There comes a point in the lives of many young adults when they consider experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Those who experiment don’t expect to develop an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Recent statistics about teen alcohol and drug experimentation are concerning. It is important to understand how harmless experimenting can lead to drug addiction. Once that shift occurs, it is difficult to stop without receiving professional treatment at a drug and alcohol detox center.
At Atlanta Detox Center, our team provides safe drug and alcohol detox and evidence-based addiction treatment. If you or someone you love has moved from drug experimentation to drug dependence or addiction, reach out today by calling 833.631.0534, or you can simply complete our online form. Learn more about how our drug and alcohol detox center can help you get back on the right track.
Is Drug Experimentation a Path to Addiction?
For decades, even centuries, drug and alcohol addiction were viewed as a moral failing or something that happens to “bad people.” Thankfully, we know better now. Addiction is now classified as a substance use disorder, which is a mental illness. Like many other mental illnesses, a substance use disorder cannot be detected by medical tests such as blood work and CAT scans. However, there are ways to assess whether you are likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol if you decide to “just try it.”
Risk factors for addiction include:
- Genetics – In fact, some people have an inherited propensity towards addiction.
- Life experience – Life experience factors include abuse, sexual assault, neglect, social anxiety, or poverty.
- Co-occurring mental health disorders – Substance use escalates quickly for those who self-medicate to dull the symptoms of a mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorders, psychosis, and others.
- Early drug or alcohol use – People who experiment with drugs and alcohol at a young age are at a significantly increased risk of addiction.
If some of these factors apply to you, experimentation with drugs or alcohol puts you at a greater risk for addiction than others with fewer risk factors.
Signs of Addiction
If you start dabbling in alcohol or drugs with friends, how do you know if you’ve slipped beyond recreational fun into the trap of addiction that is so difficult to escape? There is a problem if you notice that you don’t start thinking about when you’ll go out and have a drink because you never stop thinking about your next drink. There is also cause for concern if you are not even having fun when you party with friends because taking your drug just barely gets you back to a place of normal functioning, and without it, you can’t function at all.
What happened? Your body no longer operates independently of the drug or drink. Your brain chemistry is altered to the point where everything from your pleasure centers to your ability to focus is not operating properly.
Signs that you are addicted to drugs or alcohol include:
- Financial stress or even ruin
- Job probation or loss
- Self-justified criminal acts like stealing
- Social isolation and withdrawal from support networks
- Association with a new set of “friends” who enable your drug and alcohol use
- Homelessness/couch surfing/moving back home
- Unbearable cravings and painful withdrawal symptoms if the drug is withheld or unavailable
There is one guaranteed way to avoid addiction, and that is not to experiment in the first place. However, if you recognize yourself or a loved one in the list above, seek alcohol drug addiction treatment sooner rather than later.
Drug and Alcohol Detox at Atlanta Detox Center
Unlike many detox programs, Atlanta Detox Center also specializes in addiction treatment services that come after detox, such as addressing the co-occurring mental health disorders that may be a factor in the drug abuse.
Our compassionate clinical staff will ensure you the greatest possible comfort during the medically assisted detox process, no matter what substance you are leaving behind. We are equipped to safely and securely get the substance out of your system. Once detox is complete, our care coordination team will help you determine which level of substance abuse treatment you will need next.
Begin the Road to Recovery at Atlanta Detox Center
At Atlanta Detox Center and all other Amatus Recovery Centers across the country, we strive to guide you away from the life-threatening disease of addiction and back into society. Learn more today by calling 833.631.0534 or completing our online form.