Am I addicted to drugs?
Or, Is my loved one addicted to drugs?
These are emotionally loaded questions because our culture has taught us that there’s something wrong with being an addict: that it’s a moral failing or sign of weakness. But the truth is that addiction is a condition that happens to a lot of good people.
Anyone can become addicted to drugs. Because drug use is stereotypically linked with poverty, people are often surprised to learn that drug use is also common among the well-to-do. Drug addiction can affect people from all walks of life because the common causes of addiction are fairly universal.
Thankfully, with the right treatment, anyone can reclaim their life from drugs. Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of addiction, how to recognize the signs of drug addiction, and what kind of treatment is most beneficial.
What Causes Drug Addiction?
There are many different ways that people can be introduced to drugs. Some people have experimented with drugs but have never become addicted.
What sets apart those who become dependent from those who don’t? Usually there are underlying factors that make drug use more dangerous for certain people. They include:
This can include stress over money, career, relationships – anything that is an unresolved problem or source of anxiety or overwork.
Whether one has suffered abuse for years or experienced a single traumatic event, escaping the feelings brought on by trauma is one of the leading causes of addiction.
Sometimes there’s no specific trauma or stress that a person is trying to avoid. They’re simply bored, unfulfilled and/or directionless. They begin experimenting with drugs and find that it fills the empty hole, but this of course comes with plenty of negative consequences as well.
Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mood disorders are particularly likely to make a person susceptible to drug use.
Some people experience such an intense high from a drug that they simply want to experience it again. Others become addicted to prescription medication that is extremely habit-forming. Repeated exposure to the drug of choice strengthens the addiction by further altering brain chemistry.
Chronic Pain and Drug Addiction
Many people have become addicted to heroin – a highly addictive, very dangerous street drug – after first becoming addicted to prescription painkillers. Opioid and opiate medications, although mostly legal, are highly addictive and should only be used in the short term to manage severe pain.
Unfortunately, many people underestimate the dangers of prescription medication because it is recommended by a doctor, so they assume it’s safe. They continue to take opioids for chronic pain, and over time build up a tolerance to the drug, needing higher and higher doses to achieve pain relief.
When their doctor finally cuts them off, they are essentially forced to turn to heroin, an illegal opiate drug that is even more addictive, unpredictable and deadly.
How to Know If You or a Loved One Is Addicted to Drugs: Signs and Symptoms
The specific side effects vary depending on the drug, but with all types of addictions, be on the lookout for these telltale signs:
- Changes in behavior and mood – paranoia, violent outbursts, abnormal behavior
- Changes in eating habits and sleep patterns
- Organizing one’s life around drug use
- Hiding substance use, making excuses for why it’s OK, and outright lying
- Stealing or other illegal or unethical actions to get more of the substance
- Physical symptoms such as dilated pupils, chills and sweating, tremors, muscle cramps, etc.
- Claiming that they’re going to stop using, but being unable to do so, especially after repeated attempts
In time, it’s inevitable that drug use will lead to run-ins with the law, severe health problems, and even death. The only way to avoid these scenarios is to 1) undergo proper treatment and 2) start on the path to recovery.
Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery
Drug addiction is often caused by a life-changing event. Also true is that drug addiction can cause many life-changing events. The combination of factors is different for each person, which is why treatment must be highly customized to the individual.
No matter which drug addiction you or a loved one is struggling with, help is available. Most treatment centers have the ability to tailor treatment to the appropriate type of addiction, including:
- Prescription Drugs
- MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly)
What Is a Holistic Treatment Approach?
At The Dunes East Hamptons, in addition to clinical healing methods, we also use proven holistic techniques, resulting in a recovery regimen that leads to complete healing. Our goal is to help every client fully regain control of their life from addiction.
Here are a few of the many ways our drug treatment program provides a superior environment for recovery:
- Syndrome Model of Addiction: Each drug addiction will present a range of signs and symptoms. With a full evaluation, our highly skilled drug addiction professionals can determine the most suitable course of treatment for each individual’s needs.
- Integrated Drug Treatment: Once we determine the causes of one’s drug addiction, we will provide integrated treatment options based on those causes and current symptoms. We combine clinical and holistic treatment for maximum effectiveness.
- Private, Luxurious Surroundings: Each client is welcomed at our luxury drug rehab center into an atmosphere of peacefulness, tranquility and modern amenities. Our facility is located close to the ocean in the small, opulent town of East Hampton, providing a completely relaxing, secluded environment.
- World-Class Nutrition: During drug addiction treatment, a well-balanced diet can help relax clients and keep them in a positive mood. Drug abuse can lead to unhealthy choices. Part of treatment is recognizing the unhealthy choices and focusing on nourishing the body through healthy nutrition.
Throughout this process, The Dunes will be your partner in finding and eliminating whatever is keeping you stuck in addiction.
Studies have found that less than 10 percent of addicted individuals receive treatment. Shouldn’t you or your loved one be in that 10 percent?