Recognizing the signs of addiction can help you or your loved one find the help they need. Upon seeing three or more of these symptoms or common consequences of addiction, a dependence may already have developed. After a dependence forms treatment is the best option to heal and continue life while in recovery.
Avoidance: Those in the initial stages of addiction can sense a lifestyle shift. Recognizing this frequently leads to avoidance. An individual will likely hide lifestyle 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: 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 substance abuse. 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 cause an individual to no longer prioritize what was once important to them. 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 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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