Signs & Symptoms Of Addiction
There are a number of different signs and symptoms of addiction. Symptoms are experienced by the person with the addiction, whereas signs are observed by other people.
You can never know what someone else is experiencing unless they tell you, so if you are concerned that someone else may have an addiction, look for signs as well as symptoms.
You might see some of these signs and symptoms but not others in someone who is experiencing addiction. They can still be addicted even if they do not have all of these.
Common signs of addiction include:
- Changes in social groups, new and unusual friends, odd phone conversations
- Drug paraphernalia such as unusual pipes, cigarette papers, small weighing scales, etc.
- Financial problems
- Stashes of drugs, often in small plastic, paper, or foil packages
Common symptoms of addiction include:
Most of the signs of addiction can have other explanations. People can have changes in their mood, behavior, and energy levels for other reasons, including health-related ones.
Be cautious about jumping to conclusions. It is difficult to discern if someone may have an addiction, even if some obvious signs are observed. If you discover drugs or drug paraphernalia, talk with a healthcare provider or an addiction counselor or specialist for guidance on appropriate ways to handle this difficult situation.
Its Not Me Its You: Someone Elses Addiction
Perhaps you are not the one with the problem. Perhaps you have a sibling, a parent, a spouse, a child or a close friend who is exhibiting signs of addiction. You are wondering whether you should step in, but you cant tell for sure if the person is an addict.
Dont be afraid to say something. Addiction is sometimes called a silent killer. It can go undiagnosed for years. Its often up to close family members or friends to step in to help someone face up to their addiction, and that type of intervention is never easy.
Here are some ways you can tell if a family member or close friend is abusing drugs usually a drug addict will display many of these symptoms, not just one or two. Addicts may:
- Become defensive when you mention their drug habit
- Possess drug paraphernalia
- Deny they have a drug habit even though you can clearly see they do
- Flake out on plans, commitments and responsibilities
- Associate with other drug users or dealers
- Display major mood swings
The Difference Between Drug Dependence And Being An Addict
People often mistake physical and chemical drug dependence for addiction however, a person can become dependent on a substance without being addicted to it. When drugs that alter the mind are introduced into the body, changes occur in the brain and its chemical makeup. Certain chemical messengers are affected. These chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, are what tell a person how to feel, which can therefore impact behaviors. For example, most drugs act on the pleasure and reward centers in the brain. Levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are increased, which is what produces the desired high. Inhibitions are often lowered sociability is increased and decision-making abilities are impaired. Those using mind-altering drugs are then likely to put themselves into potentially dangerous situations and therefore be at risk for accidents, injuries, or other actions that may have adverse consequences .
Some drugs, such as stimulants like cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription ADHD medications , speed up central nervous system functions. Heart rate, body temperature, respiration rate, and blood pressure are all increased, along with energy levels, focus and attention, and excitement. The high from stimulant drugs can be very intense and may decrease a persons appetite and keep them awake for long periods of time.
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They Deny Things Even If You Show Them Proof
What Are Physical Signs Of Addiction
Addiction can reveal itself in physical signs, as well as psychological and behavioral ones, although they are not diagnostically specific for the condition. Substance users may have dilated pupils or glazed eyes, slurred speech, and ramble when they talk. They can show changes in movement patternsdepending on the type of substance involved, psychomotor retardation or jumpiness . Substances users often become so preoccupied with getting and using that they forego eating and suddenly lose weight. Another sign of addiction is a shift in sleep and wake patternssleeping too much or too little, or at unusual times.
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They Make You Feel Like Youre Wrong About Everything
You Refuse To Get Help Because You Havent Hit Rock
Since addiction tends to carry a stigma, those who contradict the stereotype of a typical addict often refuse to get help for substance use disorders. Because they havent hit rock-bottom or lost everything important in their lives, most high-functioning addicts feel that they do not have a serious problem with addiction. But at the end of the day, addiction is just as harmful to high-functioning addicts as to any other person, and should be professionally treated at a drug or alcohol rehab center.
