Home Health What Are the Signs of Addiction?

What Are the Signs of Addiction?

by Paul Petersen

Recognizing signs of addiction is one of the first places to begin when getting help. There are physical, behavioral, and psychological signs.

Behavioral Signs

These signs are an individual’s outward relations with the world while physical signs relate to the body. There are many different behavioral signs but there are some more common ones.

Obsessive Actions and Thoughts: Addiction can become the main priority in someone’s life and other obligations, such as family and work, are ignored.

Loss of Control: Even if the individual wants to stop their addictive behavior, he or she can’t do so.

Denial of Addiction: When you confront the individual battling addiction, he or she will deny or downplay their addiction. In order to avoid having to explain the situation, he or she will do the addictive behavior in secret. This means addiction can remain hidden for a long time. If the addiction is too dramatic then the person is able to spiral out of control.

Physical Signs

The physical signs of addiction manifest as side effects of use either during use or as the result of withdrawal. It can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the physical signs but there can be some severe effects that require some immediate treatment. It’s also important to note that withdrawal symptoms happen when the body adjusts to the familiar quantities of the drug. Physical signs can include small or enlarged pupils, insomnia, bloodshot eyes, sudden weight gain or loss, poor physical coordination, slurred speech, or looking unkempt. Signs of overdose can include drowsiness, agitation, difficulty breathing, vomiting and nausea, hallucinations, and loss of consciousness. Withdrawal symptoms can include trembling, depression, headaches, fever, confusion, hallucinations, and seizures.

Psychological Signs

Addiction also affects a person’s psychological state. When someone is in the grip of addiction, he or she may not realize the changes. Some of these psychological signs can include anxiousness, inattentiveness, lack of motivation, changes in personality or attitude, unexplained paranoia, and sudden mood swings. Family members are usually key people in getting someone into rehab. Witnessing some of these signs will usually motivate someone who is concerned to take action, even if the addicted person is a hindrance to the process.

There are different signs depending on the type of addiction. When a family member knows the particular drug or drugs being abused, they are able to develop a deeper understanding and learn additional ways to help their loved ones. For example, if you suspect your loved one has a heroin addiction, you may not even know what the substance and the paraphernalia look like, which can make it hard to recognize the signs. Some of the paranoia includes lighters, cut up straws, spoons with burn marks, and needles. Some of the signs include disorientation, shallow breathing, weight loss, tremors, and stomach or muscle cramps.