If you think that you or a loved one may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, there are a few addiction signs you can look for or ask yourself. If you can recognize more than three of these symptoms or consequences of drug addiction, a dependence may have already formed, and treatment can help in helping to gain healing and a life in recovery.
Tolerance: Do you have to take or drink more to experience the effects that you once did? This is called tolerance, and is a sign of drug dependence. When the body starts to recognize the presence of a drug, it adapts to it, and requires more to experience its effects.
Unsuccessful Attempts at Recovery: If you have already tried to stop the use of your drug of choice and failed, it’s a sign that you may have developed a drug dependence.
Health Problems: Are you experiencing coughing, sleeplessness, muscle soreness, or other health issues as a result of your drug use and continue to use anyway? This may be a sign of a developed addiction.
Changes in Interests: Often, addiction signs include thinking that attaining a drug is more important than hobbies, interests, responsibilities, and even family. Addicted individuals will commonly lose sight of past interests and things that were important to them so that they can get their next high.
Avoidance: Those who have developed addiction are not oblivious to their changed lifestyles. To keep from having loved ones find out about drug use or to simply stay in their secret box of denial, addicted individuals usually avoid loved ones, family, and even important responsibilities.
Denial: Some individuals who have developed addiction may not wish to believe that they are addicted. Instead, they will make justifications for their drug use and compare their situation to others. Until they can admit that they struggle with addiction, it’s rare that these individuals seek help on their own.
Obsession: Those addicted to drugs or alcohol will be obsessed with obtaining their supply. They may become frenzied or anxious if they cannot find or afford their drug of choice.
Withdrawal: Perhaps one of the most defining characteristics of addiction, withdrawals are symptoms addicted individuals experience once their drug of choice is not administered for some time. Because the body has become dependent on the drug, it reacts adversely when it’s not present, resulting in withdrawal symptoms like fever, shaking, sweating, and muscle aches.
Legal Issues: Those addicted to drugs or alcohol will commonly end up in the hands of the law due to the number of drugs that lead to impaired judgment.
Financial Issues: Not only does drug or alcohol addiction impair judgment, but actually purchasing these items is inevitably a financial burden, especially over time.
Relationship Issues: When using the drug of choice is the only thing on an addicted individual’s mind, it’s hard to be the good friend you once were. Every relationship an addicted individual has is likely to be affected by the consequences of addiction. Whether it’s broken trust due to lying and manipulation or simply avoidance due to denial.
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