15 Symptoms of Addiction
Addiction is a complex disease, but nearly a century of scientific study has helped researchers come to a deeper understanding of how it works. This research has culminated in an important change in how we talk about addiction: Addiction is now classified as a disease that affects the brain, not a personal failing or choice.
Most people think of substance use when they hear about addiction, but that’s not the only type of addiction.
Research Trusted Source suggests that addictions to substances work similarly to patterns of compulsive behavior, like gambling or shopping.
Today, most experts recognize two types of addiction:
Chemical addiction. This refers to addiction that involves the use of substances.
Behavioral addiction. This refers to addiction that involves compulsive behaviors.
These are persistent, repeated behaviors that you carry out even if they don’t offer any real benefit. [read more about addiction…]
What Are the 15 Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Addiction?
Common symptoms of substance use disorder include:
1. Cravings intense enough to affect your ability to think about other things. People suffering from addiction usually experience intense urges or cravings for the drug as their addiction develops. Cravings can be thought of as the conscious or unconscious experience of wanting to use a substance.
2. Tolerance. Over time and with prolonged use, those who use drugs can build up a tolerance to them, meaning they need more of a drug to achieve the desired effects.
3. Withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit. The presence of a withdrawal syndrome and tolerance indicates that physiologic dependence on a substance is occurring.
4. Physical dependence. The physical dependence on drugs or alcohol can develop as individuals grow accustomed to the persistent presence and influence of the substance.
5. Poor judgment. When an individual is addicted to drugs or alcohol, he or she may do anything to obtain more, including risky behaviors such as stealing, lying.
6. Drug-seeking. People may spend excessive amounts of time and energy finding and getting their drug of choice.
7. Financial trouble. Individuals using drugs may spend large and unexplained amounts of money, drain their bank accounts, and go outside their budgets to get the drug.
8. Neglect responsibilities. Trouble managing work, school, or household responsibilities because of substance use, this is a classic sign of addiction.
9. Developing unhealthy friendships. When people start using new substances, they may spend time with others who have similar habits. They may hang out with a new group of people who may encourage unhealthy habits; doing so makes them more likely to use for a longer time, especially if others in the group have a negative life outlook.
10. Isolate. Alternatively, individuals may withdraw and isolate themselves, hiding their drug use from friends and family. Some reasons for this may include perceived stigma or increased depression, anxiety, or paranoia as a result of their drug addiction.
11. Unease or discomfort if you can’t easily access the substance. This behavior can be a major red flag for addiction and has massive consequences.
12. Risky substance use, like driving or working while using it.
13. Spending less time on activities you used to enjoy.
14. Feel guilty or ashamed about your usе or blaming drinking or using problems on others. For example, blame an ‘unfair boss’ for trouble at work or a ‘nagging wife’ for marital issues, rather than think about how drinking or using is contributing to the problem.
15. “Blackout” or forget what they did while they were drinking or using.
Some of the more common addictive substances include:
- opioids, including both heroin as well as prescription pain medication like oxycodone and morphine cannabis
How to Get Helped?
If you are ready to admit you have an addiction, means you have already taken the first step and the most important one. It takes tremendous strength and courage to face substance addiction abuse. Reaching out for support is the second step. Whether you choose to go to rehab, rely on self-help programs, get therapy, or take a self-directed treatment approach, support is essential. Recovering from addiction is much easier when you have people you can lean on for encouragement, comfort, and guidance. Without support, it is not difficult to fall back into old patterns when the road gets tough.