Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Common Signs of Addiction to Look Out For

People are introduced to drugs at different phases in their life. For some, it may have been friends in high school, for others, it may have been at a college party, while for someone else it could have been a response to personal challenges. While some people try drugs or alcohol and eventually stop using it for various reasons, others, unfortunately gradually become addicts. Once addicted, it can be an extremely difficult task to break the addiction and can cause a great amount of damage if not quickly dealt with.

There are several signs to look out for if yourself or anyone you know is struggling with substance abuse. This article will mention a number of them as well as what to do in order to break the addiction.

How Does Addiction Work?

When you take drugs, a rush of a neurotransmitter called dopamine goes to the brain. It then triggers feelings of pleasure which the brain remembers and then wants to feel repeatedly because the part of the brain that regulates movement, emotions, motivation, and pleasure is overstimulated. The craving can then become uncontrollable which is when it often begins to affect other areas of your life negatively. It is often because satisfying the craving becomes a number one priority. It is believed that there isn’t truly a defining moment in which using drugs or alcohol crosses over to becoming an addiction. However, there are definitely common and noticeable signs of addiction which will be mentioned below.


One of the most common signs of addiction is said to be withdrawal. Once substance abuse begins, feelings of guilt, fear, and shame can begin taking over which can cause an abuser to hide and withdraw. They may not want friends or family to see the number of drugs or alcohol they are consuming, so resort to hiding and using in secret. It is one of many ways which addiction can spiral out of control as it becomes harder for people to notice.

Issues in Relationships

Following on from the first sign, withdrawal can cause issues in relationships. It could be because friends and family don't hear from you like they usually do, or because you’re standing people up and avoiding contact with them. On the other hand, it could also be a result of them suspecting that there is a substance abuse problem and them becoming increasingly frustrated with the behavior that ensues as a result. Substance abuse can also cause the abuser to become physical and verbally abusive, behave irrationally, or become completely withdrawn altogether.

Challenges at Work or School

Seeing as drug or alcohol abuse can affect the brain, it is one of many ways it can cause challenges at work or school. The user may find it difficult to pay attention and concentrate and may also find themselves making more mistakes than usual. Additionally, they may even begin missing days and stop going altogether. It could create a series of issues with management and colleagues as well as concern for the cause of the unusual behavior. If issues in the workplace escalate it could also result in being suspended or dismissed which could trigger greater substance abuse. Before it gets to this point, however, it’s worth trying to seek professional help by visiting a recovery facility such as The Recovery Village Ridgefield.

Financial Issues

Financing an addiction can be extremely expensive. It can cause an abuser to go to any lengths to find money to feed their addiction. It could mean spending all of their income, dipping into their savings pot, selling their assets, and even stealing and borrowing from others. This also means that many important bills could end up being left unpaid which could result in the loss of their home as well as a large amount of debt. If it seems you or someone you love no longer has control over their finances, then this is a sign that addiction could be taking over.

Physical Changes

Substance abuse can cause noticeable physical changes. These could include bloodshot or glassy eyes, a runny nose, the loss or gain of weight, bags under the eyes, looking extremely untidy, dilated or constricted pupils, as well as bruises or infections on the skin near the site of entry. You may also notice in terms of substance intake, that the amount which is being used is increasing in quantity. It is because the more that you abuse the drug, the higher tolerance your body has for that drug. Increased quantities are then needed to achieve the previous effects or higher, which can be the source of the addiction. Increasing intake is also often one of many things that can lead to a substance overdose.

Managing Addiction 

If one or more of these signs seem familiar to you, it could indicate that you or someone you know is struggling with addiction. It can be a difficult thing to come to terms with for several reasons, however, the sooner it is accepted and addressed the better. For one, once it is addressed, the road to recovery is more likely to happen which means that the user can get their life back. It will also bring peace of mind to family and friends knowing that the person they love is getting better. If addiction isn’t controlled, it could destroy many lives and lead to serious health issues and death in extreme cases. Treatment centers which address the individual’s needs, offer behavior therapy, medication, and constant assessment may, therefore, be the best way to manage an addiction.

The repeated use of drugs or alcohol can be detrimental to an abuser’s health. It can affect the way the brain works, cause other serious health issues, and if not well handled, resulting in death. Also, along the way, it can cause emotional damage to family and friends. It is, therefore, important to pay attention to the signs and seek help as soon as possible. By doing so, you could save yourself or your loved one a lot of heartaches and perhaps even their life.

This is a guest blog post.

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