Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

IDENTIFYING ADDICTION

Drug and alcohol addiction typically starts off as recreational, whereby the individual drinks and/or uses in a social setting. The disease is progressive, which means that as time passes, he or she will exhibit a higher tolerance, frequently engage in the behavior and experience intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Below is a list of the common signs of addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use disorder, get help now.

Physical Signs of Addiction

  • Over-active or under-active (depending on the drug)
  • Repetitive speech patterns
  • Dilated pupils, red eyes
  • Excessive sniffing and runny nose (not attributable to a cold)
  • Looking pale or undernourished
  • Clothes do not fit the same
  • Weight loss
  • Change in eating habits
  • Unusual odors or body odor due to lack of personal hygiene

Behavioral Signs of Addiction

  • Missing work/school
  • Work/school problems
  • Missing important engagements
  • Isolating/secretive about activities
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Legal problems
  • Relationship/marital problems
  • Financial problems (e.g. always needing money)
  • Conversations dominated by using or drug/alcohol related topics

Emotional Signs of Addiction

  • Irritability/Argumentative
  • Defensiveness
  • Inability to deal with stress
  • Loss of interest in activities/people that used to be part of their lives
  • Obnoxious
  • Silly
  • Confused easily
  • Denial
  • Rationalizing – Offering alibis, excuses, justifications, or other explanations for their using behavior
  • Minimization – Admitting superficially to the problem but not admitting to the seriousness or full scope of the behavior or consequences
  • Blaming – Placing the blame for the behavior on someone else or some event
  • Diversion – Changing the subject to avoid discussing the topic

Three Cs of Addiction

  • Loss of control over the amount and frequency of use
  • Craving and compulsive using
  • Continued use in the face of adverse consequences

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