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Signs You Are Enabling An Addict
Substance abuse constitutes a huge problem for public health in the US, impacting every aspect of our society. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2017, there were approximately 20.7 million people aged 12 and up who needed treatment for a substance use disorder. Broken down by age range, this comprises one in 24 adolescents aged 12 to 17, one in seven young adults aged 18 to 25, and one in 15 adults aged 26 or older. However, only 19% of them received treatment. Out of the estimated 18.2 million people who needed substance abuse treatment but did not receive it, 94.3% did not think they needed treatment.
Youve Abandoned Activities You Used To Enjoy
Drugs can act as blinders. You may be so obsessed with getting high you begin ignoring things that used to be important to you, such as a fantasy football league, a family pet or even your job. Your need for chemical stimulation becomes so all-consuming that you withdraw from everything that does not bring you closer to that high. If you have closed the door on many of your pre-drug pursuits, you may be an addict.
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What Is The Difference Between Addiction And Substance Use Disorder
Addiction and substance use disorder are two terms for the same condition. The DSM adopted the term Substance Use Disorder in 2015, when it published its fifth edition. As the manual explains: Note that the word addiction is not applied as a diagnostic term in this classification, although it is in common usage in many countries to describe severe problems related to compulsive and habitual use of substances. The more neutral term substance use disorder is used to describe the wide range of the disorder, from a mild form to a severe state of chronically relapsing, compulsive drug taking. Some clinicians will choose to use the word addiction to describe more extreme presentations, but the word is omitted from the official DSM-5 substance use disorder diagnostic terminology because of its uncertain definition and its potentially negative connotation.
Is Addiction In The Mind Or The Body
Addiction involves both the mind and the bodyand every other facet of existence, because they all interact. There is no real distinction between physical addiction and psychological addiction. Substances of abuse affect the reward system of the brain, mediated by the neurotransmitter dopamine. Substance-induced physical changes to the part of the brain that responds to dopamine progressively power the motivation to seek the drug again and again, and, at the same time, lower the capacity for self-control. The physical changes to the pleasure-experiencing centers of the brain induce physical changes to the prefrontal cortex, weakening the capacity for decision-making and impulse control.
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Who Can File A Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
Nursing home abuse is unlawful. Those who engage in abusive behavior can face criminal charges. A nursing home abuse lawsuit can also be filed by victims. This is a civil lawsuit, which is separate from a criminal case. The purpose of a civil claim is for victims to be made whole for damages they endure. They are entitled to be compensated financially for economic and non-financial losses.
Seniors who have been victimized by abusive or neglectful behavior can file a nursing home abuse lawsuit to recover the monetary damages due to them. If seniors are mentally incapacitated, their representative can file a lawsuit on their behalf.
If the abuse results in wrongful death, the seniors estate or close surviving family members can pursue a wrongful death claim.
There are two legal bases for imposing liability that nursing home abuse lawsuits may use to support a civil cause of action.
- Breach of Contract A nursing home and a resident have an agreement where the nursing home agrees to provide a certain level of care in exchange for a fee. When the nursing home does not provide the agreed-upon level of care, a resident may have the right to sue for the failure of the nursing home to do what was promised.
- Violation of Law Nursing homes must comply with both federal and state laws establishing minimum standards of resident care. Failing to meet the minimum care standard gives nursing home residents the right to sue the facility for any damage caused.
Do You Find Yourself Lying For Them Or Making Excuses On Their Behalf
Lying for the addict in order to protect them from consequences or judgment enables the addiction and, in a sense, promotes it. As an enabler, you may find yourself lying to police, doctors, employers or other members of the family to shield the addicted person from facing the outcome of their behavior.
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Are You Enabling Addiction In A Loved One Contact Illuminate Recovery For Help
Substance abuse is a devastating illness with heartbreaking consequences. When someone you love is suffering, you want to do anything you can to help them. But sometimes helping becomes enabling, a destructive and counterproductive process that only extends the addiction. Less than 6% of individuals who need substance abuse treatment will even admit they need treatment, and relapse rates are between 40% and 60%. However, addiction is treatable, and recovery is possible.
