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It is estimated that over 27 million Americans used illicit drugs within a one month time frame. The data reported on people 12 years of age and older. The report showed that 44 million Americans used illicit drugs in the past year, and 130 million Americans reported illicit drug use during their lifetime.

While this report collected information on drug use, it does not clarify between recreational drug use, drug abuse, and drug dependence or addiction. To help Americans answer the question, am I addicted, these terms need to be defined.

Recreational Drug Use

Recreational drug use is defined as any pharmacological substance taken for non-medical purposes. Alcohol and drugs, both illicit and prescription drugs, fall into this category. But caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and colas also fit into this category.

Drug Abuse

Drug abuse is defined as repeatedly using illicit or prescription drugs with negative consequences. These negative consequences can take many forms. Typical consequences associated with drug abuse include:

  • Problems in relationships
  • Problems with work or school
  • Difficulties at home
  • Financial problems
  • Issues with the law
  • Lack of concentration
  • Inability to meet commitments
  • Physical and mental illness

Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is dependence on illicit or prescription drugs. Dependence is a physical or psychological compulsion to use the substance regardless of the negative effects. Drug addiction, or substance use disorder, is not controllable by the addict. Even if the addict wants to stop, the cravings are so intense that help is needed to get the drugs out of the body.

How to Know if Drug Use is a Problem?

Any use of illicit drugs is a problem that can lead to dependency or legal issues.

While others drugs are legal, there are signs that drug use has become an addiction.

Am I Addicted: The Signs of Addiction

The signs of drug abuse are listed above. When you ask am I addicted, consider those above and the following signs of addiction.

  • Tolerance to drugs requiring more and more to get the same high
  • Not able to control drug use
  • Constantly thinking about using or getting more drugs
  • Continued use despite illness or disease
  • Withdrawal symptoms occurring shortly after last usage
  • Choosing isolation instead of normal activities

Seek help if you have answered yes to any of the signs on the two lists.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you answered yes, I am addicted to drugs or alcohol, call Northlake Recovery in Southern Florida at (561)-770-6616. If you are not sure, Addiction Specialists are waiting to help you decide if you have a substance use disorder. Calls are confidential so call today.

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