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Learn to spot the behavioral warning signs that often indicate a substance abuse problem.

Some of the warning signs of addiction can include:

  • A preoccupation with using (thinking about getting or using drugs or alcohol a lot) – making sure that you’ll have as much as you’ll need to get you through.
  • Using or drinking every day
  • Trying to cut down your use, but being unable to do so
  • Feeling like you need your drug of choice, or feeling withdrawal symptoms when you can’t get it or don’t take it
  • Spending more than you can afford on drugs or alcohol
  • Getting in trouble at work, at school, with friends or with family for your drug or alcohol use
  • Feeling angry or irritated when people question you about how much you use or drink
  • Hiding your use, or lying about how much you use
  • Feeling like you need a drink or a hit early in the day

Can Addiction Be Cured?

If you participate in a professional addiction treatment program, you have a very good chance of achieving remission from drug or alcohol use - and the longer you can stay in recovery, the better your chances of avoiding a relapse back to use.

That being said, relapse is a very common stage in the disease’s progression. Addiction seems to create some changes in the brain that endure for a lifetime, and many people will need more than one period of treatment during that time.

Doctors cannot currently ‘cure’ addiction, but treatments do work and they can help you to stop using to achieve remission. Some people can stay in remission indefinitely, while other people may need intermittent periods of treatment after relapses, to maintain the gains of treatment.

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Page last updated Aug 05, 2010

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