The impact of addiction is much greater than just deaths from a drug overdose but the statistics can focus the mind somewhat. Over 69,000 people died in the United States in the year to February 2019. Drug overdoses killed 770,000 Americans since 1999.
Addiction is a complex condition. Understanding addict behavior can be important when trying to help an addict. Read on to learn 11 key tips to recognizing an addiction.
Addiction And Addict Behavior
Addiction is a brain disease with physical and psychological aspects. Typically, it is associated with dependence on drugs or alcohol. It can, however, be associated with other behavior such as gambling or sexual activity.
Addiction can start with trial of a substance or behavior. This may lead to repeated use until the person develops a tolerance to the substance. The addict then needs more and more in order to have the same effect.
Addiction can lead to actions that are harmful to the addict and others. Prolonged addictive behavior can become so central to the addict’s life that braking habits are extremely difficult. It is possible to get help from an addiction treatment center and to recover from addiction.
Different Types Of Addiction
There are many types of addiction. Some substance addictions such as alcohol, nicotine and vapers, inhalants, and prescription drugs are not illegal. They can still be very damaging to the health and finances of individuals as well as to their relationships, and to society as a whole.
Other substance addictions such as illicit drugs are complicated by the fact that they are illegal. Their illegality extends to the possession, production, and selling of illegal drugs.
Other forms of addiction are behavioral. They have similar consequences to substance abuse. They include gambling, working, shopping, sex, and video games.
1. Personality Change
A common sign of addiction is a change in personality. An enthusiastic energetic person who has an unexplained drop in mood and interest in their usual friends, hobbies, and pastimes may be exhibiting signs of addiction.
2. General Health Change
If a general health fit individual starts to be regularly ill this together with other signs could indicate an addiction. An addiction can result in a lack of self-care that causes illnesses to emerge. It can also reduce normal immunity and resistance to infections.
Addictive behavior is by definition obsessive. An addict may obsessively seek opportunities to indulge in their habit.
An alcoholic may frequently suggest activities that provide opportunities to drink. An addicted gambler will obsessively check online gambling websites. A video game addict will spend hours in their room indulging in their habit.
Drugs, by their nature, are mind-altering. They change perceptions and decision-making capability. Addicts of other kinds are driven by the addiction to make decisions to support their addiction that they wouldn’t ordinarily make.
Both of these factors can lead to careless and even dangerous behaviors. Carelessness with money, relationships, unsafe sex, and illegal activity are characteristics of addictive behavior in some people.
If an addict is confronted with evidence of their addiction they are likely to deny it. Excuses may be given or explanations given for the evidence.
Alcoholics explain their drinking away as social even if it is actually causing them problems. Drug addicts including cigarette smokers can justify their habit as common among their friends or life-enhancing even while it is damaging their health.
Substance abuse and behavioral addictions can make the addict dishonest in many ways. An addict can engage in deception to get the funds to support their habit. They can also use dishonesty to cover up the habit.
This deception can extend to hiding alcohol, stealing money and property, and making dishonest excuses for absences from work or school. Sustaining the deception becomes stressful and compounds the problems the addict seeks to solve by more alcohol, drugs or addictive behavior.
7. Lack Of Control
Ask an addict to stop using the drug they are dependent on and eventually, they will find a way back to use. An alcoholic may deny that they have to drink but will find a way to get a drink. This lack of control is a common feature of addict behavior.
8. Change In Weight
Weight loss or even weight gain can be signs of addiction. The health impact of drug and alcohol abuse includes both a loss of appetite and compulsive eating.
Physical harm can result from poor lifestyle, poor diet and lack of physical activity. Physical damage or organs affects body weight and condition.
9. Increased Anxiety
A psychological impact of addiction is anxiety. This can be associated with periods of withdrawal from the addictive substance. The withdrawal produced a low mood, insomnia, confusion and other symptoms.
Managing a chaotic life that is the result of addiction can itself be hard work. The addict might explain it as work pressures, family problems or some other health issue.
10. Unexplained Injuries
When decision making is poor, an addict can find themselves in dangerous situations.
Conflicts, fueled by alcohol or drug abuse can lead to fights. The resultant injuries might not be attributed to substance abuse.
If perceptions are affected by substance abuse judgment can become impaired. Road traffic accidents are more likely to occur.
If drugs or alcohol is in the body, balance, movement, and coordination can be impaired. Slip, trips, and falls are likely to be more common.
11. Financial Problems
Many addictions cost money to maintain. Drugs and alcohol are obvious examples. Gambling addiction also needs to be financed.
Other addictions can lead to difficulties in maintaining work performance and so can lead to difficulty in keeping in employment.
For all these reasons, evidence of financial difficulties could indicate addiction problems.
Raise The Alarm
One or more of these indicators could be evidence of a problem. If you are suspicious, raise the alarm. This addict behavior can be a sign that they need help.
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