Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

In order to correctly identify the signs and symptoms of addiction to alcohol or other drugs, it is important to understand what addiction really is and what it is not. Addiction is defined by the Mirriam-Webster online dictionary as a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.

Addiction is NOT a disease. There is no specific origin known to science, there are no blood tests that can find it and, despite the most confident-sounding researcher, no brainscan can prove its existence. What can be proven, is that people do recover from addiction and can moveon with life. This is a fact and not a theory. This is something we can help you achieve.


Symptoms of Addiction

Symptoms of addiction include he longer someone takes a drug, the more of the drug they need to get the same feeling from it. Tolerance can build from any substance, from something as simple as caffeine or aspirin to prescription medications and street drugs.

Another sign is compulsive use - when someone needs to use a drug over and over again, even if bad things are happening, like with the people they love, or their job, or with the police. Substance abusers often lose their jobs, homes, family, their health, their dignity and ultimately their freedom.

The last major characteristic is withdrawal, which is a set of symptoms that occur if someone suddenly stops taking the drug. Withdrawal can be different for many types of drugs and can range from depressed mood or anxiety to vomiting and even seizures.

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Additional Signs of Addiction

Addiction Signs and SymptomsIncrease or decrease in appetite; changes in eating habits, unexplained weight loss or gain.
Extreme hyperactivity; excessive talkativeness.
Change in overall attitude / personality with no other identifiable cause.
Changes in friends: new hang-outs, avoidance of old crowd, new friends are drug users.
Change in activities; loss of interest in things that were important before.
Drop in school or work performance; skips or is late to school or work.
Changes in habits at home; loss of interest in family and family activities.
Lack of motivation, energy, self-esteem, discipline.
Unexplained moodiness, irritability, or nervousness.
Violent temper or bizarre behavior.
Paranoia -- suspiciousness and extreme anxiety.
Secretive or suspicious behavior.
Car accidents, fender benders, household accidents.
Chronic dishonesty; trouble with police.
Unexplained need for money; can't explain where money goes; stealing.
Change in personal grooming habits. Possession of drug paraphernalia.

There can be other signs not listed here. If you have a question or want to get help for someone who displays some of these symptoms of addiction, contact us today to find addiction treatment help.

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