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Medically Reviewed

5 Signs it is Time to Get Help for Addiction

- 6 sections

Medically Verified: September 20, 2022

Medical Reviewer:

Sahil Talwar, PA-C, MBA


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Substance abuse is a serious problem in the United States. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 50% of people aged 12 and older have used substances at least once in their lifetime.[1] Abusing substances puts you at a high risk of developing an addiction, a chronic and progressive disease that can wreak havoc on your life.

If you struggle with substance abuse, you may be wondering how to tell if you require professional addiction help. It is important to note that any form of drug or alcohol dependency should be treated by a professional substance abuse recovery program. Whether you have only been addicted to drugs for a few months or a few years, you can benefit from the support offered at a licensed rehab program.

But how do you know if you need help? Here are 5 signs of addiction that indicate it’s time to go to rehab.

1. Substances Have Become Your Top Priority

If you frequently abuse drugs and alcohol, you may notice that the substances have become your main priority. As you continue to abuse substances, your brain and body become accustomed to the presence of drugs or alcohol. This causes your brain to operate as if it needs drugs or alcohol to survive.

As your addiction becomes more severe, you will experience cravings that lead you to compulsively abuse drugs and alcohol. If you find that you are placing a priority on obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of substances over your other responsibilities, it’s time to attend an addiction treatment program.

2. Your Relationships are Suffering

Addiction is commonly referred to as a family disease. This means that not only does addiction affect you, but it causes your family members and close friends to suffer as well, and encourages you to become isolated from your loved ones.

There are many reasons you could become isolated from your friends and family. First, you may purposefully isolate yourself to prevent your loved ones from being able to notice your addiction and try to put an end to it. On the other hand, your behavior could begin to push them away, as they are being hurt by your actions repeatedly.

Either way, if your relationships begin to suffer as a result of your substance abuse it is probably time to get help.

3. You Are Experiencing Health Issues

Health issues that occur as a result of drug and alcohol abuse are tell-tale signs of addiction. When you suffer from a substance use disorder, you continue to use drugs or alcohol despite facing serious health consequences. Whether you are experiencing mild health issues like frequent migraines and sudden changes in weight or serious complications like tooth decay and organ damage, it is important to get the help you need.

Common health issues associated with addiction include:[2]

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Lung disease
  • Mental disorders

4. You Can’t Control How Much or How Often You Use

Have you ever told yourself that you’re only going to have a couple of drinks, just to wake up the next morning with a raging headache and a foggy memory? Being unable to control how much or how often you use a substance is another common sign of addiction.

When drugs or alcohol are in front of you and you feel as if you have no choice but to use them, it’s time to go to professional rehab. This compulsion to use can trap you in a never-ending cycle of using, recovering from the substances, and trying to find more.

Being unable to control how much of a drug you use can become extremely dangerous, as consuming large amounts of substances can lead to life-threatening overdoses. As a result, you must seek help if you find that you cannot control your drug and alcohol intake.

5. You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms

Another noticeable sign of a serious addiction is the emergence of withdrawal symptoms. When you run out of your drug of choice, do you begin to feel sick? Experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal when you cannot use a substance means you are physically dependent and require help from a medical detox program.

While the symptoms of withdrawal vary from substance to substance, the most common ones include:

  • Shaking and tremors
  • Muscle pain or aches
  • Hunger or loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Dilated pupils

Because the symptoms of withdrawal can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening symptoms like seizures, you must attend a supervised detox program to receive proper medical treatment. Attempting to detox at home commonly leads to a relapse, which can be extremely dangerous. When you have a period of abstinence from a substance, attempting to use the same amount that you did previously could lead to a life-threatening overdose.

In other words, it is always best to get help from a drug and alcohol detox center when you decide to stop using drugs or alcohol.

Find Addiction Help Today

If you or a loved one suffer from a substance use disorder, help is available. No matter what point of your addiction you are in, an addiction treatment center can provide you with the help and support you need to overcome it. The first step in recovery is always attending a medical detox program that can help you through the withdrawal process safely and comfortably.

Contact Charlotte Detox Center today for more information on how to get started.