and cares about you and has noticed a negative change.