Noticing the Warning Signs of Addiction

Noticing the Warning Signs of AddictionDifferent substances of abuse have different pharmacological properties, side effects, and withdrawal symptoms. Some may cause excessive energy and others may cause sedation. The process of becoming addicted to any substance, however, is similar in many respects, and there are often signs that Raleigh Durham residents can observe if looking for them.

Potential Signs of Substance Abuse and Addiction

Some potential signs of substance abuse and addiction include the following:

  • As drug or alcohol use increases in importance, activities that were once enjoyed by people who have become addicted are often abandoned. Using and consuming the drug becomes more important.
  • Peer groups may change. Addicted individuals often want to spend their time with others who share their focus on drug use.
  • Responsibilities may be neglected. This can lead to trouble at school or work, or increased tension and arguments at home.
  • Depending on the substance of abuse, users’ physical appearances may change. People may lose or gain weight, have burns on their hands or face, have bloodshot or irritated eyes, or develop problems with their teeth and gums.
  • Personal grooming may be neglected as it becomes less important to the person focused on substance use.
  • Users may have strange smells on their clothing or in their home. Sometimes they try to cover these up by burning scented candles, using air fresheners or wearing excessive perfume.
  • Addicted individuals often have unusual sleeping patterns due to the cyclical nature of becoming high and then crashing when the high wears off.
  • Most substances of abuse affect areas of the brain associated with memory, cognition and judgment. People who have become addicted may often lose their train of thought, have trouble following conversations, or make choices that seem unwise. They may become less cautious and take more risks.
  • Basic personality traits sometimes change. Someone who has always been introverted may suddenly become much more outgoing, and someone who has always been gregarious and talkative may become more silent and withdrawn.
  • Many substances of abuse cause depression, anxiety and increased irritability. People who have developed an addiction may seem moody and emotionally unstable.
  • Maintaining a drug or alcohol habit takes financial resources. People feeding an addiction will often sell belongings for cash, ask to borrow money or steal things from others.
  • In an attempt to maintain secrecy, addicted individuals may lock doors that were once left open and lie about where they’ve been and who they’ve been with.

Addiction Is a Serious but Treatable Disease

If you suspect that a loved one in Raleigh Durham is suffering from substance addiction or you have become addicted yourself, we can answer your questions and help you understand your options. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day. We can check your insurance coverage at no cost or obligation and can help you find a treatment program that meets your needs. Addiction is a serious, but treatable disease. Begin to address it today.