Early Warning Signs Of Addiction
Regardless of if you are a parent, a friend, a relative or the person in question themselves, addiction is not necessarily one of the things you would expect to be sneaky. There may be something of a misconception that, most of the time, addictions are obvious. That there are obvious signs of addiction and a way to identify someone struggling with an addiction from the first meeting. Erratic behavior, or certain physical features, or even matters of hygiene.
But the truth is that addiction can hide in a person, to the point that many do not even realize they are struggling with an addiction until it is undeniable. The differences and warning signs of addiction are subtle in the best of times, and harmful yet inconclusive in the worst of times. Only a professional and the person themselves can declare someone an addict but there are warning signs that, if diligently followed up upon, could reveal something critical.
Before we go into what signs of addiction to look out for when searching for early addiction, it is important not to forget the importance of basic decency and compassion. Nothing destroys the trust between two people like unfair assumptions and quick judgment. And if you truly want to help someone, then trust is imperative.
Signs Of Addiction: Altered Behavior
Behavioral changes are definitely a reason to suspect an addiction. An addiction to drugs or alcohol can actually change who you are and how you perceive the world. It can cause an outgoing, thoughtful person to become antisocial and paranoid.
If a person keeps to one routine, but then drastically changes it, addiction could be the reason. Addiction can change a persons priorities as well as his or her sleep schedule.
Top 11 Signs You Have A Sugar Addiction
If you feel as though you might have a sugar addiction, this article is a must-read. Well discuss what sugar addiction is, its signs and symptoms, and how it affects your health.
The purpose of this article is to spread awareness and deliver information about sugar addiction. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any physical or mental health condition.
Its best to discuss subjects like addiction and mental health with a qualified, licensed professional. Were just here to help you figure out if you might have a sugar addiction.
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Learn About Heroin And Substance Abuse
Heroin addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that is characterized by changes in the brain and uncontrollable drug-seeking behaviors despite the negative consequences. Heroin is a synthesized opioid analgesic that comes from the Asian opium poppy plant. When used, heroin converts to morphine in the body. This substance is used on the streets as a recreational drug, also commonly called black tar, smack, brown, or tar. Upon initial use, people who use this drug feel a rush of pleasure, a sense of wellbeing, and joy. These strong feelings associated with the drug leave a user wanting more, which quickly leads to tolerance and addiction.
Heroin can be abused in a variety of ways it can be injected intravenously, inhaled in powder form, or smoked. Each method of use quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier.
When heroin enters the brain, it is converted back into morphine, binding to opioid receptors that are located throughout the brain and body. Opioid receptors are involved in pain perception and reward, which is why using heroin increases pleasurable feelings and decreases pain.
What Are The Signs Of Having A Problem With Drugs
Addiction can happen at any age, but it usually starts when a person is young. Its the result of changes in the brain that can come from drug use. Addiction affects how people think and what they do. But what exactly are the signs?
First, its important to know that there is no type of person who becomes addicted. People can face addiction no matter where theyre from, what they look like, or how much money they have.
One important sign of addiction is that a person continues to use drugs even though its harming their life: physical health, performance at school or work, or relationships. They feel like they cant stop using drugs, no matter what happens.
Other signs can include:
- Hanging out with different friends than usual.
- Not caring about their appearance.
- Getting lower grades in school.
- Missing classes or skipping school.
- Losing interest in their favorite activities.
- Getting in trouble in school or with the law.
- Having different eating or sleeping habits.
- Having more problems with family members and friends.
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Signs Of Addiction Is Not Always Drug Use
While these may be early warning signs of addiction , they are not necessarily indicative of addiction. Instead, they are a sign that something has gone wrong between you and the person you are suspecting, specifically along the lines of communication and trust.
Drug addiction is a terrible thing, but it is not the only cause of bad behavior or dishonesty. People lie and act erratically for many different reasons. Some of them are serious and carry long-term consequences, such as the development of depression. Others, however, may only be temporary, and are the direct result of some sort of external pressure causing your friend, relative or loved one to act out.
If you do not have some plausible evidence of drug use , then any sufficiently stressful situation could be the root cause of the issues above instead of the signs of addiction. Either way, these are all signs that someone is struggling to cope with their situation, whatever it may be.
There is only one way to find out, and really make sure that your suspicions are not entirely unfounded.
Warning Signs Of Drug Abuse
Use of recreational drugs, over the counter medications or prescription drugs can lead to substance use issues. It can frequently lead to problems at work, home, school, and in relationships, and leave the user feeling isolated, helpless, or shamed. If youre worried about your own or a loved ones drug use, its helpful to know the warning signs and more importantly, that help is available and treatment works.
