Drug addiction can be defined as a strong compulsion to acquire and use an addictive substance even when several dangerous and undesirable consequences might occur. Substances like illicit drugs, alcohol, over-the-counter medicines, and prescription medications can lead to addiction. Behaviors like compulsive sex and gambling have also been described as addictions. However, the term addiction is mostly used when referring to drug abuse.

But, recognizing the addiction problem is not easy. That’s because some people try to hide the signs of addiction at first. However, signs of addiction become apparent to those around the addict when the condition worsens. Nevertheless, several signs should tell an individual that they should seek professional assistance.

If you think that you or a person you care about has an addiction problem, call rehab https://addictionresource.com/addiction-and-rehab-hotlines/ to seek immediate assistance. A reputable rehabilitation center has representatives that provide the information that an addict or their loved ones need to help them deal with the problem. Calling a reputable rehab center can mark the turning point of a life that would otherwise be ruined by addiction.  

Addiction as a Disease

Addiction has always been defined as a chronic illness that affects the reward, memory, and motivation functions of the brain. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, an addict craves for the addictive substance or behavioral habits.  Usually, they ignore other aspects of their life just to support or fulfill their desires.

That’s because being a complex disease, addiction entails a compulsive search for and use of the addictive substance even when serious social and health consequences are apparent. It’s, therefore, not surprising that addiction damages different body systems, relationships, families, neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces. But, how does one tell that it’s time to call an addiction helpline? Well, a person that thinks they or their loved ones have an addiction should look out for several signs.

Addiction Problem Signs

Some of the general addiction signs include:

  • Inability to stop using an addictive substance or engaging in a behavior.  
  • Avoiding socialization by ignoring relationships or abandoning commitments.  
  • Engaging in risky activities like sharing of needles when knowing the potential consequences.
  • Physical effects of addictive substances like the need for an increased dosage to get the same effect or withdrawal symptoms.

These addiction signs have a common link. However, their intensity may vary depending on the substance being used and the duration for which it has been used. When healthy, a person can identify and avoid negative behavior. But, things are different for a person with an addiction problem. Instead of admitting the existence of a problem, an addict tries to justify their action and continue their addictive behaviors.

Therefore, the first and most important step in the process of getting help is recognizing the mental, emotional and physical signs. These may include abrupt personality or weight changes. If you notice these signs, call an addiction hotline number to seek assistance immediately. You will be guided on the best way to address the issue.

Addiction Types

Addiction is generally when an individual can’t abstain from a substance or behavior. And, this is usually at the expense of their physical and mental health. Substance addiction can be described as dependence on any of the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco or nicotine
  • Inhalants like spray paints, oven cleaners, and other aerosols
  • Non-illicit or illicit drugs
  • Medications

Research has revealed that the seriousness of behavioral addiction can be similar to substance addiction. Both addictions have the same negative consequences and they result in dependency.

Behavioral addiction may include:

  • Sex
  • Gambling
  • Working
  • Video games
  • Shopping
  • Using the media or internet

Regardless of the addiction type, recognizing the warning signs and seeking help when necessary is very important.

Initial Stages of Addiction

A person can show signs of serious addiction during the early stages.

These signs include:

  • History of addiction in a family
  • Experimentation
  • Being drawn to a substance or an activity
  • Looking for situations where the activity or substance is present
  • Binging episodes without remorse afterward

Determining whether a person has an addiction problem may be difficult when it comes to social behaviors like smoking or drinking. That’s because what seems like a full-blown addiction can be a way of managing stress or just an experimental phase. But, if real addiction is not treated, it can lead to increased illness risk or a debilitating habit. That’s why a person should call a drug addiction helpline for more information if unsure whether a loved one is developing the problem.

Health Changes

The addiction problem can be recognized by paying keen attention to changes in physical and mental health. Some of the signs of that show addiction affecting the health of a person include:

  • Constant illness
  • Glazed or bloodshot eyes
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Abrupt weight change
  • Bad teeth, hair, skin, and nails
  • Increased drugs tolerance
  • Physical symptoms of withdrawal like vomiting, trembling or sweating
  • Recall problems or memory loss
  • Speech problems like rapid rambling or slurred words
  • Sudden mood changes and irritability
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Apathy

However, possible medical reasons for health changes should be eliminated first when determining whether a person has an addiction problem. Remember that an addict always understates their condition’s seriousness.

Consequences of Addiction

A person with an addiction problem might ignore, trivialize, or allow the negative consequences of their habit just to continue abusing the addictive substance. Unfortunately, this will lead to serious negative consequences.

These may include:

  • Quitting school or scoring poor grades
  • Ruined relationships with family and friends
  • Tarnished or loss of a good reputation
  • Arrest and possible jail time
  • Losing parental rights

Involvement in risky behavior while under the influence of the addictive substance can also lead to death. Nevertheless, these negative consequences can be avoided by calling rehab numbers to seek help before the addiction problem escalates.