The majority of people with growing substance abuse issues don’t always realize that it’s happening. So, if you are asking yourself if you have a drug problem, the answer is probably yes. Full-blown addiction rarely happens overnight; most drug users go through several progressive stages of abuse, and it becomes harder to recover with each step.

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What’s the difference between misuse, abuse and addiction?

Drug misuse is generally the use of a prescribed medication or legal remedy in a way other than instructed but not with the intent to get high. Misuse can become abuse when you start to take legal or illicit drugs specifically for the tangible or emotional effect. Repeated and increased use of substances over time can alter your brain function so that you become physically and psychologically dependent on the drug, and this is an addiction.

What are the signs of drug abuse?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has specific clinical criteria for diagnosing substance abuse. Simplified, you may be in the abuse stage when drugs start to disrupt your life and affect your behavior. Typical signs could include physically harming others when under the influence and legal problems. Some examples are possession arrests or being required to take a DWI intervention class Austin to get a suspended driver’s license reinstated.

What are the signs of drug addiction?

Abuse transforms into addiction when your daily life begins to revolve around drugs, and you have a hard time functioning without them. The more dangerous attributes of addiction involve physical, mental and emotional withdrawal symptoms. In extreme cases, your body may become so dependent upon a substance that a sudden cessation could lead to severe side effects, including death. Anyone who seeks help at this stage should consult a medical professional before trying to quit.

Most treatment programs begin by acknowledging your addiction and finding the motivation to change. If you think you might be on the downward slide to addiction, getting as much knowledge and understanding as possible may better help you find the solution before it’s too late.

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