Summer Fun in RecoveryOvercoming addiction is a difficult journey that is different for everyone. One of the most complex parts of recovering from a substance use disorder is recognizing that you need help. Since addiction manifests in different ways, the warning signs can be hard to notice in yourself or your family members. Once you can identify the signs, however, you can seek the necessary treatment and support. That's why we've outlined seven signs that you might be struggling with substance use disorder.

  1. 1. You're Unable to Cut Down or Stop Using the Substance

    When someone is struggling with addiction, they may find it difficult or even impossible to cut down or stop using the substance. This is often because addiction alters the brain in ways that make it difficult to control substance abuse. For example, addiction can increase cravings and lead to changes in how the brain responds to pleasure. You may develop a physical dependence or simply feel like you cannot function without it. As a result, people who are addicted to substances may find it hard to stick to their goals, even when they want to stop using.

    If you find yourself unable to stick to your goals when it comes to substance use, it may be a sign that you're struggling with addiction. If this is the case, it's important to seek professional help as soon as possible. With the help of a treatment program, you can learn how to control your substance use and live a healthy, fulfilling life.

  2. 2. Your Family Members Have Expressed Concern

    Sometimes, a family member is the first to spot signs of addiction in their loved one. You may exhibit physical changes like sudden weight loss, or changes in your physical appearance such as grooming less often or wearing clothes that are not clean. A family member may also point out behavioral changes that they notice, such as sudden mood swings or withdrawal from activities you used to enjoy. Early intervention can help you in getting the treatment you need to recover, so if family members are expressing concerns, you should not take it lightly.

  3. 3. You're Experiencing Financial Problems Due to Your Use of the Substance

    Substance use disorders can be very costly, both financially and in terms of your overall well-being. If you find that you are regularly spending money on substances that you cannot afford, or if you're stealing money to fund your habit, it's a sign that you might be struggling with addiction. Additionally, those who suffer from substance use disorders often engage in risky financial behaviors. If you're facing legal trouble due to your use of substances or attempts to obtain them, it's another sign that addiction is controlling your decision-making. If you are concerned that you might be struggling with addiction, it's important to reach out for help as soon as possible, as there are many resources available to help you get on the path to recovery.

  4. 4. You're Neglecting Your Responsibilities at Home, Work, or School

    One of the clearest signs that you might be struggling with addiction is if you find that you're neglecting responsibilities at home, work, or school because of your substance abuse. This could look like not showing up for work or class, or not taking care of chores around the house. Another sign of addiction is if you're using substances to cope with difficult emotions or situations. This could manifest as self-medicating with drugs or alcohol to deal with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or trauma. Addiction can also disrupt your sleep patterns, which can lead to fatigue and further mental disorders, making it harder to function in your daily life. If you're noticing any of these signs in yourself, it's important to reach out for help. Addiction can be a difficult thing to cope with alone, so it's important to be honest with yourself and those around you about anything you may be struggling with.

  5. 5. Your Substance Use is Causing Problems in Your Relationships.

    One of the signs of a person struggling with addiction is if their drug or alcohol use is causing problems in their relationships. This could manifest in several ways, such as the person making poor judgment calls while under the influence which leads to arguments or conflict or having angry outbursts that damage their relationships. If you are noticing that your substance use is negatively impacting your close personal relationships, it might be an indication that you have a problem and should seek professional help.

  6. 6. You've Developed a Tolerance

    Many physical symptoms can indicate that someone is struggling with addiction. One of the most common signs is developing a tolerance, which occurs when the body becomes used to the presence of drugs or alcohol and requires increasing amounts to achieve the same effect. This can lead to dangerous patterns of drug use and harmful consequences like an overdose. If you have developed a tolerance to a substance, it is likely a sign that you need to reach out for professional help.

  7. 7. You're Experiencing Withdrawal

    If you're struggling with addiction, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to cut down or stop using the substance. Some common signs and symptoms of withdrawal include:

    • Feeling anxious, agitated, or irritable.
    • Trouble sleeping.
    • Sweating.
    • Nausea and vomiting.
    • Cravings for the substance.

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to seek treatment. Substance use disorders are serious, complex medical conditions that require treatment by trained medical professionals. Withdrawal symptoms are usually the biggest challenge for those beginning their recovery, so it is important to undergo a medical detox under the supervision of qualified physicians to ensure your safety and comfort. You can detox with minimal side effects, manageable withdrawal symptoms, and a much higher ability to control cravings with medically monitored withdrawal management. If you're struggling with addiction, do not hesitate to reach out for help.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drugs, alcohol, or other substances, reach out to the experts at Gateway Rehab. Gateway's mission is to help all of those affected by addictive diseases to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Whether you need an intensive inpatient program, a flexible outpatient program, or access to support groups, we can help. At Gateway Rehab, we understand that each person's experience with addiction is different, and we will create a unique treatment plan for you to reach a sustainable recovery.

At Gateway Rehab, our priority is to guide patients toward a life of sustained recovery. Our team recognizes that not every patient shares the same path to sobriety, and that is why we customize treatment options that address each individual’s personal needs and goals. If you or a loved one are currently struggling with addiction, we are here to help. Schedule your first appointment with one of our recovery centers today or call 1-800-472-1177 for more information.