Drug addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is a serious and often life-threatening disorder. Whether it starts with recreational use of illegal substances or medical use of prescribed drugs, addiction occurs when your brain starts telling your body that it needs the drug. While the drug may have initially created a “high,” as time goes on, you need more and more of the substance to achieve the same feeling, and eventually you need it just to feel normal. Something that once seemed like fun or an occasional way to escape pain now controls your life.
Drug addiction often co-occurs with other mental disorders like depression or anxiety, as well as eating disorders. Some people use drugs to escape the pain of mental health disorders, while others may develop mental health issues due to drug use.
Symptoms of Drug Addiction:
- Feeling the need to use a drug daily or several times a day
- Intense urges for the drug that consume your thoughts
- Needing more of the drug as time goes on
- Spending money on the drug even if you can’t afford it
- Shirking responsibilities and obligations at work or with friends and family
- Continuing use of the drug even though you know it is harming you
- Failed attempts to stop using the drug
- Withdrawal symptoms if you discontinue use of the drug