Genetics of Addiction
Genetics plays an important factor in addiction. If either of your parents had an alcohol or drug abuse disorder, you are eight times as likely to develop one. In fact, genetics may account for 50% of the probability of developing a substance use disorder.
This knowledge is a double-edged sword. It is not an excuse to give up. Instead, the truth can be empowering while you seek drug and alcohol treatment to overcome the hurdles leading to a successful recovery.
Signs of Addiction
Over time, your brain and body build up a tolerance to a substance, requiring you to take more to get the same effect leading to a dangerous pattern of overuse and abuse. For example, if you continue using prescription drugs long after the health problem ends, you could be addicted to it. Similarly, taking more of a prescription drug than needed is a sign of a substance use disorder.
Other signs of addiction include:
- You feel shaky, nauseous, or depressed when the drug wears off
- You may run a fever or have seizures.
- You can’t stop using the drug even if it impacts your relationships and responsibilities
- You spend an unusual amount of time thinking about drinking or using the substance
- You can’t control the amount you use after giving yourself limits
- You drive while drinking or using drugs
- You steal money to pay for drugs
- You may lose weight or have bloodshot eyes, or your appearance may drastically change
Am I an Addict or Alcoholic?
If you identify with more than one of the signs above, you may have a substance use disorder. Using more than the prescribed amount of medication or using drugs without a prescription indicates that you may have a problem.
The American Dietary Guidelines indicate that one standard drink daily for women or two standard drinks daily for men indicates moderate drinking levels. If you exceed that amount, it may be time to speak to a professional to help diagnose whether you have alcohol use disorder.
One standard drink is defined as:
- 5-ounce wine at 12% alcohol content
- 8-ounce malt liquor at 7% alcohol content
- 12-ounce beer at 5% alcohol content
- 5 ounces or a shot of whiskey, gin, vodka, or rum
What is Alcohol Withdrawal?
If you have a longstanding dependence on alcohol, you may experience withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild to chronic. These include:
- Irritability, mood swings, and anxiety
- Increased heart rate
- Nightmares or insomnia
- High blood pressure
- Loss of appetite, nausea
- Shakes or tremors, including delirium tremens
- Alcoholic seizures
Regardless of whether you drink or use drugs, quitting suddenly after long-term use carries severe mental and physical repercussions. That is why it is essential to seek help immediately when you decide to confront addiction head-on. At Dignity Healing, our staff includes medical professionals, trained therapists, and caring staff members to see you through detox and help you prepare for life in recovery.
Do you believe that you or a loved one are suffering from substance abuse? Talk to our experienced addiction professionals by calling: (844) 978-1524