Addiction, a multifaceted and frequently misconstrued disease, continues to exert its influence over countless individuals across the globe. There are many differing opinions on what causes addiction, as well as the best addiction recovery methods, which doesn’t make the topic any easier. Some professionals even disagree on what is addiction, with some classifying it as a disease, and others a behavioral choice.

Given its intricate nature, detecting the signs of drug addiction or alcohol addiction can prove to be a formidable task. Nevertheless, being able to identify these signs becomes paramount in helping yourself or a love one access the critical support they require.

Changes in Behavior

One of the most common red flags of addiction is a noticeable change in behavior. This can include sudden mood swings, irritability, and aggression. Addicted individuals may also become secretive and isolate themselves from friends and family. They may neglect their responsibilities and hobbies as their priorities shift towards obtaining and using their substance of choice. Other social and behavioral signs of addiction can include sudden new friends that may seem out of character for them, or suddenly being “busy” all the time. Many substances often alter someone’s mood or temperament, both during and after use, which is why this is one of the first signs of addiction you can spot.

Physical Changes

In addition to changes in behavior, addiction can also cause various physical changes in an individual’s body and overall well-being. These changes can manifest in different ways such as significant weight loss or gain, alterations in sleep patterns, and a noticeable decline in personal hygiene routines. Furthermore, addicted individuals may also endure frequent and recurring headaches, debilitating nausea, and a wide range of other physical symptoms that directly result from their persistent substance use and abuse. It is important to recognize that addiction not only affects one’s mental state but can also greatly impact their physical health.

Financial Problems

Addiction can have a profoundly detrimental influence not only on an individual’s physical and emotional well-being but also on their financial standing. It is not uncommon for addicted individuals to encounter an array of financial difficulties, resulting from their excessive spending on the substance they are addicted to. Moreover, they may disregard bills and other essential financial obligations due to their preoccupation with satisfying their addiction.

Someone experiencing active addiction may borrow or even steal money from family and friends, or take on excessive personal debt. Sudden, big financial risks, especially if they are out of character, can be a very telling sign of a recently developed addiction or relapse.

Relationship Issues

Addiction can strain relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners due to the myriad of negative consequences it brings. When individuals fall prey to addiction, they tend to distance themselves from their loved ones, creating an emotional divide that becomes increasingly difficult to bridge. Furthermore, addicted individuals often resort to deceit and manipulation in order to conceal their destructive substance use. This web of lies not only erodes trust but also leaves their friends and family feeling betrayed and uncertain about the authenticity of their relationship.

Additionally, the unreliable nature of addiction frequently results in missed opportunities, as these individuals may frequently cancel plans or arrive late. This consistent flakiness not only breeds frustration but also chips away at the foundation of trust that relationships are built upon. Ultimately, these behavioral changes culminate in conflicts and serve to place an immense amount of strain on the various relationships in an addict’s life.

Denial and Defensiveness

One of the biggest challenges in recognizing the signs of addiction is the individual’s denial and defensiveness. Addicted individuals may become defensive when confronted about their substance abuse and may deny having a problem. They may also make excuses for their behavior and downplay the severity of their addiction. Despite its commonality, addiction is still a highly stigmatized condition, and people may feel ashamed to admit that they’ve developed a problem.

Changes in Appearance

Another red flag of addiction is a noticeable change in appearance. Addicted individuals may neglect their personal hygiene and grooming, leading to a disheveled appearance. They may also have bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, and may frequently smell of alcohol or chemicals. Other, more subtle signs of addiction in the physical appearance can include sudden weight loss or constantly wearing long sleeves or baggy clothing to hide physical appearance.

It’s important to note that, while changes in physical appearance can signal an active addiction, there are many individuals whose appearance may not change during addiction. Addiction can be an invisible struggle, which is why it’s important to pay attention to all the various signs of addiction.

Seeking Help

If you or a loved one is exhibiting these red flags of addiction, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Addiction is a progressive disease, and the earlier it is addressed, the better the chances of recovery. Wekiva Springs can help you or a loved one fight addiction. You can call at 904-296-3533 or schedule an assessment to see if a Wekiva springs program is right for you. For immediate medical emergencies, call 911 or seek your nearest emergency room. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 or get to the nearest emergency room.

About Wekiva Springs Hospital

Wekiva Springs Hospital is a welcoming facility that provides inpatient and outpatient behavioral health and substance abuse treatment. Located in Jacksonville, FL, we offer services to adult and senior adults.

Our beautiful campus is specifically designed to facilitate healing and recovery for each of our patients. We pride ourselves on accommodating the severity of each patient’s condition and servicing each individual need. Some of our services include our mental health, substance abuse, outpatient group therapy programs and more.

To schedule a no-cost assessment or for more information, please call 904-295-1995