Often, one of the hardest parts of getting help for addiction is simply realizing that there is a problem in the first place. Some users may be so secretive that their friends and family are not even aware of drug abuse. It is also possible for a person dealing with symptoms of addiction to lie to themselves and say their drug abuse is under control. Knowing what the signs of addiction are can help you discover if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction.
Physical Signs of Addiction
The physical signs of addiction can vary quite a bit depending on what drug a person uses. When using stimulants, people may have dilated pupils, excessive sweating, weight loss, and jitteriness. Those who have an addiction to depressants may have fatigue, slow speech, lowered blood pressure and slowed pulse and breathing. Some people may have small holes in their skin due to injections, or burns around their mouth from smoking a drug.
Regardless of the type of drugs a person is using, most people with an addiction tend to neglect their physical health. This can lead to things like weight gain, weight loss, skin sores, dehydration, missing teeth, and irregular sleep schedules. If a person abuses a drug for long periods of time, they may end up damaging their kidneys, liver, and other organs. This can lead to problems like water retention, yellowing skin, trouble breathing, and even death.
Behavioral Symptoms of Addiction
When a person has an addiction to a substance, they will change their behavior to accommodate their addiction. People with an addiction will typically lose interest in most things besides using their drug of choice. They often neglect responsibilities like going to work, studying in school, or caring for children. They may also quit taking part in hobbies or end friendships and romantic relationships.
Often, those with addiction will experience sudden mood swings. They may become restless, anxious, euphoric, or paranoid for unexplained reasons. Friends and family members may notice changes in their personality. Substance abusers are often willing to take part in risky behavior, including criminal activity and unsafe sexual encounters, due to the effects of drug abuse.
Mental Signs of Long-Term Addiction
Abusing a drug for long periods of time can gradually damage the brain. This happens because regular drug use changes the way the brain releases neurotransmitters like dopamine. Over time, this can cause all sorts of problems. Some people may find it more difficult to learn new things and think logically. Addiction can cause memory problems, decrease judgment, and even kill brain cells. It can also make it more likely for people to suffer from mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.
Signs of Withdrawal
One of the key symptoms of addiction that doctors use when diagnosing the condition is withdrawal. Withdrawal happens when you quit using a drug for a short period of time and start experiencing unpleasant physical symptoms. These symptoms can include insomnia, hypersomnia, depression, nausea, changes to heart rate and breathing, tremors, seizures, and even death. These symptoms can be so severe that they require medical withdrawal treatment. Withdrawal is a sign that a person’s body has developed a physical dependence on the drug. Your body has become so used to compensating for the effects of drugs that it can no longer function without them. If you are taking drugs because you are trying to avoid withdrawal, you have an addiction.
If you recognize any of these issues, it is important to seek addiction treatment. The right treatment can give you the tools you need to overcome your addiction and live a healthier and happier life. At Kemah Palms Recovery, you can get all sorts of helpful therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy, chronic pain management, and neurofeedback therapy. Call 866.604.1873 to find out more about our services.