Addiction or alcoholism has become extremely common in our society. In fact, from 1999 to 2017, more than 700,000 Americans died from overdosing on a drug. Recognizing if you or a loved one are battling this disease can be difficult. Many people go through stages in their lives when they drink alcohol, or even use illegal substances, for fun or to blow off some steam after work. The problem occurs when the use of these substances trumps our daily responsibilities and causes problems in our friendships and close relationships. There are physical, behavioral, and mental symptoms that occur when someone is addicted to a substance, and these symptoms may vary depending on what substance the person is using. 

Common Physical Symptoms

When using any substance, there are common symptoms that show a physical dependence that would indicate an addiction:

  • Bloodshot eyes 
  • Dilated pupils
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain
  • Poor hygiene 
  • Sores from scratching 
  • Insomnia or increased fatigue

These symptoms may vary depending on what type of drug you or your loved one is using. For example, when using a stimulant an addict would be more inclined to have symptoms of insomnia, dilated pupils, and rapid weight loss. Whereas someone using a depressant would be displaying symptoms of fatigue and pinpointed pupils. If you are experiencing any of the listed symptoms above, you are more than likely addicted to a drug and need to seek help. 

Common Behavioral and Mental Symptoms

Some of the more obvious signs of addiction are behavioral. If you notice a change in someone’s behavior that coincide with these symptoms, they are most likely dealing with an addiction to a substance. 

  • Spending an increased amount of money, even when money is tight.
  • Not meeting important obligations or decreased interest in social activities
  • Involvement in criminal activity, like stealing or DUI charges
  • Changes in speech (Slurring words or talking rapidly)
  • Increased irritability or apathy
  • Memory problems
  • Paranoia and hallucinations
  • Feeling like you can’t function without the substance 
  • Experiencing intense urges to use the substance
  • Requiring larger doses of a substance in order to feel an effect
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when going without the substance

These behaviors indicate that someone has been using a substance frequently, or often enough for it to begin to change their personality. Usually, personality changes indicate an addiction and requires professional help in order to detox a person off of a substance. 

What Can You Do?

If you or a loved one is addicted to a substance, there are treatment centers that can help those suffering learn how to live their life in sobriety. The first step towards long-term sobriety is to find a detox center that can help you. It is extremely important to have medical assistance while detoxing from alcohol or drugs due to the varying withdrawal symptoms one may go through. Everyone is different, and the withdrawal symptoms will differ depending on which substance a patient was using, how much they were using, and for how long. Detoxing from some substances can cause seizures and even death, when done without proper medical attention. You may have felt alone while in active addiction, but you don’t have to feel alone while you are fighting to overcome it. Get the help that you need as quickly as possible through a detox program that is armed with the important knowledge and proper medical treatment you require. 

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