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What Are the Most Common Signs of Addiction?


No matter how strong someone may seem, struggling with addiction can be a very scary and lonely process. Whether you know someone facing addiction or are struggling with it yourself, there are many signs you can look for when it comes to dependence.

Since everyone's journey with addiction is different, it can sometimes make it even harder to identify the signs that someone is struggling. However, it's not impossible.

Below we've listed some of the most common signs of addiction. Keep reading to learn more and how you can take action today.

Different Types of Addiction

Addiction can't be categorized solely as substance abuse. There are countless types of addiction that can range anywhere from alcohol misuse to gambling. People can also become addicted to more than one thing at once, making their addiction that much more dangerous and unpredictable.

Below are common types of substance dependencies:

  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis (a.k.a. weed, marijuana, etc)
  • Nicotine or tobacco
  • Prescribed pills
  • Inhalants (spray paint, cleaning supplies, etc)

Addiction not based solely on substances could be something like:

  • Social media
  • Gambling
  • Sex
  • Food
  • Exercise
  • Porn
  • Television
  • Shopping

If you begin to suspect that you or someone you know may be struggling with any type of addiction, it's important to seek professional help immediately.

Early Signs of Addiction

There are numerous early signs that may pinpoint that someone is starting to struggle with addiction. Some initial signs may be:

  • Family history of addiction
  • Sudden continuous headaches
  • Experimenting with new substances
  • Constantly wanting to be involved in situations where the substance is available
  • Sudden irritability or mood swings

When first identifying addiction, external factors can play a role in how serious we perceive the issue to be. Things like drinking can sometimes become more difficult to identify, especially in a social setting.

In cases like these, it's best to go with your intuition and take action accordingly.

Physical Signs

Being able to pinpoint the physical signs of addiction can sometimes be tricky. Here are just a few things to look for when you suspect someone is struggling:

  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Dilated pupils
  • Insomnia
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Change in body odor

Physical side effects can also change based on different stages of addiction (experimentation, withdrawal, etc). Those facing withdrawal from substance abuse can experience side effects such as trembling or shaking, hallucinations, or even seizures.

On this site you can find out about different treatment options.

Behavioral Signs

Not only will someone's outer appearance begin to shift as their addiction progresses, but so will their behavior. Some of these behavioral changes can be but are not limited to:

  • Loss of appetite/changes in eating patterns
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Unexplained outings
  • Lying

You may also tend to notice a change in the way someone with addiction interacts with others. Those with addiction tend to surround themselves with others who encourage their behavior. Therefore, it's very common for someone who is struggling to begin isolating themselves more frequently.

When to Take Action

Knowing the signs of addiction can be vital in preventing further use. If you suspect you or anyone you know is experiencing any of the side effects directly related to addiction, it's important to seek help immediately.

In the meantime, it's best to be there for those who are struggling. Offering alternative activities such as going for a walk or watching a movie can be a great way to help take their mind off things. It's important to stay involved as well, such as offering to go to meetings with them and showing them that you care.

Keep in mind that while all of these are great ways you can be there for someone who is facing addiction, they must want to change for recovery to be possible.

Keep browsing around for more information regarding addiction and ways you can help those who are struggling.

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