Alcohol and drug abuse is an all-too-common problem among people of all ages and from all backgrounds. The use of alcohol and drugs has become so much part of our culture, that it can often be difficult to determine that you even have a problem.
It can seem like you’re using drugs or alcohol as a way to relax or have fun, but before you know it, it can spiral out of control and become incredibly problematic in your life, or the life of your loved one.
What should you know about the signs of alcohol and drug abuse and when is it time to seek treatment in the form of alcohol and drugs rehab?
Alcohol has the ability to affect our mind and our lives, and it’s not uncommon for people who start out drinking recreationally to develop an alcohol use disorder ultimately. Some of the questions people have about alcohol use are what would be defined as a problem, and why some people struggle with alcohol use while others don’t.
Drinking in and of itself doesn’t necessarily represent a problem, but what can signify an alcohol abuse problem occurs when you’re drinking too much or putting yourself or others at risk because of alcohol.
What’s the difference between being a casual drinker, and using alcohol?
The following are some things to keep in mind about alcohol abuse and signs that an alcohol problem could be present.
- Do you find that alcohol is inferring with your daily life or your responsibilities? This doesn’t just mean that you’re missing things or letting go of your responsibilities because of the time you’re spending drinking, but also the time you spend feeling sick or hungover because of drinking.
- Are you drinking even though you know you’ll be doing something that could become dangerous later, such as driving?
- Are you regularly forgetting things or blacking out because of drinking, or experiencing accidents or injuries?
- Do you continue to drink even when you’re experiencing negative consequences?
- Do you feel like you can’t control how much you drink, or if you don’t drink you go through withdrawal?
- Are you spending the majority of your time drinking or recovering from drinking?
- Is alcohol causing harm to your job, school, or your relationships?
- Do you try to hide your drinking or make excuses for it?
- Do you find that even when you try, you can’t quit drinking?
These are all some of the signs that alcohol use disorder could be a problem.
Drugs and their effects vary significantly, but some of the commonly abused drugs include marijuana, cocaine, and opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers. The specific signs of alcohol and drug abuse can vary based on the particular substance, but some general signs of drug abuse and addiction may include:
- Using prescription drugs without a prescription or recreationally other than what’s directed by your physician.
- Lying or trying to hide your drug use from the people you’re close to.
- You’ve developed a tolerance to substances you’re taking so you need to take more and more to feel effects.
- You’re spending too much time or money trying to obtain more drugs.
- You want to stop using drugs, but you find that you’re not able to, and even when bad things happen you keep using them.
- You’re preoccupied with the thought of drugs or alcohol at all times.
- If the effects of the drugs wear off you experience symptoms of withdrawal.
- You’re stealing in order to get more drugs.
- You’re having problems with your relationships.
So what can you do if you’re going through alcohol and drug abuse or someone you love is?
There are different types of rehab programs available. For example, for people with a less severe abuse problem, outpatient rehab may be a viable option. With outpatient alcohol and drug rehab, you’re able to keep going to work and living your daily life, but you also participate in intensive therapy.
For other people, a residential, inpatient treatment program may be the best. At this kind of alcohol and drug rehab, you’re likely to first go through a medically supervised detox program, and then following that you would participate in comprehensive treatment that would include a combination of group and individual therapy, as well as supplemental activities.
Regardless of the type of alcohol and drug rehab that’s best for your needs, there are opportunities available to eliminate alcohol and drug abuse from your life, or the life of your loved one.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.