How to Recognize Substance Dependence

Are You One of the Many? (How to Recognize Substance Dependence)



We deal with stress in our day-to-day lives. Sometimes it causes too much coping that we end up resorting to certain substances that lend temporary relief or ease the tension. Be it alcohol, caffeine, or over the counter medications, there’s a big chance that we might fall prey to the ongoing trend of “substance dependence”.


What is substance dependence? It means having a combination of cognitive (thinking), behavioral (actions) and physiologic (physical) symptoms that indicate the continued use of a certain substance regardless of the significant life problems it causes.


Sounds all too familiar? If you’re not that sure…below are some tell-tale clues you just might be included in the latest statistics of girls and guys hooked on a substance…


  • You develop tolerance. It means that while you are using a substance, you develop a need to increase the amount you take in order to achieve the same effect. Let’s say you’re hooked on coffee. There will come a time when your regular cup can’t satisfy your need to perk up; it simply doesn’t give you the “kick”. So you gulp down 2 or 3 more cups to get the same level of stimulation.


  • Withdrawal signs. The moment you forget to take in a substance, you experience a variety of symptoms such as headache, depression, and anxiety. These can only subside if you have the substance again.


  • No portion-cutting. Once you’re dependent on a substance, you can only increase the dose. There’s just a one way street. You will find it very difficult to cut-down or limit the amount you take. Otherwise, the withdrawal symptoms would resurface.


Since the ultimate defense of substance-dependents happens to be DENIAL, recognizing the familiarity of the signs above could be the first vital step in solving your problem (if you have it). The primary lead in recovery is to first accept the fact that indeed the problem is present. It’s never too late to get help and be free of the addiction…