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Monday, Aug. 23, 2021

CAUTIONARY TALES

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Addiction criteria for substance abuse

Not everyone who tries drugs for the first time will be instantly “hooked.” But the lure is undoubtedly there and may start innocently enough. “Just a little bump to help me lose weight” or “I’ve got to pull an all-nighter at work,” or “It’s for my nerves, they’re shot.” But soon enough, it starts to take more and more of the substance to get the same results. That is called tolerance, and it seems like your body has become your enemy.

The DSM-5 criteria for addiction indicate that only TWO or more factors within 12 months must occur:

1) You find yourself using more to get the same result;

2) all of your free time is spent on it, whether it’s looking for it, waiting on it, using it, coming down from it, and looking for the funds for the next one;

3) what once held your attention isn’t very important anymore, like hobbies, fun activities;

4) your family, work and school are suffering because of it;

5) you find yourself in precarious, dangerous situations with sketchy people that you would typically not hang with because of it;

6) you try to quit altogether, or at least slow down and are unable to;

7) you are compelled to use it; the cravings seem to take over all control of your mind;

8) if you stop using suddenly, your body goes into withdrawals;

9) you have started to use more than you meant to, or for a longer time than you wanted to;

10) you’ve developed health problems; teeth, skin, lungs; an overall sluggish or lethargic feeling; and 11) your relationships have suffered because of it.

The most important one:

You continue to use, DESPITE negative consequences.

If at least two of these events have occurred in the last 12 months, you may be addicted to that substance, whether it’s meth, alcohol, Subutex, Xanax, coke or any combination thereof. This may be an eye-opener for you, as it creeps up very insidiously before you realize it. Get help now! It’s never too late.

Terri Schaffner, LPC-S, LAC, CCS, is the owner/operator of Active Recovery, LLC, located at 3821 Southern Ave., Shreveport. Call 318-946-8157 or visit www.activerecoveryla.org.

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