Approximately 20 million individuals in the United States have some type of addiction, and many of these individuals are addicted to more than one substance. Many of these individuals will never seek treatment for an addiction to alcohol, prescription medication or illegal drugs. It is important to understand the signs of addiction so that you can help a relative or a friend who has a problem.
Signs of Addiction
Sign 1: Failing to Complete Work or Family Responsibilities
An individual with an addiction may neglect family or work responsibilities, leading to other problems. The individual may lose a job for failing to arrive at work on time each day, or alternatively, a parent may neglect a child.
Sign 2: Financial Difficulties
An addiction to drugs or alcohol is expensive, and it can lead to financial difficulties. The addicted individual may not earn enough in a job to pay for illegal drugs, requiring the use of credit cards or applying for loans.
Sign 3: A Disheveled Appearance
An addict may have a disheveled appearance with greasy hair and unwashed clothing. Some types of addiction will lead to a loss of weight or rotting teeth. Many addicted individuals won’t have access to water for bathing or washing their clothing.
Sign 4: Performing Illegal Activities
An addiction is expensive, so the addicts may resort to other illegal activities, including stealing from stores or banks. Some addicts become involved in prostitution or drug trafficking to earn enough money for their own drugs or alcohol.
Sign 5: Physical Changes
An addict may look tired or have red eyes due to anxiety. Some types of addictions will lead to having a runny nose. During withdrawal, the individual may have problems walking, and she may begin to shake.
Sign 6: Changes in Mood
If you are living with an addict, then you may notice a change in the individual’s mood. The addict may seem happy and energized after using a drug, but as the withdrawal symptoms begin, the individual will seem angry or sad.
Sign 7: Increased Cravings
While an addict can get high from a small amount of a drug in the beginning, within a few weeks, the individual will need more of the drug to have the same feelings. This increase in craving for the drug can lead to an addict spending all of his time seeking the substance.
Overcoming an Addiction
It is possible to overcome an addiction with proper professional treatment and the help of experts. Alcoholics and drug addicts can look for outpatient clinics, but in many cases, they will need long-term treatment at a residential facility. It is a good idea to seek help for an addiction as soon as possible.