There’s a persistent misconception that addiction results from poor judgment or an inherent flaw. The truth is that substance use disorders are a brain disease that can affect anyone, especially if they have a family history of drug abuse or mental illness. This Men’s Health Month, knowing the warning signs to look for can help you figure out if someone you care about is risking harmful consequences by abusing drugs.
A tolerance occurs when someone’s brain has adapted to having drugs in their system. These substances are literally mind-altering because they cause the brain’s reward and pleasure centers to rewire themselves. At that point, it will require higher doses of drugs to feel the same desirable results. That’s why even beneficial prescription medications can be addictive, especially if people take them differently than instructed.
2. Cravings and Withdrawal
Drug abuse will eventually lead to a physical and psychological dependence. Then, when your loved one tries to quit, he’ll experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms, which can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening. These effects can be severe enough to cause a return to substance use, even if he is determined to stop.
3. Irresponsible Behavior
Drugs lower inhibitions and can make people feel invincible, which might lead them to do things like drive under the influence, have unprotected sex or start fights. A worsening addiction can also lead your loved one to lie or steal to maintain his drug habit – which could eventually result in legal or financial difficulties.
4. Strained Relationships
Deceit and denial are hallmarks of substance use disorders, and can steadily widen a rift between a drug user and his friends and family. By prioritizing drug use over other hobbies and interests, your loved one will become increasingly isolated. As an addiction progresses, he might prefer to use drugs alone and in secret because he doesn’t want anyone to know how bad things have gotten.
5. Mental Health Disorders
People with addiction are more vulnerable to mental health issues, and vice versa. If your loved one struggles with illnesses such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD, using drugs could seem like a temporary escape from his symptoms. Sadly, this misplaced coping mechanism will further chip away at his mental well-being.
Where Men Recover
The Last Resort Recovery Center is a renowned, accredited addiction treatment center dedicated to treating men in a gender-specific environment. We’ve designed our programming around evidence-based practices and 12-step integration to help men overcome a dual diagnosis and lead a healthy, drug-free life. Our multifaceted continuum of care features individual, group, and experiential therapies – including our acclaimed equine-assisted program.
At The Last Resort, our team will work with you to address the underlying factors contributing to your mental illness and substance use disorder. Our proven path to recovery features accredited programming and in-depth treatment protocols. To break the cycle of addiction and improve your overall well-being, please contact us today.