If you have found yourself in an enablers role, contact us to discuss how we can help you break out of this harmful role and help your loved one come to terms with their addiction. At Illuminate Recovery, we offer various treatment options to help overcome substance abuse, including inpatient and outpatient services, detoxification, individual therapy, group therapy, medication-assisted treatment, dual diagnosis, and relapse prevention. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.
Sign #1 They Become Secretive
Addiction is a disease that thrives on denial, deception, dishonesty, and deflection. Substance abusers will take great pains to ensure that you dont know whats really going on:
- Keeping secrets
- Going without sleep for long periods of time alternatively, sleeping for abnormally-long periods of time
- Loss of appetite alternatively, ravenous appetite
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You Struggle To Form Your Own Opinions
You often freeze up or feel anxious when someone asks your opinion, because you dont want to risk upsetting or offending people. You may not even know what you think, because you are so focused on pleasing others. Instead of looking inward and asking yourself what you really think or want, you try to figure out what others want you to say in order to be liked.
Providing Them With Money To Support Their Habit
If someone were to tell you that you were financially supporting a loved ones addiction, you may think, I would never give them money for drugs or alcohol I give them money for food, gas, etc. Although its easier to think this way, the reality is, youre fueling their habit. An addict will find ways to eat and get from point a to point b, which is why any disposal money they have, will go to their habit. The same is true when you provide them with a place to stay, and ultimately, a place to use. In this case, an addict will never hit rock bottom, and sadly, they need to.
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You’re Willing To Take Risks And Make Unreasonable Sacrifices
Suddenly, your addiction is the only thing that matters, and you’re willing to go to extreme lengths to fulfill it, even if those lengths are risky and unwarranted. The brains of those who struggle with drug abuse may be wired in a way that finds a good reason to take risks. A report published by Science Daily suggests why that might be the case.
People struggling with drug abuse “have very strong motivation to seek out ‘rewards,'” the report reads. “They exhibit an impaired ability to adjust their behavior and are less fulfilled once they have achieved what they desire,” which is why they tend to take risks that others may deem unnecessary and dangerous.
Youre Spending More Time With Friends Who Use
Those who suffer from addiction tend to spend more time with other people who also use drugs and alcohol. Spending time with friends who also use substances can negate feelings of isolation and loneliness commonly associated with addiction, and make people feel less guilty about their drug use. Take note of the people youve been spending more time with lately, and determine whether these individuals are negative influences driving your addiction.
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They Turn Others Against You
They Tease You Constantly And They Seem To Mean It
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How Do I Know If Im Really An Addict
Life is a series of baby steps along the way and if you add up these tiny little steps you take toward your goal, whatever it is, whether its giving up something, a terrible addiction or trying to work your way through an illness. When you total up those baby steps youd be amazed over the course of ten years, the strides youve taken.
~ Hoda Kotb
Seeking Treatment For Alcoholism And Addiction
Getting clean and sober from drugs and alcohol is the most important thing that an addict or alcoholic can do in their life. At Pinnacle Recovery, we understand this and we are here to help you through the anxiety that going to a treatment center for drugs can bring. With help from our professionals, you can find a new life in sobriety with the least amount of resistance possible, and you can learn what it means to achieve a sustained and happy recovery. So call us today at 1-866-301-0573 and begin your journey to recovery the right way, with Pinnacle Recovery.
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What Is The Difference Between Mild Addiction And Severe Addiction
The severity of addiction is only partially related to the amount of substance a person uses. The difference between mild and severe addiction is the number of the 11 DSM addiction criteria a person meets. The criteria relate to ability to control use, the negative impact use has on self and life, and the existence of physiological dependence. Substance abuse disorder is considered mild in the presence of two or three criteria. It is considered moderate in the presence of four or five signs. In the presence of six or more symptoms, substance use disorder is considered severe. In fact, sometimes the word addiction is reserved for the most severe cases. Because repeated use of a psychoactive substance often creates the motivation for further use, substance abuse is seen as a self-perpetuating disorder and considered to have a high potential for progression.