We wanted to share with you some information about how to spot an addiction in someone you love. (Remember denial is often their FIRST response)
SIGNS of addiction are what the people on the outside see while SYMPTOMS are what the person themselves feel.
Signs and symptoms of substance addiction may include:
The person takes the substance and cannot stop – in many cases, such as nicotine, alcohol or drug dependence, at least one serious attempt was made to give up, but unsuccessfully.
Withdrawal symptoms – when body levels of that substance go below a certain level the patient has physical and mood-related symptoms. There are cravings, bouts of moodiness, bad temper, poor focus, a feeling of being depressed and empty, frustration, anger, bitterness and resentment.
There may suddenly be increased appetite.
Insomnia is a common symptom of withdrawal. In some cases the individual may have constipation or diarrhea. With some substances, withdrawal can trigger violence, trembling, seizures, hallucinations, and sweats.
Addiction continues despite health problem awareness – the individual continues taking the substance regularly, even though they have developed illnesses linked to it. For example, a smoker may continue smoking even after a lung or heart condition develops.
Social and/or recreational sacrifices – some activities are given up because of an addiction to something. For example, an alcoholic may turn down an invitation to go camping or spend a day out on a boat if no alcohol is available, a smoker may decide not to meet up with friends in a smoke-free pub or restaurant.
Maintaining a good supply – people who are addicted to a substance will always make sure they have a good supply of it, even if they do not have much money. Sacrifices may be made in the house budget to make sure the substance is as plentiful as possible.
Taking risks (1) – in some cases the addicted individual make take risks to make sure he/she can obtain his/her substance, such as stealing or trading sex for money/drugs.
Taking risks (2) – while under the influence of some substances the addict may engage in risky activities, such as driving fast.
Dealing with problems – an addicted person commonly feels they need their drug to deal with their problems.
Obsession – an addicted person may spend more and more time and energy focusing on ways of getting hold of their substance, and in some cases how to use it.
Secrecy and solitude – in many cases the addict may take their substance alone, and even in secret.
Denial – a significant number of people who are addicted to a substance are in denial. They are not aware (or refuse to acknowledge) that they have a problem.
Dropping hobbies and activities – as the addiction progresses the individual may stop doing things he/she used to enjoy a lot. This may even be the case with smokers who find they cannot physically cope with taking part in their favorite sport.
Having stashes – the addicted individual may have small stocks of their substance hidden away in different parts of the house or car; often in unlikely places.
Taking an initial large dose – this is common with alcoholism. The individual may gulp drinks down in order to get drunk and then feel good.
Having problems with the law – this is more a characteristic of some drug and alcohol addictions (not nicotine, for example). This may be either because the substance impairs judgment and the individual takes risks they would not take if they were sober, or in order to get hold of the substance they break the law.
Financial difficulties – if the substance is expensive the addicted individual may sacrifice a lot to make sure its supply is secured. Even cigarettes, which in some countries, such as the UK, parts of Europe, Canada and the USA cost over $15 dollars for a packet of twenty – a pack-a-day smoker in such an area will need to put aside $450 per month, nearly $5,400 per year.
Relationship problems – these are more common in drug/alcohol addiction.
We can help! Often with ZERO withdrawal symptoms! Call or text (250) 571-9879 or send us a message.