Not All Addictions Are Plain to See – Learn to Spot the Subtle Signs
Addiction is a complex disease that can have numerous effects on health and quality of life. From shortened lifespan to declining cognitive function, the complications associated with addiction can be severe, and can affect various aspects of both physical and psychological well-being. The symptoms of addiction, too, are often varied, and, in some cases, can be difficult to identify. Keep reading for more on spotting the signs of substance abuse and addiction, as well as information on treatment and recovery options.
Behavioral Signs of Addiction
Individuals struggling with substance abuse often display certain behavioral symptoms, some of which may be subtle in nature. For example, signs and symptoms like the following can indicate drug abuse and addiction:
- Mood swings. According to experts at Crestview Recovery Facility, which offers a variety of services including prescription drug rehab in Portland, substance abuse and addiction can result in rapid and dramatic shifts in mood and behavior. What’s more, users can experience mood swings while intoxicated, as well as while suffering withdrawal from a particular substance.
- Anger and aggression. Addictive substances like alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine are often associated with anger and aggression, which can, in some cases, lead to physical violence and other forms of assault or abuse.
- Apathy. Apathy is a common sign of drug and alcohol abuse. For many people struggling with addiction, this loss of interest can extend to careers, hobbies, and personal relationships.
- Risky behaviors. Substance abuse and risky behaviors go hand-in-hand. For example, addiction is often associated with promiscuity and unsafe sex practices, driving while intoxicated, excessive gambling and other potentially harmful behaviors.
Physical Signs and Symptoms
Sometimes, spotting the physical signs of substance abuse is extremely difficult. In fact, unless a person is intoxicated at the time, no physical signs may be present at all. However, over time, addiction can manifest in physical signs like the following:
- Poor hygiene. Poor hygiene and a disheveled appearance may point to a problem with drugs or alcohol. This is especially true in individuals who were once meticulous about cleanliness and overall appearance.
- Weight fluctuations. Some drugs are associated with weight loss, while others can lead to bloating and weight gain; either way, extreme fluctuations may be the result of drug or alcohol abuse.
- Visible evidence of substance abuse. Burns on the mouth or hands, needle marks and rapid tooth decay are all examples of visible evidence of drug abuse.
- Signs of intoxication. Slurred speech, stumbling and poor balance, bloodshot eyes, dilated or restricted pupils, mania and drowsiness are all signs of intoxication.
- Withdrawal symptoms. Some substances are associated with withdrawal symptoms when use is discontinued. These often include sweating, sneezing, insomnia, irritability, shaking, digestive disturbances and other flu-like symptoms.
If you spot the signs of addiction in a friend or loved one, recommending treatment can mean the difference between life and death. However, due to the emotional nature of this disease, addressing the subject of treatment can be difficult. Thankfully, tips like the following can help:
- Empathize. Instead of attacking a friend or loved one who’s struggling with addiction, empathize and come from a place of love and respect.
- Do your research. Research treatment methods facilities so that you’re able to provide options and information.
- Be prepared. Some people suffering from addiction refuse to admit to a problem, while others may become angry and defensive. Preparing for a negative response can help you stay on topic and keep your emotions in check.
Addiction is a serious disease, which, if left untreated, can result in severe complications to health and quality of life. Thankfully, effective treatment is available. With the information provided here, you’re better equipped to spot the signs of addiction, and recommend lifesaving treatment to a friend or loved one in need.