What are the Common Signs of Addiction?
It’s easy to overlook the common signs of addiction. This is because when your loved one is suffering from this disease it’s difficult for either of you to admit that there’s a problem. Neither of you wants to face the fact that they’re suffering from a disease they can’t control and are unsure about how to deal with the situation.
However, recognizing the signs of addiction and addressing them may save a life. So, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the common signs of addiction, which can be divided into three categories.
Physical Signs of Addiction
When someone has been abusing drugs or alcohol for an extended period of time, they’ll develop a dependency on the substance with the inability to stop. This will lead to a change in their physical appearance; they’ll start to look pale or undernourished, they’ll lose weight, hygiene will start to deteriorate. Often, the focus of their day will be where they can get more of the substance they’re addicted to.
If the addict or alcoholic does manage to stop using their drug or drink of choice after prolonged use, they’ll experience withdrawal, which indicate physiological dependence on the substance. Some of the symptoms of withdrawal include moodiness, anger, seizures, hallucinations, sweats, insomnia, depression, an increase in appetite.
What’s worse is that even though their health is deteriorating, they won’t be able to stop abusing their substance of choice. This, in addition to the effects of the drug itself, will lead to an altered emotional state.
Emotional Signs of Addiction
In addition to the physical effects of drugs and alcohol, it’s important to understand that addicts and alcoholics are often also affected emotionally.
- They’ll become more defensive and irritable.
- They may become more argumentative and become more easily confused.
- You may also notice they have an inability to deal with stress and a belief that the best way to deal with their problems is to consume the substance.
- They’ll try to rationalize the intake of the substance and offer you excuses and justifications for using it.
- They’ll start to blame someone else or a specific event for their addiction.
- To make matters worse, they’re in a complete state of denial over their addiction and are blind to the severity of the problem.
Once again, the dependency combined with the inability to do anything about the problem will lead to an altered emotional state. Specifically, addicts and alcoholics will start to become depressed and will try to hide it from you because of anxiety or a perceived stigma. This stigma will lead to further isolation, as your loved one will continue to abuse the substance when they’re alone.
Behavioral Signs of Addiction
Substance abusers will also develop some different and destructive behaviors. In addition to isolation due to a perceived stigma, they may even avoid social gatherings completely, just because they won’t have access to their drug or drink of choice. For example, they may pass on going camping because alcohol isn’t allowed on the camp grounds. At the same time, they may also start to associate with a new crowd that exhibits the same habits they do.
They’ll also spend more time and energy focusing on ways to get the substance by any means necessary. This may include lying, stealing, reckless behavior, or worse. This is especially true if they don’t have the money to get the substance in the first place. Addicts will spend money they don’t have just to make sure they have an adequate supply of the substance at their disposal.
Their sleep patterns may change and they may miss work or school because they’re using the substance too much. Finally, they may develop marital or relationship problems, making both your lives increasingly difficult.
If you or a loved one is exhibiting any of these signs of addiction, seek out help before it’s too late. The professionals at CARUS Recovery can answer any of your questions about the signs of drug and alcohol addiction and can help guide you and your loved ones to living a better life. To speak with an expert contact us or call us at 877-225-7724. The path to recovery can be difficult for anyone, but it’s not impossible.