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What Are Warning Signs of Dependence?

The dependence phase of addiction happens when we have started to abuse a substance or behavior and are beginning to become mentally, emotionally and physically dependent upon it. This particular stage in our addictive cycles can be especially hard to detect, and it can take us by surprise and feel as though it has hit us without warning. We’re often not conscious when we’re abusing a drug or behavior, and we’re not aware once we’ve become dependent upon it. We often aren’t mindful of the changes going on within us and in our lives until they’ve taken root, created turmoil and wreaked havoc we can no longer ignore. What are some warning signs of dependence?

When we’re first developing a dependence issue, many of us will begin to feel instinctively, that we can’t live without alcohol or our drug of choice. We feel we need it to cope and even to survive. We tell ourselves it’s helping us manage our stress, cope with the demands of our work, or handle our relationship issues. We begin to feel as though we need it in order to find some semblance of happiness, to get through the day, or to help ease our pain. We can become angry and irritable when we don’t have it. We can become resentful and volatile towards the people who are trying to make us quit, who we feel are meddling in our business, trying to control us and robbing us of our joy. We might lash out at them. We might experience harsh mood swings. We might develop depression, anxiety and other mental health issues related to our developing addictions. We might feel panicked, confused, overwhelmed and disoriented when we don’t have access to alcohol or our drug of choice. We might isolate ourselves, feeling as though we can’t cope with the outside world without something to help ease our difficulties.

Physically we may show signs of dependence such as strong, intense physical cravings where we are literally yearning for our drug of choice. The temptation that we think and obsess about, and feel emotionally, might begin to manifest as physical symptoms – restlessness, uneasiness, pain and discomfort, hyperactivity, fidgeting, and difficulty sitting still, panic attacks, insomnia, and eating disorders. We might have become so accustomed to using and needing our drug of choice that our bodies have become chemically dependent upon them.

While we often aren’t aware of the development of our dependence issues until it’s too late, there are in fact some warning signs that fellow addicts and those just beginning to fall into patterns of addiction might be able to learn more about in order to prevent them from worsening.

At The Guest House Ocala, we have personal recovery experience and over 12 years in the recovery industry. We have helped countless people recover, and we’re here to help you too. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.