The symptoms and signs
How do I know if I have a drug addiction ?
Drug dependency or substance abuse occurs when an individual needs a particular substance to function in every day life. Gabor Mate defines addiction as any behaviour that is associated with craving and temporary relief, and with long-term negative consequences, that a person is not able to give up. This is not confined to substances only— it’s any behaviour that has temporary relief and negative consequences and loss of control.
There are several stages of drug use that may lead to addiction. There is no standard time frame for progressing through these stages though young people tend to move more quickly through them.
Most often involves peers and done for recreational purposes. The person using may enjoy the thrill of defying parents or other authority figures.
The person using may start to miss more and more school or work because of their use. There is a constant concern about getting the drug or losing the drug source. The using tends to be a remedy for uncomfortable feelings or situations. The person using has started withdrawing from family and friends and associating more with friends who use. The tolerance to the drug of show has increased.
Problem or risky use
All motivation has been lost with little to no regards for school or work. Behavioural changes are obvious and thinking about drugs and using drugs is more important than all other interests, including relationships. There person using may have become very secretive or started to deal drugs in order to support their habit. Use of harder drugs has intensified and legal issues have started to increase.
The person using cannot face their life on a daily basis without drugs but often denies they have a problem. The physical condition of the user gets worse with an apparent loss of control over their use. They may become suicidal with financial and legal problems increasing.
The symptoms and behaviours associated with substance abuse:
- Continued drug use even when it is impacting, work, or family negatively
- Violent episodes
- Defensiveness and aggressive behaviour when confronted about drug use
- Lack of control of drug use, being unable to reduce or stop using
- Making excuses to use drugs
- Missing work or school, or a decrease in performance
- Needing drugs to function on a daily basis
- Neglecting to eat
- Lack of care regarding physical appearance
- No longer taking part in activities because of drug abuse
- Secretive behaviour to hide drug use
- Using drugs even when alone
Whatever stage of the addiction process you have sought help in, the team at Byron Private treatment centre understand that drugs have performed an important role in managing the underlying stresses and issues in your life. With the assistance from Byron Private's doctor and psychiatrist the clinical team will develop a treatment program grounded in a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach.
You are supported throughout our residential drug rehabilitation program by a team of highly qualified and experienced practitioners who have a deep and thorough understanding of substance abuse and the underlying issues, many having walked the same path also. With regular psychotherapy sessions, group therapy and a range of healing integrative therapies, you will be on a path to understanding the function of your drug use and how to best cope and thrive in life, free from the grips of addiction.
Byron Bay is defined by its large community of individuals in recovery from drug addiction who attend regular meetings, groups and other events. Byron Private facilitates support to connect and engage with the recovery community in Byron Bay providing you with more healthy connections that can alleviate the shame and loneliness that often accompanies addiction. We support those in treatment for drug addiction to continue developing and practising the tools they learn while in rehabilitation by developing a thorough aftercare plan. This involves developing not only an ongoing recovery program but having appointments in place post treatment with allied health professionals. Statistically those who continue to commit and work on their plan they have developed with us during treatment experience deeper recovery and reach their long term program goals.
Byron Private offers an effective pathway to recovery for those struggling with mental health, addictions, PTSD and eating disorders. If you or someone you love is struggling, please reach out to our clinical team for a confidential discussion on 02 6684 4145 or via our online contact form.