Most drug and alcohol addictions start with experimental use in social situations. For some people, the use becomes more frequent. The risk of addiction and how fast you become dependent varies by drug. Some drugs have a higher risk and cause dependency more quickly than others.
As time passes, you may need larger doses of the drug or alcohol to get high. Soon you may need the drug just to feel good. As your use increases, you may find that it’s increasingly difficult to go without. Attempts to stop using may cause intense cravings and make you feel physically ill (withdrawal symptoms).
Drug and Alcohol abuse symptoms or behaviors include, among others:
|Feeling that you have to use regularly and this can be daily or even several times a day||Doing things to get the drug or alcohol that you normally wouldn’t do, such as stealing|
|Having intense urges for the drug or alcohol||Driving or doing other risky activities when you’re under the influence|
|Over time, needing more of the drugs or alcohol to get the same effect||Focusing more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug or alcohol|
|Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug or alcohol||Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug or alcohol|
|Spending money on the drug or alcohol, even though you can’t afford it||Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop taking the drug or alcohol|
|Not meeting obligations and work responsibilities, or cutting back on social or recreational activities because of drug or alcohol use|