Common signs and symptoms of drug abuse
- Risk taking when youre using, such as driving, having unprotected sex
- Neglecting responsibilities at school, work,or homr
- Legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence
Physical warning signs of drug abuse
- Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
- Changes in appetite, sleep patterns, physical appearance
- Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing, or impaired coordination
Behavioral signs of drug abuse
- Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
- Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
- Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
Psychological warning signs of drug abuse
- Unexplained change in personality or attitude
- Sudden mood swings, irritability, spaced-out, or angry outbursts
- Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason
For immediate help and information on treatment, contact the RedlinePhone: 889-9789
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Sign #5 Failure To Meet Obligations
When an addiction is in full force, the only thing the substance abuser cares about is getting their next drink or their next fix. Satisfying their craving becomes the top priority. A once-responsible person will ignore commitments by:
- Skipping/calling in sick or poor performance at work
- Multiple absences at school/sharply declining grades
- Missing family events school events, anniversaries, dinners, etc.
- Failing to pay bills repossessions, turned-off utilities, evictions, etc.
Signs Of Heroin Abuse
Many people who suspect heroin abuse in a loved one or colleague may not even know what this substance or its related paraphernalia look like. As the Foundation for a Drug-Free World explains, heroin is white in its pure form, but other substances are often cut into it and turn it rose gray, brown, or black.
Heroin paraphernalia include the containers used to transport it and instruments used to consume it. Examples of paraphernalia include but are not limited to:
- Small pieces of foil with burn marks
- Small tubes
- Black tar
Heroin is a highly addictive drug and an overdose can prove fatal. For this reason, signs of heroin addiction should be taken seriously, and measures should be taken to stage an intervention or otherwise convince a loved one to join a rehab program.
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Effects Of Internet Addiction
Internet addiction has been linked to a number of physical and mental health issues:
- Physical problems can include musculoskeletal injuries of the neck and back, carpal tunnel syndrome, insomnia, sight problems, and weight gain or loss.
- Mental health effects may include anxiety, depression, social isolation, aggression and mood swings.
Physical Signs Of Drug Abuse
1. Small Physical Symptoms:
Side effects can include slight alterations to physical appearance that may start to become noticeable. Bloodshot or red eyes and pinpoint or dilated pupils are all telling signs of many types of drug abuse. Also, pay attention to skin texture and complexion. Frequent abnormal puffiness and flushed or washed-out color can also indicate ongoing abuse of drugs or alcohol.
Many forms of drug abuse come with small behavioral changes that might be dismissed as tics. If you notice any of the following, it could be signs of a hidden condition:
- Persistent itching in a specific area of the body
- Impulsive pulling down of sleeves to hide marks
- Slurred speech
- Frequent sniffling
While these are not definitive signs, if they are accompanied by secretiveness or defensiveness, they could provide helpful clues as to whether something is wrong.
2. Overall Appearance:
Long-term abuse of drugs and alcohol can result in drastic changes to physical appearance. Many drugs have appetite suppressing or other altering side effects, meaning abuse often results in visible weight changes.
These rapid changes to body composition, such as sudden weight loss or weight gain, or lack of interest in personal grooming, especially if it declines without explanation, can also point to substance abuse and can be cause for concern.
It can be an obvious indicator if you find equipment in someones room or among their things. Some common items include:
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Signs Of Heroin Addiction
Many heroin users inject the drug and may have arms that look like this.
Heroin is a highly addictive street drug that literally can ruin a users life in a matter of days. After just a single dose of heroin, the body adjusts to the drug and craves more. According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University Health Services, users can experience withdrawal symptoms after just 72 hours of heroin use. Repeat use is often responsible for strong physical dependence, intense cravings and severe withdrawal symptoms.
If you suspect that someone you know may be suffering from heroin addiction, consider the following signs that help is needed:
How To Know If You Need Help
It can be scary to recognize these signs in a loved one. It can be even scarier to notice them within yourself. If you identify with any of these signs of addiction or youve tried to quit using drugs without success, you may need professional help.
Addiction treatment works. At Footprints to Recovery, we can help you on the path towards recovery. Change takes time, but it is possible. You can learn how to rebuild your life and be free of the confusing, frightening, and dangerous symptoms of substance abuse. Contact us today to get started!
Early Warning Signs Of Addiction Are Not Physical But Are Behavioral Changes
The earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis. This medical principle applies to addiction, and the importance of recognizing early warning signs cannot be overstated. Addiction is a progressive disorder that, if left to run its course, gets worse, not better. When someone has lost their personality along with family, friends, and a job, they have lost many of lifes most important incentives for getting better.
