How Do You Know if You’re Ready for Substance Use Recovery Treatment

Substance use can be a difficult road and can qualify as recreational drug use. Such drugs can include marijuana or party drugs, consumption of alcohol, or the use of illegal or non-prescribed drugs. Therefore, it can be hard to distinguish if you have a substance use disorder (SUD).

Even if the problem is identified, it can be difficult to know the next steps. Luckily, there are some common symptoms you can look out for to help determine whether or not you need treatment.

Symptoms of Substance Abuse

While there are many symptoms of a SUD, there are also common signs that present themselves. If you experience any of these symptoms regularly, this could indicate that it is time to reach out for help. Common signs include:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Physical changes
  • Social changes

It is also important to remember that while a SUD may not be unique in and of itself, you will have your own unique experiences with substances.

Behavioral Changes

These changes can be seen in a variety of different ways. A common one is an increase in troubling or risky behavior. Perhaps you notice that you engage in riskier activities that result in higher consequences. On the other hand, you might find that your mood has dampened and you lack the motivation to participate in activities you enjoy. Such behaviors could include:

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Driving under the influence
  • Getting arrested
  • Harming yourself or others
  • Missing work or school
  • Neglecting self-care or other familial responsibilities

You may also become fearful, anxious, or paranoid. Signs of behavioral changes concerning a SUD could entail dwelling on past issues or worrying about things that have not happened yet.

Sleep Patterns and Appetite

A SUD can also interfere with your sleep patterns and appetite. Such symptoms could include:

  • Insomnia
  • Sleeping at different times throughout the day
  • Food cravings that accompany substance use
  • Lack of daily structure to maintain a good sleep and nutrition schedule

Experiencing any of these symptoms is cause for concern, and this is especially true when substances use is at the heart of it. Additionally, if you are using substances to regulate sleep and dietary patterns, this is a warning sign that you are struggling.

Physical Changes

Deterioration of physical appearance is a notable symptom of a SUD. Common issues include:

  • Bags under your eyes
  • Change in your skin and hair
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Tremors or other movement disorders
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Joint or muscular pain

If you or someone you love exhibits any physical changes, it could indicate an underlying SUD.

Social Changes

One of the most telling signs that a SUD is present is how it affects relationships. This occurs because addiction is a disease, and when it takes over, it causes you to seek it out at almost any cost. Therefore, this causes a strain on relationships with friends and family. Common signs include:

  • Avoiding friends and family who do not engage in substance use
  • Hanging around others that partake or provide the prospect of using substances
  • Asking to borrow money from family or friends
  • Isolation

Restoring relationships is among the most difficult challenges in treatment and recovery.  Even during active addiction, you likely have a desire to stop using but cannot seem to resist the substance.

Remember, there is nothing to feel ashamed of; this is common for people who struggle with a SUD. There are biologicalfactors at play that overpower sheer willpower.

What to Do Next?

When you cannot overcome substance use, the necessary action should be to seek professional help. A professional can help with intervention, diagnosis, and detox options. It is crucial to seek a qualified treatment center to provide a thorough diagnosis.

A quality diagnosis will not only determine whether there is a SUD present; it will also determine other factors such as underlying mental health disorders. Two disorders that co-occur are referred to as co-occurring disorders or dual diagnoses, and they are common among individuals with mental health or SUD.

Therefore, you will require a treatment plan that simultaneously addresses both. When you address both needs, you will have a better understanding of the root of your addiction and, therefore, better resources to combat the challenges.

Get the Family Involved

Addiction affects the whole family; therefore, it is vital to involve the family when managing the disorder. This could look like group therapy, moderated counseling, and self-care practices for you and the family members affected by the SUD.

It is also beneficial for family members to learn about addiction because many stigmas surround SUD and mental health disorders. The more the family understands the experience, the more effective they can be at overcoming challenges together.

Substance use disorders can be hard to identify, especially if you are the one using them. Understand that a SUD affects the life of the individual using and the lives of their family. While some try to overcome this struggle on their own, it is best to seek professional help. NorthStar Transitions, located in Boulder, CO, can be the place to find that help. Our experienced staff can help you and the ones you care about navigate this difficult period in life. We offer both conventional and holistic approaches to care to ensure that the individual's needs are met. Whether you are new to the treatment process or are struggling with relapse, we can help. If you or someone you know needs help, get help today. To learn more about our programs, reach out to us and call (303) 558-6400.  

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