Recognizing the Signs of Addiction

Understanding the behavioral, physical, and psychological aspects of addiction is a critical component in recognizing the signs that you or someone you love may have a problem. 

It’s one thing to drink and take drugs recreationally from time to time, or to engage in a bit of promiscuity for fun’s sake. We’re all human and we’re allowed to have a good time, but there are some telltale signs that indicate something has turned from being a recreational activity into something far more dangerous. 

When the act of getting drunk, scoring drugs and getting high, or engaging in repeated compulsive behaviors like gambling or having sex with multiple partners become life’s main priorities, it’s worth paying attention to. In other words, when these things are prioritized over other important obligations such as work, family responsibilities, and school, this may indicate a problem. 

Blatant disregard for the harm being caused.

When someone is battling an addiction, whether that be to alcohol, drugs, sex, gaming, or any other compulsive behavior, there’s usually a bit of wreckage in their wake. They may be causing distress to their families, struggling professionally and financially, or neglecting serious health issues. 

Even in the face of problems, the person who’s struggling with addiction continues to use, drink, or engage in the same repeated compulsive behavior that’s causing the issues to begin with. It’s easy to understand why active addicts are often labeled as “insane” in the sense that they’ll engage in the same things over and over again while expecting different results. 

Addiction can often feel like insanity.

While pulling out the insanity card might seem a bit extreme, many addicts in recovery will admit that there were times in active addiction when they did, in fact, feel insane. It’s an awful feeling knowing that a specific behavior is causing physical and emotional distress to yourself and those you care about, but not being able to stop engaging in that behavior. 

While addiction can remain hidden for a little while, it’s only a matter of time before its impact becomes too dramatic to go undetected. Changes in behavior, dwindling financial resources, and, in relatively extreme cases, criminal activity are some of the most obvious signals of addiction. Family members, close friends, and coworkers are the people who are most frequently in the position to spot the problem to begin with. These are the people who are closest to the person and most familiar with their behavior and habits. 

Here are some of the warning signs of substance abuse. They include physical signs and lifestyle patterns. Please note that these signs may also be associated with other scenarios, affiliations, and diseases. Nevertheless, if you suspect that you or someone you love may have a substance abuse problem or another addiction, here are some things to look out for:   

– Neglecting responsibilities

Recurring mood swings, including depression, anxiety, and irritability, particularly during a comedown or when there’s no access to the substance or behavior of choice

Poor hygiene and grooming habits

Using drugs, alcohol, or engaging in other questionable compulsive behavior (e.g., extramarital sex, compulsive gambling, compulsive gaming, etc.) just to feel “normal” 

Continuing to drink, use, or engage in unhealthy compulsive behavior despite negative consequences

Trembling hands

– Lying

– Bloodshot eyes 

– Enlarged pupils

Drinking or using alone or in secret

Sudden weight loss or weight gain

Slurred speech

Secretive behavior

Continuously borrowing money

Legal problems like DUIs or disorderly conduct

Prescription drugs missing from the medicine cabinet

It’s difficult to witness someone that you care about damaging their life, but the good news is that there’s help out there. If you suspect that someone in your life is struggling with addiction, talk to a qualified professional about how you can get help. 

Getting addiction help is as easy as picking up the phone or sending a message

Kembali Recovery Center can provide you or your loved one with the best intervention available. Contact us today to learn about our offerings and our 28-day inpatient treatment program. Remember, you never have to do this alone.

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