Dealing with an addiction in your life or the life of a loved one is never easy. Knowing how to identify addiction while obtaining the necessary support and assistance is essential for long-term results. Whether you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, it is important to know how to identify the key elements of addiction to seek the proper care and treatment needed to begin living a life of sobriety.
1. Family History
One of the most important factors to consider when identifying an addiction in yourself or someone you know is a familial history of addiction and substance abuse. Individuals who have a family history of addiction have a much greater risk of becoming addicted to using drugs and alcohol themselves.
2. Depression, Anxiety, and Underlying Mental Disorders
Those who struggle with depression, anxiety, and other underlying mental disorders are much more likely to become addicted to using substances as a means of escape. Depression and anxiety often lead to negative moods and unwanted emotions, which cause individuals to turn to mind-altering substances to cope.
3. Social Isolation
Social isolation is extremely common and often prevalent in those who are already experiencing severe addiction. Avoiding friends, missing out on familial gatherings, and steering clear of interactions with others can be a telltale sign of a growing addiction in one’s life.
Overindulging frequently in drugs and alcohol is a sure sign that an individual may be headed for an addiction (if they have not already developed one). Codependence on drugs and alcohol lead to a higher tolerance for the substance, which in turn requires more each time an individual uses the preferred drug or alcohol.
5. Psychological Changes
Some of the most common psychological changes noted in those with addictions include:
- Loss of Focus
- Increased Preoccupation With Using Drugs and Alcohol
- Social Isolation
- Increased Irritability and Outbursts of Rage
- Uncontrollable Emotions (Depression, Anxiety)
6. Physical Signs and Symptoms
Once a serious addiction develops, physical signs and symptoms become prevalent, such as:
- Shakiness and Tremors: Especially in the arms and extremities of the body
- Nausea/Vomiting: Often from overindulgence
- Bloodshot Eyes
- Cognitive Impariment/Loss of Memory
- Heart Issues/Palpitations
Overcoming an addiction is never simple and requires a commitment to change along with emotional and moral support from those in your life. Once you have a clear understanding of how to properly identify an addiction, work to change bad habits and negative behaviors to resist temptation while rebuilding your life for a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling future.