Recognizing the symptoms that come with addition can help you or your loved one make changes fast. If you believe that you or someone close to you may have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you can start making an assessment yourself. Upon seeing three or more of these symptoms or common consequences of addiction, a dependence may already be in place. After a dependence forms treatment is the best option to heal and continue life while in recovery.
Avoidance: People who are in the beginnings of addiction know that their lifestyle is changing. They know this, and it leads to avoidance. They will hide these changes as much as possible by avoiding family members and close friends. Avoidance makes it especially hard for others to detect a budding addiction.
Tolerance: Having to drink more or take more a drug that you used to for the same effect is a boost in your tolerance. Are your usual few drinks losing its effect? Tolerance is a sign of dependency, and it’s an early sign. Your body is starting to recognize the presence of alcohol or the drug and adapt to it. As you continue to use or drink your tolerance will continue to grow to require that your drink or use higher volumes, more frequently.
Unsuccessful Recovery Attempts: If you have already sought out help and couldn’t stop using your drug of choice, then you likely have a drug dependency problem. Failing at recovery is a common symptom that people experience only after they, or people close to them, identify the dependency.
Health Problems: Coughing, sleeplessness, stumbling, ongoing disorientation, loss of motor function, muscle soreness, and many other health problems come from drug use. This sign of developing an addiction is one that many people overlook.
Denial: To reject the notion that they are experiencing addiction, some people will outright deny it. They will justify their drug use, continue to use, and compare their situation to others. These people will rarely seek help without the involvement of others.
Changes in Interest: Addiction will often put other interests by the wayside, or outright will make then unimportant. Often attaining your drug of choice becomes more important than your hobbies, responsibilities, and other interests. Even family can become a secondary priority as you chase your next high. People with an addiction can lose sight of the things that are important to them and their past interests.
Obsession: A symptom at the more advanced stages of addiction, however, this is an often identified sign. Acting in a frenzied manner, or becoming anxious without their drug of choice means that a passive or recreational use has become an addiction.
Withdrawal: When without their drug of choice for a duration of time, even a short duration, addicts will often experience withdrawal symptoms. Alcoholics will also experience withdrawal symptoms. A fever, cold sweats, shaking, muscle aching, and nausea are common withdrawal symptoms.
Legal Trouble: People experiencing addiction will often come into some trouble with the law. Even when relying on alcohol, which is legal, impaired judgment will usually lead to trouble.
Financial Struggle: Purchasing drugs are expensive, and the behavior that comes with addiction often creates a financial burden as well.
Relationship Issues: As a direct result of avoidance, denial, and obsession, the relationships between the person with the addiction and others can become toxic. Good friends will often outgrow people experiencing addiction, while family, spouses, and children find it difficult to repair broken trust repeatedly.
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