Common Signs Of Addiction

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Whether it is drug abuse or alcoholism, individuals exhibit some common signs of addiction that can be used to identify the problem and find appropriate treatment. In fact, addiction can happen to anyone regardless of age or gender. Knowing the common signs can help to take proper measures to overcome the underlying issues and achieve recovery. In course of time, problems associated with addiction will get worse and a longer recovery period may be required to get rid of the problem.

Behavioral Signs of Addiction

Addiction doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a very long time for an individual to get addicted to drugs or alcohol. Similarly, changes in behavior also happen gradually. Once a person becomes addicted, he/she may lose interest in the regular activities. For example, a sportsperson may suddenly lose interest in sports and spend more time alone. The behavioral change is more obvious when a partygoer suddenly stops socializing with everyone. Also, a person who takes interest in health and fitness may stop exercising and lose appetite. However, these changes can occur due to many reasons. So care should be taken when confirming whether a person has addiction or not depending on his/her changes in behavior.

Signs of Addiction: New Friendships

Addicts do not usually like to hang out with friends who criticize them. Sometimes, even close friends may find it really difficult to recognize that their friend is an addict. The addicts may tend to build new friendships with people who abuse drugs or alcohol. The addicts may not be even realizing that they are doing something wrong, as addiction has the ability to create a positive attitude towards drug or alcohol use in their mind. Such changes may always indicate that something funky is going on.

Signs of Addiction: Issues at Work or School

Once addiction has taken its hold, it will be extremely difficult for the user to concentrate on studies or work. More and more issues may come up that is capable of destroying a career or a child’s future. The addict may also lose interest in attending school. Even the career will be at risk due to poor performance. When the addict loses his/her control over the addictive substance, he/she may be compelled to take sick leave unnecessarily to recover from the effects of the substance. When a normally responsible person forgets about the commitments and misses deadlines repeatedly, the real issue should be addressed immediately.

Physical and Psychological Signs of Addiction

Severe addicts may not spend time grooming or showering, so they may get smelly and scraggly. Even though this sign may not indicate addiction in some people, it’s something to watch out for. Even eating and sleeping habits may be affected leading to sleeplessness or extreme fatigue, and loss of appetite. Crystal meth addicts may suffer from insomnia for days. They may also show an increased appetite and consume sugary foods. Sudden loss or gain of weight can also be another sign.

Addicts may exhibit profound changes in their personality as well. All addicts believe that there is something wrong with them and what they are doing is not right. Placing the blame for their behavior on others is an old ploy of addicts. All addicts want to hide their problem. But when the real truth is revealed, they may start to tell lies to cover up the problem. Early recognition of the signs of addiction can lower the risk of losing loved ones and save relationships.


Diane Olivarez is a licensed medical professional and a writer. She founded Hitachi Aloka in 2015 to provide medical related content to the online community.

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