All too often, people suffering from substance abuse, whether drugs or alcohol, don’t see rock bottom coming. Recalling their accounts, it’s a common story to be told that they were surprised to wake up one day and suddenly realize the truth about the situation.
By then, usually, they would have already lost a lot about their old life: relationships with family and friends, jobs, possessions, or even a home. No matter how different these stories start out, however, what’s certain is that this descent to rock bottom did not happen overnight. This would have been a steady decline, some faster than others, with plenty of red flags coming up along the way.
If you think you’re currently on this descent, but are still aware enough to want to do something about it, or if you think you could be someone who would need help sooner or later, here are some telltale signs you could keep an eye out for.
You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms
It starts out benign enough. You drink a glass of wine or a bottle of beer before going to bed. It’s healthy enough in moderation anyway, right? But then something happens and that one serving suddenly increases to two more, three more.
If it’s drugs, the escalation may come in the form of needing more doses, or popping a pill more frequently.
Whichever substance it is, you need to look out for withdrawal symptoms. If you find yourself having an intense craving for alcohol or drugs, if you begin feeling withdrawn from your usual social circle and instead prefer to be alone so you can be free to drink alcohol or do drugs, or if you find that your normal dose isn’t doing anything for you anymore so you feel the need to increase it, then you’re going through withdrawal.
Mood swings, irritability, anger, arising health issues, increased frequency of use or intake over time, self-harm, or endangerment of others are also some other signs of withdrawal.
Impact on Family, Friends, Career
It’s usually the people around you who would first notice the changes or the withdrawal symptoms. This is because they are standing from an objective point of view, and so can clearly see when you’re acting differently from your usual behavior.
You may start flaking out on your plans with them more frequently, or you’re lashing out at them for no reason. You could be slipping at work, coming in late, missing deadlines, being sloppy with your tasks.
By this time, your dependency has gotten to a point where you can no longer hide the effects it has on you, although you may still be able to hide definitive evidence that you are indeed abusing the substance.
Desire to Stop but Inability to Do So
In certain cases, it’s possible that you have particularly high self-awareness, which means that you do recognize the journey you’re on at the moment. There might even be a strong desire to turn things around, seeing how your substance use and abuse have been affecting your daily life and your personal relationships.
Attempts at quitting cold turkey are common, and failing at it especially so. That’s because people tend to underestimate just how deep an addiction they already have, while at the same time overestimating their ability to handle it.
In this case, it’s much better for you to seek professional help from centers like Gallus Medical Detox Centers (https://www.gallusdetox.com/). These facilities have treatment programs that can address your issues, and could even provide a custom-fit treatment for you, depending on the factors surrounding your condition.