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Drug Addiction: Signs, Symptoms & Treatment


What is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction is the inability to stop or manage the taking of legal or illegal substances. An addiction to drugs can have a major impact on the addicts’ health, personal life, professional life and the lives of family members.

If you or somebody you know is struggling with drug addiction, the first step is admitting you need help.

The nature of drug addiction is that you often make excuses and say things like “I don’t want to quit yet, I’m doing ok” or “just one more time and then I’ll stop”.

This is not a weakness on your behalf, it’s simply how addiction works. Drug addiction is a serious condition, considered to be a disease by most of the scientific and medical communities. There is one crucial thing to remember, and this is that it is not your fault.

Once you understand this and take it in, it can become easier to get the help you need as you realise this doesn’t need to be only your burden to carry.

The first step of chemical dependency treatment for drug problems is to realise you have a problem and you need help, and to openly accept this. For many, this is also the hardest part, as we like to believe we have our lives under control and that we can stop at any time, even if deep down we know this isn’t the case.

Even if we admit this outwardly to other people, we can often change our minds internally and continue to use drugs without making any change. To accept this to our friends, family, ourselves, and medical professionals is a huge step that can be damaging to the ego, but it is also a necessary step to overcome your problem and begin your journey to regaining control of your life.

If you are struggling with this, the best first step you can take is to give us a call on 0800 118 2892.

Our friendly, experienced staff are waiting to chat with you and many of them have had drug addiction issues themselves in the past. Their first aim is to simply discuss your drug abuse history, how you cope with it and to help you come to the realisation that you can be happier, you can be well, and you can overcome your addiction completely. All it takes is acceptance, determination, and a little help from us.

Signs of Drug Addiction

Many of the signs of drug addiction are easy to spot whereas others can be slightly more difficult. You may have friends or family members who appear to be high-functioning people but secretly are unable to stop using drugs.

Some of the signs of drug addiction include:

  • An inability to stop or manage their drug-taking through willpower
  • Drastic mood changes
  • Losing interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • An ongoing increase intolerance to the drug
  • Borrowing money or stealing to buy drugs
  • Drastic changes in appearance
  • Trouble conducting simple tasks such as cleaning or cooking
  • Physical and mental symptoms when the drug wears off such as depression, anxiety and insomnia

Spotting these are crucial to taking those first steps to receive help.

Drug addiction symptoms

Drug addiction can be devastating, but many sufferers will hide symptoms for years before recognising there’s a problem. Many addicts can mask them easily, appearing to be highly-functional and still carrying on with everyday activities, but the signs can be there if you look closely.

Being able to identify symptoms in others can help them get the treatment they need quicker, helping them get on the road to recovery.

Some key drug addiction symptoms to look out for include:

  • Mood swings
  • A quick temper or bursts of anger
  • Signs of withdrawal
  • Paranoid behaviours
  • Tiredness
  • Memory problems
  • Financial difficulties
  • Neglecting responsibilities and commitments

If you’re concerned that you yourself are suffering from drug addiction, you might display some of the following symptoms and feelings:

  • Feeling that you need to use a drug, perhaps daily or several times a day.
  • Wanting to take drugs to block out other thoughts and feelings
  • Needing to take increased amounts of drugs to experience the same feelings
  • Spending all of your money on drugs
  • Getting into financial difficulty in order to pay for drugs
  • Engaging in risky behaviours and activities while using the drug
  • Missing key events, neglecting your responsibilities at work or at home
  • Experiencing withdrawals when trying to stop using the drug

It’s important to remember that drug addiction symptoms will vary from person to person. If you or anyone you know is displaying these types of mental or physical symptoms, then it’s important to seek help. Drug addiction treatments can be very effective, but the problem needs to be recognised and identified for positive action to take place.

How Drug Detox Treatment Works

Once you have truly admitted you have a problem, our next step is to figure out the best way forward for you. We have decades of experience providing the absolute best quality treatment for substance abusers in the world, and we are constantly keeping up to date on the latest research and studies, allowing us to trial new effective drug treatments and recovery methods.

The first step of overcoming your addiction is of course abstinence to the point of detoxifying your body of drugs.

This is the most important stage because while the drugs are still in your system, you will always crave more and be under the influence them. We have plenty of effective treatment methods we can try, but almost none of them will work while the drugs are still in your system.

This is also arguably the most difficult part of the entire process as you will be fighting your cravings and your withdrawal symptoms the entire time, painfully aware that using drugs again would relieve the withdrawal.

Luckily we have mastered this part of the process and have a myriad of medications, treatments and therapy that can make the withdrawal process as easy and as manageable as possible.

Your main two options for this stage are:

In the case of milder addictions or if you are unable to spend time away from home, detoxing from home is an excellent method and of course. You won’t truly be alone, as we will hold regular phone calls and consultations with you to keep track of how you’re doing, provide a variety of medications to fight the withdrawal symptoms, and invite you to attend therapy sessions or support groups. This will help to motivate you and keep you going through the difficult times.

In cases of more extreme or long lasting addictions, it might be impossible to detox yourself at home and you may feel like you need constant supervision and encouragement to stop you from relapsing. If this is the case you should attend one of our inpatient rehabilitation clinics.

