Know the Signs, Fight Addiction

A young man is talking with a counselor. As a young working professional or student, you probably have a lot of responsibilities in your day-to-day life. You may have a significant other who depends on you for support at home, co-workers who need you to help achieve company goals, friends and family who say they never see you, and maybe even a professor who’s expecting better than a grade of C on your next paper. The pressures of life are starting to take their toll. Your one escape might be a drink or two on the weekends; maybe that turns into a weekly cocktail hour. But is that where it stops?

Addiction is the irresistible compulsion to use alcohol and drugs despite adverse social, mental and physical consequences. It may seem like a far cry from the routine cocktail hour, but addiction is simply characterized by repeated failures to control use. It’s important to recognize the signs of substance abuse, if not for yourself, then for someone you care about.

  • Failure to handle usual responsibilities
  • Poor work or school attendance
  • Home environment suffers
  • Family, co-workers or customer complaints
  • Mistakes and missed deadlines
  • Poor sleep, hygiene and eating habits
  • Change in appearance, personality or attitude
  • Becoming secretive or lying
  • Money issues

Some of these may be a sign of another mental or physical condition, but it’s important to seek medical attention before the condition worsens. Often, someone suffering from a mental condition may become a victim of addiction by using alcohol or drugs to self-medicate. Gaining access to some of these substances can make it easier for the younger generations to begin using, especially pain killers.

BayCare offers substance abuse services for people throughout Hillsborough, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties. If you’d like to learn more about our comprehensive array of services, you can request information by going to the online behavioral information request form. You may also call our registration center to schedule an appointment (877) 850-9613.