Recognizing the signs of addiction can be crucial in identifying when someone is struggling with substance abuse or a behavioral addiction. Keep in mind that addiction can manifest differently in each individual, but here are some common signs and symptoms to watch for:
Increased Tolerance: The person needs more of the substance or activity to achieve the desired effect or experiences reduced effects from the same amount.
Withdrawal Symptoms: When the substance or activity is not available or is reduced, the person experiences physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms. These can vary depending on the substance or behavior but may include anxiety, depression, irritability, nausea, sweating, and more.
Loss of Control: The individual has difficulty controlling or cutting down their use of the substance or engagement in the behavior, often consuming larger amounts or engaging in it for longer periods than intended.
Desire to Quit Unsuccessful: Repeated attempts to quit or cut down on substance use or addictive behavior are unsuccessful.
Neglecting Responsibilities: The person starts neglecting their responsibilities at work, school, or home due to the addiction.
Prioritizing Addiction: Much of their time and energy is focused on obtaining, using, or recovering from the substance or behavior, often at the expense of other activities and relationships.
Loss of Interest: They lose interest in activities or hobbies they once enjoyed and may isolate themselves from friends and family.
Continued Use Despite Consequences: Even when faced with negative consequences like legal trouble, relationship problems, or health issues, the person continues to use the substance or engage in the behavior.
Secrecy and Deception: They become secretive about their substance use or addictive behavior and may lie or deceive to cover it up.
Changes in Behavior: There may be noticeable changes in their behavior, mood swings, irritability, and a shift in their social circles.
Financial Problems: They may have financial difficulties due to spending a significant amount of money on the substance or behavior.
Physical and Health Changes: There can be physical changes such as weight loss, frequent illnesses, and changes in sleep patterns. These changes can vary depending on the specific addiction.
Legal Issues: In the case of substance abuse, they may encounter legal problems such as DUIs or arrests related to drug possession.
Risk-Taking Behavior: Engaging in risky behaviors while under the influence, such as unsafe sex or reckless driving.
Neglecting Self-Care: Poor hygiene and self-care can also be signs of addiction, as the focus shifts away from personal well-being.
It's important to note that not all of these signs will be present in every case of addiction, and the severity of symptoms can vary. Additionally, some signs may be more applicable to substance abuse, while others may apply to behavioral addictions like gambling or gaming addiction.
If you suspect that someone you know is struggling with a substance abuse addiction, it's crucial to approach them with empathy and encourage them to seek professional help and support. Addiction is a treatable condition, and early intervention can make a significant difference in recovery outcomes.
At our substance abuse clinic, Epec Clinic, located in Rosedale, MD and other surrounding cities, we are here to offer you the right support. Utilizing a treatment program working with Medicinal Cannabis and Suboxine has decreased the numbers of relapses. We proudly offer in person visits and telehealth services for those in Maryland. Accepting most insurance providers including Medicaid and Medicare allows for us to be able to show more support to those in need. Reach out today to start receiving the support you or a loved one may need.