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San Diego Sober Living - Recovery

6 Indications a Person Is Addicted to Drugs

In October 2022, two Hollywood actors released memoirs they wrote as part of their respective addiction recovery journeys. Matthew Perry, star of the successful Friends television sitcom, and Tom Felton, known for his work on the Harry Potter film franchise, struggled with substance abuse for years, and they both agree recovery would have come sooner if they had paid close attention to certain signs of addiction, such as the ones listed below.

1. Obsessive Self-Medication

When Tom Felton was a child actor on the set of Harry Potter films, he did his best to hide his constant feelings of unexplained sorrow, which he sought to attenuate with liquor. He truly believed being inebriated would eventually cure his depression, and he resorted to other drugs to alleviate frequent hangovers.

2. Rapid Weight Fluctuations

Matthew Perry’s memoir includes a chapter that lets fans of Friends identify which drugs he was using during specific seasons of the show. When he was packing a few extra pounds, that meant he was drinking heavily. A few episodes later, he would have to ask the wardrobe department for smaller clothes because he had traded liquor for painkillers and amphetamines.

3. Compulsive Behavior

The mechanism of addiction is fueled by compulsions. Seeking to get high with zeal and determination is a clear sign the brain’s reward system is being compromised. Getting high time after time is the result of a deep-seated compulsion. When addicts feel exasperation at the prospect of not being able to get high, their underlying compulsions will likely spill over into other facets of their lives.

4. Loss of Self-Control

There are two signs to observe in relation to substance abuse and loss of control. Not being able to walk or fall asleep are examples of losing physiological control because of intoxication. Not being able to stop using drugs to the point of binging or overdosing is an example of losing behavioral control.

5. Keeping Drug Use Secret

Some mental health counselors refer to this sign of addiction as highly internalized denial. When addicts are confronted about their conditions, they often resort to denial as an incorrect coping mechanism that’s often perpetuated by secret consumption. Those individuals who become “functioning addicts” develop compulsions that drive them to continue getting drunk or high away from others who may shame them. Of the six signs listed here, this is one of the most common and problematic.

6. Physical Changes

Some addicts will only agree to enter a recovery program, which may include support at a facility such as an Encinitas sober living home, after seeing signs their health is being negatively impacted. The symptoms will vary according to the substances being used and the general health of users, but they often include excessive sweating, cardiac issues, increased blood pressure, inefficient liver function, bowel irritation, skin rashes, and severe headaches. Addicts who start to feel the pangs of withdrawal may experience diarrhea, unexplained anxiety, and paranoia.

Addiction impacts every aspect of physical and mental health, and it’s a serious problem that requires professional treatment. If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, seek help from a medical professional or another person you trust to help you explore options for treatment and continuing support, such as recovery coaching. Encinitas men who need help with forming new sober lifestyle habits can reach out to the dedicated team at Casa Pacifica Sober Living for the guidance they need. Give us a call today at (760) 230-2996.

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