As time goes on, more people are struggling with chemical dependency and other mental health concerns. Major impacts such as the global pandemic have affected individuals in numerous ways, which has led many of them to turn to alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism.
To ensure these problems don’t continue, it is vital that everyone is educated on factors of substance abuse, what it is, and the easiest ways to determine if someone has a problem. From there, the next step is to get treatment for those with chemical dependency issues.
What is Chemical Dependency?
Chemical dependency, also known as substance abuse, occurs when a person heavily relies on drugs or alcohol in their life. Through consistent use of these substances, many people end up having problems with family relationships, troubles at their place of employment, issues with concentrating at school, and other day-to-day choices.
Some of the most common chemical dependency problems stem from the use of:
- Alcohol (most common)
- Prescription pain medication
- Anxiety pills
- Psychoactive drugs
- Chemical vapes and Inhalants
Medical professionals often consider chemical dependency a diagnosable brain disorder. Many individuals who struggle with substance abuse find trouble handling various aspects of their lives, which can negatively affect their relationships, cause problems at school or work, and even lead to legal issues.
How to recognize if you have a chemical dependency
The recent global pandemic has been one of the biggest contributors to individuals struggling with chemical dependency. The more people who run into these problems, the more essential it is that we all are able to tell when someone is suffering from substance abuse.
A few of the most noticeable signs of chemical dependency include:
- Constant fatigue or sleepiness
- Significant weight loss
- Red eyes
- Lack of hygiene
- Anxiety symptoms
- Depressive state
- Rapid heart rate or high blood pressure
- Sleep troubles
It is common for people with substance abuse to show symptoms of withdrawal when they go too long without drugs or alcohol. They’ll also put a big chunk of their time and effort toward getting these substances, often spending large amounts of money to buy some. As their use grows, they’ll also begin to require more alcohol or drugs before they’ll feel its effects.
Questions to ask for a chemical dependency evaluation
Doing a chemical dependency assessment of either yourself or a loved one is a great way to determine if they have a problem with substance abuse.
By going over a few questions, it will become clear whether the individual is dependent on these items or not. From there, you’ll want to make sure anyone who is struggling gets the professional care and treatment they need.
Have you been consuming large amounts of alcohol on a consistent basis?
It’s important to recognize the difference between frequent social drinking and someone who has a chemical dependency on alcohol. It becomes evident that there is substance abuse when alcohol is negatively impacting their work, school, and/or personal relationships. They will also have withdrawal symptoms like sweating, insomnia, headaches, nausea, or vomiting if they ever try to quit.
Have you attempted to limit or stop your drug or alcohol use but can’t do it on your own?
Many people may already know they have an issue with chemical dependency but will give up hope when they can’t stop by themselves.
Do you constantly end up in ‘recovery mode’ due to alcohol or drug abuse?
Someone with a substance abuse problem will be on a downward spiral that leaves them struggling to maintain a consistent schedule or even get up in the morning.
Do you find yourself craving drugs or alcohol?
When it comes to chemical dependency, the ‘want’ for alcohol or drugs eventually turns into a craving or even a full-fledged ‘need’.
Is alcohol or drug use negatively affecting your work, school, or relationships?
Missing job assignments and failing to turn in homework or even problems with friends or family could be signs that alcohol or drug use is a concern.
Do you want to do drugs or alcohol in spite of it ruining your relationships?
Personal relationships tend to go by the wayside and become an afterthought when someone is struggling with chemical dependency.
How to get treatment for chemical dependency
To ensure that you or your loved one can get the help that is needed, Orange County Behavioral Health offers effective chemical dependency treatment and support. Our programs are made to supplement help with other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD.