The signs and symptoms of an addict can vary with the individual and may be hard to recognize if you’re not educated on what symptoms to look out for. Addiction has a range of psychological, physical, and social effects that can drastically reduce people’s quality of living. Addiction is a dangerous disease that is chronic, progressive, and fatal if left untreated. That’s exactly why addicts in denial or those hiding their substance abuse should be given the help that they truly deserve.
Many of the signs and symptoms of substance abuse are similar and once identified, one may be able to help a friend or a family member. Here are some signs to look out for on how to know you are living with an addict:
- Dependency: One cannot stop using for a long period of time.
- Obsession: A person with addiction may come obsessed with using, and spending all their energy finding ways and means of using.
- Rewarding or way to deal with problems: A person will find any excuse to use. From rewarding themselves for getting through the workweek or because they had a fight with their spouse.
- Overuse: One may take large amounts in short periods of time.
- Withdrawal symptoms: when a person uses a substance frequently, the body builds up a dependency on that substance. When that substance is not used at the level the body is dependent on, one might experience physical symptoms. These may include sweating, seizures, diarrhea, trembling, constipation and mood swings.
- Weight and appetite changes: Depending on the substance, one might eat more or less therefore, gain or lose a significant about of weight.
- Sleep patterns: Insomnia is a common symptom of drug use.
- Change of appearance: A person who may have kept a groomed appearance may stop making an effort and have a lack of personal hygiene.
- Dilated or pinned pupils and/or bloodshot eyes
Addiction can impact the way an individual socializes with and relates to other people.
- Hobbies and activities: A person with an addiction might change their social habits and activities. Not being active in their regular social lives, such as attending movies or dinner with friends, or not going to the gym or engaging in their normal hobbies. Also one may turn down such invitations to events if alcohol is not being served or if it requires to be confined in an establishment for long periods of time.
- Financial problems: An addict will start spending all their money on the substance even sacrifice money for needed bills or food to ensure they have what they need.
- Isolating: A person with addiction most likely prefers to use in solitude and secrecy.
- Denial: If a person with substance abuse is confronted, they most likely don’t recognize the severity and will deny ever having a problem.
- Legal Issues: Due to the fact that drugs and alcohol impair judgment, legal issues will most likely follow an addict.
NIH (National Institute on Drug Abuse) has some questions to go through and answer honestly about a person in question whether or not they have a substance abuse problem:
- Does the person take the drug in larger amounts or for longer than intended?
- Do they want to cut down or stop using the drug but can’t?
- Do they spend a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from the drug?
- Do they have cravings and urges to use the drug?
- Are they unable to manage responsibilities at work, home, or school because of drug use?
- Do they continue to use a drug, even when it causes problems in relationships?
- Do they give up important social, recreational, or work-related activities because of drug use?
- Do they use drugs again and again, even when it puts them in danger?
- Do they continue to use, even while knowing that a physical or mental problem could have been caused or made worse by the drug?
- Do they take more of the drug to get the wanted effect?
- Have they developed withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the drug? (Some withdrawal symptoms can be obvious, but others can be subtler—like irritability or nervousness.)
If the answer to some or all of these questions is yes, your friend or loved one might have a substance abuse problem.
When that friend or loved one is ready to get clean and take their lives back that’s where Allure Detox steps in. Allure Detox is a comfortable and evidence-based drug and alcohol inpatient detox in West Palm Beach. The care team attacks addiction at its root, with prescription drugs that help resolve the chemical imbalances that hinder recovery. Their team of specially trained physicians and nurses is absolutely committed to helping addicts and alcoholics achieve lasting recovery. Remember, nobody has to stay addicted.