How to Identify Addictions and Find Help
Addictions come in many shapes and sizes. They can be concerning things like drugs and alcohol or they can be subtle, like having a coffee addiction. Identifying an addiction is the first step to seeking help. Addictions can interfere with relationships, work, and health. Understanding what an addiction is, what to look for, and where to get help can help to make the process of overcoming one a little easier.
What is an Addiction?
An addiction is an unhealthy attachment to something that can have a damaging physical or mental effect on an individual. It can affect their physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as interfere with their relationships and performance at work. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines an addiction as “a chronic and often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences.”
Physical Signs of Addiction
• Change in appetite or eating habits
• Bloodshot eyes
• Skin lesions or rash
• Frequent illness
• Inability to focus
• Pupil dilation
• Slurred speech
• Unsteady gait
• Poor coordination
Behavioral Signs of Addiction
Behavioral signs of addiction can manifest in different ways depending on the person. Some behaviors to watch out for include:
• Frequently neglecting or dodging obligations like work and school
• Participating in risky or dangerous activities
• Withdrawing from social activities, family members, and responsibilities
• Doing poor job performance or poor academic performance
• Compulsive lying or stealing
• Increased violent behavior
• Increased use of drugs or alcohol
Emotional Signs of Addiction
Emotional signs of addiction can be difficult to identify since they are internalized. Some emotional signs to look for include:
• Feeling anxious or uneasy without access to the substance
• Seeing yourself as dependent on the substance
• Having negative thoughts
• Feeling irritable, restless, or on edge
• Becoming extremely emotional or feeling out of control
• Becoming physically sick without substance use
• Experiencing guilt, shame, or depression
Where to Seek Help
If an addiction is identified and help is needed, there are many opportunities for assistance. There are many professionally-run treatment centers for those looking to overcome an addiction. These treatment centers can offer support and knowledgeable staff who will help each individual find successful ways of dealing with their addiction. It is important to find a program that works for the individual and that offers the support they need to stay on track.
In addition to treatment centers, there are many online resources as well as support groups where individuals can learn more about addiction and find the help they need. Many of these support groups are led by individuals who have gone through and triumphed over an addiction. These resources can be invaluable when it comes to learning how to manage and overcome an addiction.
The Bottom Line
Addictions can come in many forms and affect individuals in different ways. Knowing what signs to look for and understanding where to get help can make the process of overcoming an addiction easier. With the help of professional treatment centers, online resources, and support groups, individuals can find the help they need to overcome an addiction and reclaim their lives.