The Action Recovery Group of Ogden, Utah is a leader in drug addiction recovery and rehabilitation. Its professional staff has served the local community for decades in throughout their long careers related to counseling, therapies, and treatment for drug and alcohol related abuse and dependency. These pages may offer some insight into the plague of substance abuse upon individuals and society. If you or a loved one suffers from the addictions related to substance abuse call Action Recovery Group today!
Hope begins down the path to healing at (801) 475-HOPE!
Substance Abuse and Drug Addiction
Abuse of drugs and alcohol begins the road to addiction. Abuse of drugs begins when a person actively seeks out drug taking for recreational, social, or other personal reasons. From Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, barbiturates, and constituent substances including prescription drugs made of opioids, people enter the gate to drug addictions. What follows can become the destruction of finances, relationships , job opportunities, along with physical, mental, and emotional health.
Regardless of the negative consequences seen in others taking a drug or consuming too much alcohol, the lie that, “I can stop using drugs and drinking when I want,” and “A little doesn’t hurt,” begins the road to compulsive desires and cravings for more as the physical body and brain chemistry demands it. Whether a stimulant or depressant, the body soon builds a tolerance for the amount of drugs being ingested and screams for more in order to fend of withdrawal symptoms, deal with pain, or get the expected euphoric rush from before.
Alcohol is the most widely used drug in the world. It is extremely destructive of major organs and alters many areas in the brain. The qualities and quantities of the drug we could call ethyl alcohol (the only kind used in beverages) and the fact that intoxicating beverages are largely legal and socially acceptable worldwide, makes alcohol abuse and use extremely pernicious and dangerous.
Alcoholism has been recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA) as a disease since 1956. A solid detox and rehab treatment program with ongoing counseling and programs like the 12 step program is vital for curing the disease that alcoholism is. Early detection of the problem residing in alcohol use disorder (AUD) is vital to make a permanent cure most probable.
Common Signs of Drug Abuse and Addiction
People need to become aware of the most common symptoms of drug addiction and abuse. Here are some helpful lists from trusted sources engaged in the fight against drug abuse and addiction.
From the world renown Mayo Clinic comes this information on drug abuse and addiction symptoms:
Most drug addictions start with experimental use of a drug in social situations. For some people, the drug use becomes more frequent. The risk of addiction and how fast you become dependent varies by drug. Some drugs have a higher risk and cause dependency more quickly than others.
As time passes, you may need larger doses of the drug to get high. Soon you may need the drug just to feel good. As your drug use increases, you may find that it’s increasingly difficult to go without the drug. Attempts to stop drug use may cause intense cravings and make you feel physically ill (withdrawal symptoms).
Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors include, among others:
- Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly — this can be daily or even several times a day
- Having intense urges for the drug
- Over time, needing more of the drug to get the same effect
- Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug
- Spending money on the drug, even though you can’t afford it
- Not meeting obligations and work responsibilities, or cutting back on social or recreational activities because of drug use
- Doing things to get the drug that you normally wouldn’t do, such as stealing
- Driving or doing other risky activities when you’re under the influence of the drug
- Focusing more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug
- Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop taking the drug
Recognizing drug abuse in family members
Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish normal teenage moodiness or angst from signs of drug use. Possible indications that your teenager or other family member is using drugs include:
Problems at school or work — frequently missing school or work, a sudden disinterest in school activities or work, or a drop in grades or work performance
Physical health issues — lack of energy and motivation
Neglected appearance — lack of interest in clothing, grooming or looks
Changes in behavior — exaggerated efforts to bar family members from entering his or her room or being secretive about where he or she goes with friends; or drastic changes in behavior and in relationships with family and friends
Spending money — sudden requests for money without a reasonable explanation; or your discovery that money is missing or has been stolen or that items have disappeared from your home, indicating maybe they’re being sold to support drug use
Also from the Mayo Clinic comes this:
Signs and symptoms of drug abuse or intoxication may vary depending on the type of drug. Below you’ll find several examples.
Marijuana, hashish and other cannabis-containing substances
People use cannabis by smoking, eating, or inhaling a vaporized form of the drug. Cannabis often precedes or is used along with other substances, such as alcohol or other illegal drugs, and is often the first drug tried.
Signs and symptoms of recent use can include:
- A sense of euphoria or feeling “high”
- A heightened sense of visual, auditory and taste perception
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Red eyes
- Dry mouth
- Decreased coordination
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Increased appetite
- Slowed reaction time
- Paranoid thinking
Long-term (chronic) use is often associated with:
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Poor performance at school or at work
- Reduced number of friends and interests
Meth, cocaine and other stimulants
Stimulants include amphetamines, meth (methamphetamine), cocaine and methylphenidate (Ritalin). They are often used and abused in search of a “high,” or to boost energy, to improve performance at work or school, or to lose weight or control appetite.
Signs and symptoms of recent use can include:
- Feeling of exhilaration and excess confidence
- Increased alertness
- Increased energy and restlessness
- Behavior changes or aggression
- Rapid or rambling speech
- Dilated pupils
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Irritability or changes in mood
- Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
- Nausea or vomiting with weight loss
- Impaired judgment
- Nasal congestion and damage to the mucous membrane of the nose (if snorting drugs)
- Depression as the drug wears off
Source: Mayo Clinic
When to Seek Treatment
It is never too early to begin a drug and alcohol rehab and detox program but desire is an important element.
Substance abuse is a major problem worldwide and is a leading cause of crime, family and relationship struggles, loss of employment and many other social ills. There is a time when treatment for alcohol and drug abuse becomes vital and even life saving. That is when control is lost.
- If you can’t stop using the drug but want to…
- If your drug use is leading to unsafe behavior such as sharing needles or unprotected sex…
- If withdrawal symptoms are increasingly apparent…
…it is time for emergency intervention.
At Action Recovery Group of Ogden we can make the transition from loss of control, cravings for drugs and alcohol, and addiction challenges manageable. There is a way out through expert medical and clinical care.
Call us at (801) 475-4673 to begin the new life that awaits you or a loved one. Call today!