Most drug abuse start out small, usually with casual social use on the weekends. For many people, the problem never goes further than this, and drug treatment never becomes necessary. For others, use becomes more frequent, and they may need larger and larger doses of the drug to achieve the same effect. After a while, drugs become the only way to feel good, it becomes increasingly difficult to go without them, and attempts to quit are met with severe withdrawal. Once you reach this point, drug treatment is a necessity.

If you’re not sure whether you or someone you love is in need of drug treatment, here are some of the most important signs to look for:

  1. You feel that you need to have the drug every day or even multiple times per day, and you panic when you don’t have the drug.
  2. You have tried and failed to quit the drug multiple times in the past, and it’s clear that going cold turkey or trying to quit on your own is not going to work.
  3. You spend money on drugs even when that money should be going toward other things.
  4. You have resorted to immoral, unethical, or deceptive tactics in order to get the drug. If you feel shame about anything that you’ve done to support your habit, there’s a good chance you need drug treatment.
  5. You use the drug in response to stress or to deal with your emotions.
  6. Your drug use has been associated with other risky activities such as driving under the influence.
  7. Your habit continuously escalates. You spend more and more of your time and energy obtaining the drug and using it, and other aspects of your life have faded into the background. If your life is increasingly controlled by the drug, then you probably need drug treatment.