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How to Recognise Addiction

Recognizing an addiction issue in a friend or family member might be more difficult than it appears.

Addiction is defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) as a chronic condition that impairs the reward, motivation, and memory processes of the brain. Someone who is addicted to a substance or to other behavioral tendencies will crave them. 

They’ll frequently neglect other aspects of their lives in order to satisfy or support their desires. A healthy individual can typically recognize and eliminate harmful conduct.

This is not the situation for someone who is addicted to anything. They’ll find methods to rationalize and prolong their conduct rather than accept there’s a problem. 

The first step toward receiving treatment is the ability to notice physical, mental, and emotional indications in your friends or family members, such as sudden weight or personality changes.

If you or someone you love suffers from an addiction, it is critical that you assist them in seeking addiction treatment.

Addiction Types

Although drug misuse is the most frequent kind of addiction, behavioral addictions such as gambling may be just as dangerous. Substance addiction is defined as a dependency on the following substances:

  • Inhalants, such as oven cleaners, spray paints, or other aerosol goods 
  • Nicotine or tobacco 
  • Illegal drugs
  • Prescription medications

Behavioral addictions, according to studies, are just as dangerous as chemical addictions. Both forms lead to reliance and have comparable or identical negative outcomes. The following are examples of behavioral addiction:

  • Gambling
  • Sex
  • Working
  • Video games
  • Shopping
  • Social Media

Signs Of Addiction

Identifying the Signs

It can be tough to tell if someone has an addiction issue when it comes to normal social habits like drinking or smoking. What appears to be an addiction might be a phase of experimentation or a method of stress management.

However, if left untreated, a true addiction can evolve into a burdensome habit or an elevated risk of sickness.

Personality Changes

After moving past experimentation or the early stages of addiction, a person’s personality and conduct are likely to alter dramatically. Initially, these adjustments may be sporadic. Among the warning indicators are:

  • A loss of interest in formerly essential interests or activities.
  • Relationships are neglected, and those closest to them are treated poorly.
  • Ignoring commitments such as work
  • Risk-taking inclinations, particularly for obtaining drugs or continuing to engage in specific activities.
  • They are oblivious to the harmful effects of their conduct
  • Sleeping habits have shifted, resulting in persistent weariness.
  • Increased secrecy in how they spend their time. 

Health Changes

Another technique to spot addiction is to keep an eye on your friend’s or family member’s emotional and physical well-being.

Their health will nearly always deteriorate whether they are addicted to a drug or a habit. It’s critical to rule out any medical causes for someone’s health decrease. 

Keep in mind that someone suffering from an addiction will almost always downplay the severity of their situation. There’s a higher possibility of an underlying addiction problem if there’s no other reason.

Physical Health

The following signs can indicate changes in physical health:

  • Eyes that are bloodshot or glassy
  • Generally sickly
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Skin, hair, teeth, and nails deteriorate
  • Sweating, shaking, and vomiting
  • Memory loss or recall issues
  • Slurred words or fast, rambling

Mental Health

The following emotional and mental changes might potentially indicate a problem with addiction:

  • Mood swings that occur unexpectedly
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Irrational impatience
  • Melancholy or depression
  • Apathy
  • Suicidal thoughts

Long Term Consequences

The negative impacts of addiction will be more lasting or have long-term ramifications in the middle or later phases.

In order to continue their habits, someone with a significant addiction issue may overlook, ignore, or belittle these effects.

Determine if the problem is the product of a single occurrence or a growing addiction problem before contacting someone you suspect has an addiction.

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