Recognizing the Symptoms Before It Gets Worse
We all have our passions and our hobbies; we all have things that we like to indulge in. There is nothing wrong with having these kinds of things in our life, and, in fact, they can be beneficial for our well-being as they provide a source of comfort and happiness. There is nothing wrong with coming home after a long day and partaking in something to help you relax and unwind. But as always, there is a line, and when that line is crossed, incredibly unhealthy and negative habits can surface. When that line is crossed, that’s when addiction can come to be.
Addiction is a terrifying concept. Also referred to as “substance abuse disorder”, addiction is a far too common affliction for many people around the world. But it can also be a very difficult thing to identify and assess. It’s hard to find that line and figure out if it has been crossed. If you fear that someone close to you is suffering from addiction, we are here to help you learn ways to identify the disorder so that you can help them get on the path to recovery.
At the heart of it, addiction is an unusually and dangerously high frequency of use. It is when a person becomes so dependent on the use of a substance, that they start to struggle if they can’t partake in it. The dependency on the substance is the key part of the issue. People who suffer from addiction may recognize that their use of it is causing them harm, but they are unable to stop. Or they may voice their concern that they need to stop, but, again, are unable to actually do so. Often times, the individual will continue to use despite experiencing health concerns related to the substance. Or if they are experiencing problems that are unrelated to the substance, they may find that they need the substance in order to cope with their problems. The individual is completely dependent on this substance in order to function in their daily life.
With this dependency and frequent use of a substance, comes a tolerance. Through repeated use, the person will need to consume more and more in order to feel the effects that they are striving for. Someone with an alcohol addiction will consume large amounts of alcohol in order to feel its effects. They crave those effects and will do whatever it takes to feel them. This extends into gaining possession of the substance. If they are addicted to a substance, they will take risks in order to get it. This may be stealing, robbery, sex, or other risks to get the substance they are craving. They may even put others in risky situations with them.
Those around someone struggling with addiction may notice certain things as well. The individual may stop participating in things that once made them happy in order to indulge in their addiction. They may hide their consumption from others, and deny ever participating in it if confronted. They may be in possession of a large quantity of the substance and also have several smaller “stashes” around their home. Physically, the individual may experience withdrawals if they haven’t consumed the substance in an extended period of time. This includes, sweating, shaking, being more aggressive and violent, or even seizures. They may develop insomnia when going through withdrawals as well. Their appetitive may be affected and changed by the repeated use and their appearance may be altered as well. By making their consumption a priority over hygiene and wearing clean clothes, they may start to appear disheveled or dirty. They can even develop permanent changes, including diseases and illnesses related to their substance abuse.
Addiction takes its toll on an individual in every way. It can physically reshape a person and can psychologically alter a person’s personality and way of life. Witnessing someone you love struggling with it can be difficult and even harder to confirm. As with most things, the symptoms and side effects can vary depending on the person, the substance used, and amount of the substance being used. All these things we’ve listed and talked about may manifest themselves in different ways than expected and to varying degrees. Generally, the first sign of addiction is the amount being used. If you are suspicious of someone you know, pay attention to the amount they are using. If it is an amount that you don’t feel comfortable with or seems out of the ordinary, then look for these other signs. Of course, even if the evidence is there, then comes the challenge of approaching the person; an issue that we will cover in another article. But don’t be afraid to stand up for someone you love. Don’t let that fear stop you from making sure they are healthy. Often times, they need someone else to show them that they aren’t healthy.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with addiction, do not hesitate to contact the team here at TrueRecovery.com. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 and [email protected]truerecovery.com.