What are the warning signs of addiction? Addiction can involve a variety of signs, depending on the substance or activity that an individual is addicted to. Drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, shopping, and even the Internet can be the cause of addictions, and treatment is needed to uncover the root causes and eliminate the hidden wounds that cause the destructive behavior. Some signs of addiction can include:
- Relationship Problems– Addiction often leads to problems in family and social relationships. This includes fights with a partner or spouse, friends who stop coming around, and even tension in professional relationships at work.
- Legal Trouble– Legal trouble is a common sign of addictive behavior. Driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs, stealing to buy drugs or alcohol, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, and even violent behavior can result because of an addiction.
- Risk Taking Behavior– Risk taking behavior is a warning sign that something is wrong. This behavior can include having unprotected sex, going into neighborhoods with high crime rates to get drugs, driving while impaired, sharing hypodermic needles, and other risky activities. Addiction often causes these behaviors, and they should not be overlooked.
- Responsibilities Are Neglected– Often the first signs of an addiction concern neglecting responsibilities. This can include failing classes or skipping them entirely, neglecting the condition of the home, child neglect, missing work frequently, not paying bills, having utilities shut off, being evicted, and others.
- Usual Activities Are Discontinued– Addiction can cause a loss of enjoyment in activities tat were once frequent. Someone who has this problem may not continue with hobbies, and social activities usually stop because the addict spends most of the time either under the influence or trying to reach the emotional or physical high they are looking for.
- Physical Appearance Changes– Addiction can cause changes in the physical appearance of the individual who is using drugs or alcohol. These changes can include weight loss or weight gain, eyes which are often bloodshot or irritated, circles under the eyes and a drawn look, and sores or cuts and bruises on the body.
- Mental And Emotional Instability– One of the most common signs of addiction is instability. This can be mental instability, emotional instability, or both. Frequent mood swings can occur, and the addict may be calm and coherent one minute and agitated or confused the next. This instability can lead to violence at times, and this violence may be directed inward or at others.