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What Are the Warning Signs of Addiction?

 


Drugs and alcohol can be incredibly addictive, and it's easy to go from casual use to addiction without even realizing it. The warning signs of addiction are often quite subtle at first, but if they're ignored you could end up with serious dependency or withdrawal symptoms. In this post, we'll explore some of the most common warning signs that someone is addicted and what to do about them.

1) Changes in Behavior

If someone has developed an addiction, you'll likely start to see changes in their behavior. They may become secretive or isolate themselves from friends and family, and they may start to miss work or school. Additionally, they may begin to use drugs or alcohol more often than usual and exhibit signs of withdrawal when they can't get their fix.

2) Denial

It's common for someone with an addiction to deny that they have a problem. If others have begun to point out behavioral changes related to drug or alcohol use and they are met with denial, that's a major red flag. However, if you think someone is in denial about their substance abuse, you should try to pay closer attention to their behavior and see if you notice any more red flags instead of immediately accusing them of having a problem.

3) Relationship Issues

Relationships tend to be one of the first casualties of addiction. If someone has started using drugs or alcohol on a regular basis, you might notice that they're frequently late for outings and events with friends and family members. They may also start distancing themselves from others as their substance use becomes more serious, such as offering flimsy excuses not to spend time together. They may also become more irritable, argumentative, or delusional around loved ones.

4) Physical Symptoms

Excessive drug and alcohol use is directly associated with anxiety and depression as well as many other symptoms that come with withdrawal. Over time, someone who abuses drugs or alcohol may start to notice physical symptoms like nausea, vomiting blood, vaginal bleeding for women (in cases of alcoholism), muscle weakness/tremors/twitches, not urinating regularly (or urinating uncontrollably), loss of appetite that leads to weight loss, and extreme tiredness when they aren't able to access the substance. If someone is exhibiting any of these signs, especially the more severe ones, it may be time for them to look into addiction treatment.

5) Financial Struggles

One of the most common consequences of addiction is financial instability. Someone with an addiction may start to spend more money than usual on drugs or alcohol, miss work due to hangovers/illness related to substance abuse, or rack up credit card debt from buying things they don't need in order to cope with their addiction. You may also notice that they increasingly ask to borrow more money.

6) Legal Issues or Illegal Activity

It's not uncommon for someone with an addiction to get into legal trouble as a result of their behavior. They may start to drive under the influence, steal money or property to buy drugs or alcohol, or engage in other criminal activity to support their habit. If you know someone who is struggling with addiction and they've been getting into legal trouble, it's time to get them help.

If you're worried about someone you know and think they may have an addiction, the best thing to do is talk to them about it. Try to be understanding and non-judgmental, and let them know that you're there for support. If they refuse to seek help, or if the warning signs are too severe, you may need to consider getting them into a treatment program.

Addiction is a serious disease that can have devastating consequences for an individual and their loved ones. If you're worried about someone you know, don't hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available and with early intervention, it's possible to get someone the treatment they need before it's too late.


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