How to Identify Signs of Addiction

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Recognize the Signs of Addiction and Learn the Cause

Whether you’re the loved one of someone whom is exhibiting suspicious behavior, or you’re trying to come to terms with a possible drug problem of your own, being able to recognize the signs of addiction will help you better understand the illness of addiction and what behaviors to watch out for.

What are the causes of addiction?” is a question many people who don’t understand the disease often ask. If you’ve ever questioned certain behaviors or wanted to know how to identify a drug addict, there are many things you need to look into. By having a clear understanding about the signs of addiction, you have the potential to not only save your life, but the lives of others in need of help.

What are the Causes of Addiction?

There are a few things to take into considerations when understanding the disease of addiction and how it originates. Two of the biggest factors, when it comes to addiction, are:

Biological: It can be difficult to fully understand how genetics play a role in one’s addictive behaviors. However, sometimes things that are out of our control, such as gender, ethnicity, and other underlying mental illnesses can make a difference in someone’s risk for addiction. If an individual is born to two parents with addictive personalities, it is likely that the child will eventually, at some point in time, face the same struggle as his parents.

Additionally, individuals born with mental conditions such as Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder or bi-polar disorder (manic depression) are more likely to end up exhibiting signs of addiction. It is believed that due to feelings of stress or the desire to counteract the symptoms of mental illness, individuals with these conditions try to self-medicate with substances and end up being dependent.

Environmental factors: A negative environment or situation has the capability of setting an individual up for potential substance abuse in the future. For example, peer-pressure, stressful home-life, childhood trauma, sexual abuse, physical abuse, lack of parental guidance, and more can greatly increase someone’s chances of turning to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Being introduced to drugs at a young age can affect the developmental process of decision-making capabilities and self-control. It’s important for parents to be familiar with the signs of addiction early on. In cases where drug addiction is already established, this illness can be treated and managed with the correct help.

How to Identify a Drug Addict

Some of the signs of addiction may be more obvious than others. In many cases, determining if a loved one is addicted to drugs can be difficult, if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. If you want to know how to identify a drug addict, here are a few things to look for.

Every drug has its unique set of side effects, but generally the most obvious physical addiction symptoms are:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
  • Delayed reaction time
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Unexplained bursts of energy
  • Extreme agitation or fidgety
  • Mood swings
  • Nasal congestion/cold symptoms
  • Confusion
  • Violent behavior/aggression
  • Depression
  • Slurred speech
  • Flushed or red skin
  • Feelings of euphoria

Some behavioral/social changes can include:

  • Not taking medications are prescribed (taking more than necessary)
  • Feeling shaky and “off” once a medication wears off
  • Losing interest in hobbies/school/extracurricular activities
  • Stealing money/borrowing money more frequently
  • Isolation from others
  • Having difficulty getting along with others
  • Suddenly hanging out with a different crowd
  • Different sleeping patterns
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of empathy or concern for others

Because everyone is different, these signs of addiction may vary. However, if any consistent change in normal behavior has occurred, try studying the individual’s physical appearance as well. Drug addicts don’t always show drastic changes right away. Noticing even the slightest changes can lead to saving a life.

Once you’ve successfully figured out how to identify a drug addict, you may start to help your loved one recognize the severity of addiction. For more information or for help finding a treatment facility that will best meet your needs, contact Better Addiction Care today. We’ll help you with your search.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/basics/symptoms/con-20020970

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/signs-of-drug-addiction#2