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Each individual has a different path to addiction which is why Hope Village believes each individual’s recovery path must be unique to meet their needs.

Realizing your drinking or substance use is causing problems in your life is the first indication that dependence or addiction has begun. It is also the first step toward recovery.

As with any disease, addiction is always associated with symptoms. Three basic symptoms or warning signs are physical signs, behavioral signs, and psychological signs.

The first question to ask yourself is whether or not you can stop using on your own? A second most important question is, do you continue to use drugs or alcohol despite the harmful consequences?

The National Institute of Drug Abuse lists these common symptoms of addiction:

  • Changing of friends or changing friends frequently
  • Spending a lot of time alone and choose not to spend time with family and friends like they used to
  • Losing interest in their favorite things
  • Getting messy—for instance, not bathe, change clothes, or brush their teeth
  • Being really tired and sad
  • Having changes in eating habits (eating more or eating less)
  • Being very energetic, talking fast, or saying things that don’t make sense
  • Being nervous or cranky (in a bad mood)
  • Quickly changing between feeling bad and feeling good

If you can’t stop taking a drug even if you want to, or if the urge to use drugs is too strong to control, even if you know the drug is causing harm, you might be addicted. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you think about drugs a lot?
  2. Did you ever try to stop or cut down on your drug usage but couldn’t?
  3. Have you ever thought you couldn’t fit in or have a good time without the use of drugs?
  4. Do you ever use drugs because you are upset or angry at other people?
  5. Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or what it would do to you?
  6. Have you ever taken one drug to get over the effects of another?
  7. Have you ever made mistakes at a job or school because you were using drugs?
  8. Does the thought of running out of drugs really scare you?
  9. Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to pay for drugs?
  10. Have you ever been arrested or in the hospital because of your drug use?
  11. Have you ever overdosed on drugs?
  12. Has using drugs hurt your relationships with other people?
  13. Have you ever felt sick when you stopped using drugs?
  14. Have you returned to taking the drug again to stop from feeling sick?
  15. Are you facing family, health or legal problems because of your drug use?

If the answer to some or all of these questions is yes, you might have a problem with substance use. People from all backgrounds can become addicted. Addiction can happen at any age, to anyone.

Another major indicator that you may have a problem with drugs and alcohol are withdrawal symptoms. Drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms are both physical and emotional; acute and post-acute. They can be very dangerous and require medical supervision to reduce the risk of dangerous complications. If you experience any of the symptoms on this list when you stop using, we recommend you seek treatment immediately.


Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
  • muscle pain and exhaustion
  • excessive hunger
  • lethargy
  • loss of appetite
  • night sweats
  • restlessness
  • shakiness
  • weakness
  • clammy skin
  • feeling cold
  • sweating
  • gagging
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • flatulence
  • stomach cramps
  • insomnia or sleeping difficulty
  • nightmares
  • sleepiness
  • congestion or runny nose
  • dilated pupils and runny eyes


Emotional or Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms
  • agitation
  • crying
  • excitability
  • irritability
  • self-harm
  • delirium
  • depression
  • hallucination
  • paranoia
  • severe anxiety
  • disorientation
  • mental confusion
  • racing thoughts
  • boredom
  • feeling detached
  • loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • nervousness


Dangerous Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Grand mal seizures
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium tremens (DTs)

If you are experiencing seizures, slurred speech, teeth chattering, tingling feet, trembling, or tremors, seek immediate medical care.