Drug addiction, or drug use disorder, means that there is a physical dependence on the abused substance. There are indeed countless underlying psychological and behavioral factors involved in addiction, as well as genetic predisposition. But one of the biggest reasons someone stays “hooked” is the physical dependence that leads to withdrawal when the drug is withheld. Drug detox is the first order of business in a drug addiction treatment center program because that physical dependence must be severed for recovery.
To learn more about our drug addiction treatment center program, reach out to Amatus Recovery Centers. Our knowledgeable staff can answer your questions and offer you any guidance you seek. Call 833.631.0525 or use our online form.
Symptoms of Physical Dependence on Drugs
Sometimes we “sense” or worry that someone we care about is abusing an addictive substance. We can think of a few stories that make us wonder, and yet we are not sure if we should say something because we don’t have “proof.” Though the only absolute proof of physical dependence on a drug is withdrawal when it is withheld, other signs are dead giveaways. If your loved one exhibits any of these, or more than one—or all five—there is real reason for concern that there is physical dependence. If you recognize yourself in the list below, reach out for help. There should exist no shame or judgment regarding this illness. The important thing is to get help.
5 Signs of Physical Dependence to Drugs
1. Ever-Increasing Tolerance
The same amount of the drug that once resulted in a high is no longer enough. The more someone uses a substance, the more the body adapts and becomes tolerant, requiring ever more and frequent doses to get the same results. The brain chemistry of someone dependent on drugs like meth or Oxy actually changes, handing over responsibility for pleasure, for example, to the drug and losing its own ability to feel things without increasing amounts of the drug.
2. Physical Cravings
Beyond the psychological desire that the workday could end and a drink or pill was in the offing, physical craving is extremely hard to ignore or be distracted from, and it causes painful symptoms. The metabolites left in the body’s fat cells from the metabolized drugs that have been abused are released into the body, especially at stressful times, reminding the body of what is missing and creating cravings over which the person has no control.
3. Weakened Immune System
The assault on the body of extreme drug use and the body’s growing dependence on the drug to function compromises the immune system over time. The result is a general feeling of illness and malaise. Flu-like symptoms are common, as are other immune system issues, making the person who is dependent on drugs more likely to fall ill and be unable to fight off a virus or infection. Increasing drug use can mask these symptoms up to a point, with the ultimate result of making things worse.
4. Brain Effects
Memory, mental clarity, and the ability to focus are all casualties of drug dependence. If you or someone you know shows signs of mental decline, and you suspect substance abuse, dependence, and addiction are quite likely.
5. Physical Changes
Most common among the physical changes brought on by drug dependence is rapid weight loss. If someone you are worried about is disappearing before your eyes, a serious undiagnosed illness or drug dependence are the two most likely culprits. In fact, drug addiction is a life-threatening illness and deserves the same attention and intervention as any other disease.
Other signs of physical dependence on drugs include:
- Needle marks on arms
- Bloody nose
- Dilated pupils
- Lack of hygiene
Physical dependence is the beginning of the excruciating cycle of drug abuse. Until that dependence is safely and completely broken, the substance is the only thing that will make someone with addiction feel better and the only thing that person will really be able to focus on—more than family, career, and past joys that have lost their luster.
Reduce or Eliminate Dependence and Addiction at Amatus Recovery Centers
The best option to tackle drug dependence and addiction is professional drug addiction treatment, starting with evidence-based, medically monitored detox. For information about this and subsequent steps on the road to recovery, contact us today at Amatus Recovery Centers. We are glad to help. Use our online form to initiate contact or call us at 833.631.0525.