We have specifically designed these retreats to be as relaxing and stress-free as possible, and you can almost treat it like a holiday, forgetting about work and your other issues, focusing entirely on getting better. You will receive all of the same medications, consultations, support groups etc while being supervised 24/7 and having access to even more treatments, from cognitive behavioural therapy to meditation and more, making sure your mind is occupied and focused on the end goal at all times and removing all temptation to relapse.

Substance Abuse Therapy

Once the detox is complete, your body will be clear of the drugs and withdrawal symptoms. While you aren’t out of the woods yet, and there is still a chance of relapse, this allows us a blank slate to continue providing therapeutic discussions and medical advice to help you truly overcome your addiction and get back to your real self – and without the withdrawal symptoms screaming at you to use again, you will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel yourself and make progress you previously didn’t believe was possible.

After a week or two of this, most of our clients are overwhelmed by how much better they feel and the enthusiasm they have for life.

This is a great time to take up a sport or a new hobby and focus on it, distracting you from your cravings and giving you a new outlet to be proud of.

We will encourage this and give you access to spa sessions, fitness classes, yoga, acupuncture, aromatherapy, creative sessions and more.

We even offer professional, curated nutritional plans for you. While this may sound unnecessary, it is actually a crucial part of recovery as a healthy body and mind will make the whole recovery process easier, and replenishing vitamins and minerals that may have been lost by your drug use will make you feel healthier quicker which can be extremely encouraging and help with motivation.

Drug Treatment Aftercare

Many people with drug addictions have one major worry when it comes to seeking help and substance abuse treatment. They believe that even if they are successfully treated for drug abuse during their rehabilitation and become clean for a while, that the moment they return back to their regular life and see the same friends and the same routine, that they will be tempted to use again.

To help combat this we provide a fully comprehensive aftercare programme, where you will still have access to therapy sessions, support groups and have regular contact with our doctors and nurses, allowing us to keep track of how you’re going and help you with any temptations.

If you believe you are at high risk of relapse, we can even provide regular drug tests to make sure this doesn’t happen. This has the added benefit of letting us know if it does happen, allowing us to react immediately and possibly even invite you back to spend further time at our rehabilitation clinic if necessary in extreme cases.

Book a Free Tour on a Centre Near You

As already mentioned, the first step of the journey is to admit you have a problem. The second is to call us to get some friendly, professional, no-obligation advice.

We can discuss your drug abuse history, your cravings, any concerns you may have, and give reliable advice on how to treat your addiction.

We can provide accurate and unbiased information on the following:

  • NHS facilities for drug addiction in your area
  • Private rehab facilities in your area including our own and others
  • Our detox at home programme and whether we think it’s a viable option for you

We can even schedule a free tour of one of our national rehab facilities, allowing you to learn more about our specialised treatments and the environments in which you can receive them.

This is once again free of obligation meaning you won’t be pushed into anything, but if we believe a specific treatment is ideal for you and can get your life back on track, we will make this clear.

You can also find a rehab centre near you or view our dedicated substance pages:

We hope this page has gone some way towards making you feel confident enough to help us to help you.

The most important thing to remember is that drug addiction is not your fault, it’s a real disease, and it can be overcome with professional help. To begin your journey to overcoming drug dependency, contact us now and let’s have an open, honest discussion.

We are always available on 0800 118 2892 and our friendly expert doctors, therapists and nurses are waiting to hear from you!

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  • Continuously taking drugs that are no longer needed for a health problem
  • Building up a tolerance against the drugs
  • Feel shaky, depressed, stomachaches, intense sweating, headaches and more intense symptoms when the drugs wear off
  • Even when drug addiction is hurting your loved ones, you still can’t stop
  • You spend time thinking about how to get drugs, when to take it, how good it feels.
  • Having a hard time giving yourself limitations to drug use
  • Losing interest in extracurricular or social activities that don’t involve drugs
  • Losing priority over personal & professional responsibilities
  • You borrow or steal money to pay for drugs
  • Having trouble to get along with family and colleagues. They complain about your actions or how you’ve changed.
  • Sleeping and eating too much or too little
  • Drug addiction reflects on your physical appearance. Bloodshot eyes, bad breath, tremors, blood nose, or you may have gained or lost weight.
  • You have a new set of friends with whom you do drugs and go to different places to use the drugs.
  • Drug inpatient detox
  • Drug home detox
  • Drug rehab
  • Intervention
  • Counselling
  • Group Therapy
  • Rehab facilities

We have rehab and detox clinics all across the UK to help you on your journey to recovery. Find rehab centres & facilities near you

For more information on how much drug addiction treatment costs, please visit our pricing page.

The best way to get started is to give us a call at 0800 118 2892 for free advice and assessment. Let us help you or your loved one figure out the best treatment plan for your drug problems so you can get started on your journey to recovery.

  • Keep track of the volume of your drug use to have a better understanding of the role of drug addiction in your life.
  • Consider the impact of your drug use to the things that matter most to you, such as your partner, your children, your career and your health.
  • Consider getting advice from a person you trust about your drug use.
  • Remind yourself of the reasons why you want to change for the better.
  • Analyse your attempts at recovery. What worked and what didn’t?
  • Set specific, measurable goals, such as time and limitations you’ve made to recover from drug addiction.
  • Consider to open up to your loved ones that you’re committing to recovery and seek for their support.