Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Information is the key to understanding addiction and being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of this disorder. An addiction is a set of behaviors that leads to dependence on a substance or to an activity. Addiction can be rooted in the biological or the psychological aspects of a person. It is important to recognize that compulsive behavior is a form of addiction and often it is the first sign that there is something wrong. Compulsive behavior often leads to addiction.

Keeping the Secret

When you learn that a loved one or family member suffers from an addiction, it sometimes comes as a huge shock. Addiction thrives on secrecy and only comes to light after something drastic has happened to the addict or the people around them. Because addiction is a progressive disease there may be signs and symptoms of addiction that you will be able to recognize early on, if you know what you are looking for.

A Center For Recovery has developed a guide to the Signs and Symptoms of Addiction so that you are able to reach out and help the people that you love. We’ve been through the process and lived through rehabilitation and KNOW how the power of addiction works.

Behavior Changes: The first sign of addiction is a possible behavior change in ​your loved one. As an addiction grows larger, addicts begin to discard activities and values that they used to hold dear. A person who starts changing their behavior to the exclusion of other people may have a secret addiction that they are fueling.

Social Changes: This is particularly noticeable in adolescents and people with a substance abuse problem. Addicts tend to be insular and secretive; watch out for any signs that your loved one has changed their social circle, or withdrawn from their usual friends.

Performance Changes: Addicts can go for years without loss of performance at work or at school, but eventually their performance levels will drop. Addiction has no responsibility and many addicts start missing their commitments.

Bending the Truth: Addiction makes skilled liars out of people who normally tell the truth. Many addicts resort to lies to cover up their behavior. It is important to look for signs that a person is breaking the law, making frequent visits to a doctor, or has secret online behavior.

Relationship Changes: Interpersonal relationships often fall apart due to ​addiction. An addict is not able to function in a relationship and one of the first signs that something may be wrong s the deterioration of personal relationships. Communication stops when addiction enters the home.

Physical Changes: If your loved one starts to take less care over their appearance and frequently looks ungroomed, it can be a sign of an addiction. Weight loss and weight gain are very important signs and symptoms of addiction.

Personality Change: It is nearly impossible to change your personality. This is the biggest indicator of a substance or behavioral addiction. If you see any major changes in the personality of your loved one, then it is time to take action and get them the help that they deserve.

Addiction will not go away; it will only get worse if left unchecked. Don’t be afraid to take a stand against addiction if you suspect that your loved one is suffering. You may be saving their life.​

Understanding the reasons for your addiction and how to effectively fight the urges of your addiction is fundamental to maintaining long term sobriety and is a crucial aspect of any kind of alcohol and drug treatment programs. A Center for Recovery is a valuable resource for friends and family looking for answers and advice on substance abuse, drug and alcohol treatment programs and ​addiction treatment centers​ by state: Call us on (800) 444-1014

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