The best-known symptoms of addiction are late-stage physical symptomsthe red face of a person with a long-time alcohol problem, the emaciation of someone who is addicted to crack, the facial sores of meth users. The earliest warning signs, however, are changes in behavior that family members, friends, and colleagues can identify.
I always had a convincing reason to drink, remembers a 45-year-old patient in long-term recovery from an uncontrollable craving for alcohol. First I drank to be social, then to relax after work. Next, I drank to sleep, and then to forget. None of these explanations seemed like rationalizations. I had real needs and believed only alcohol could meet them.
Mood Swings and Personality Changes
While addicted individuals can be highly critical of other people, their own behavior may be unpredictable and can quickly change from jubilant euphoria to angry suspicion. When an addicted individual is on the wagon or trying to cut back, mood swings become more pronounced.
Recognizing An Oxycodone Addiction
Even when people start using oxycodone painkillers by prescription, continued use can lead to abuse. Those abusing oxycodone can develop a tolerance to it, leading to more abuse and eventual addiction as time goes on. It is important to recognize when you or someone you care about is struggling with an oxycodone addiction.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, there are 11 criteria for diagnosing an oxycodone addiction. The more symptoms that are present, the more severe the problem. Here are the criteria.
- Hazardous use: Youve used oxycodone in ways that are dangerous to yourself and/or others
- Social or interpersonal problems: Your oxycodone use has caused relationship problems or conflicts with others
- Neglected major roles: Youve failed to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home
- Withdrawal: You experience withdrawal symptoms when you reduce or eliminate use
- Tolerance: You need to use more oxycodone to get the same effect
- Larger amounts for longer: You use increasing amounts of oxycodone for increasing periods of time
- Repeated attempts to control use: Youve tried to cut back or quit entirely but havent been successful
- Much time spent using: You spend a great deal of your time using oxycodone
- Physical or psychological problems: Your oxycodone use has caused physical or mental health problems
- Giving up activities: Youve skipped or quit activities you once enjoyed to use oxycodone
- Craving: Youve experienced cravings for oxycodone
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Causes And Risk Factors For Heroin Addiction
While researchers have yet to pinpoint a single root cause for heroin addiction, it is thought to be the result of several factors working together that lead to the development of addiction. Some of the most common causes for heroin addiction may include:
Genetic: While genetics will not cause you to start using heroin, once you have started using the drug, your genes may cause you to become addicted. Individuals who have a family member, especially a first-degree relative, with addiction disorders are more prone to develop an addiction themselves.
Brain Chemistry: Repeated drug use changes the way in which your brain feels pleasure and may also cause physical changes to nerve cells in the brain. These nerve cells use neurons to communicate, and when an individual is addicted to a substance such as heroin it disrupts communication in the brain. This causes an individual to use more of the drug to make up for the lack of neurotransmitters.
Environmental: Environmental factors such as family beliefs, peer group attitudes, and friends that encourage drug use all play a role in an individuals choice to begin using drugs. For example, individuals who grew up in home environments where drug abuse was accepted as a means to deal with negative emotions are more desensitized to the use of drugs. They may learn that drug abuse is a proper way of handling negative life events.
Signs Of Addiction To Pills
Many people become addicted to pills, or prescription drugs, after taking them for medical reasons. Even though these medications are used for medical treatment, a person may become addicted and may show it in these ways:8
- Taking more pills than prescribed or taking the pills more often than prescribed to achieve the desired effect
- Requesting refills early or pretending to lose prescriptions to gain more refills
- Doctor hopping seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor
- Forging or stealing prescriptions
- Stains on the teeth
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What Are The Types
According to U.K. charity Action on Addiction, 1 in 3 people in the world have an addiction of some kind. Addiction can come in the form of any substance or behavior.
The most well-known and serious addiction is to drugs and alcohol. Nearly 1 in 10 Americans have an addiction to both. Of the people with a drug addiction, more than two-thirds also abuse alcohol.
The most common drug addictions are:
- nicotine, found in tobacco
Technology, sex, and work addictions are not recognized as addictions by the American Psychiatric Association in their most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Some habits or social behaviors look like addiction. But in the case of an addiction, a person will typically react negatively when they dont get their reward. For example, someone addicted to coffee can experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms such as severe headaches and irritability.
Most signs of addiction relate to a persons impaired ability to maintain self-control. This includes changes that are:
- social, such as seeking out situations that encourage a substance or behavior
- behavioral, such increased secrecy
- health related, such as insomnia or memory loss
- related to personality
Someone with an addition wont stop their behavior, even if they recognize the problems the addiction is causing. In some cases, theyll also display a lack of control, like using more than intended.