drug and alcohol addiction

Signs of Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Articles, Australia, Education, International, Understanding Addiction

Using drugs and alcohol can cause serious issues in an individual’s life. Continued use of drugs and alcohol can develop into a dependence, causing more difficulty to stop. It is important to realize the early warning signs in order to prevent drug and alcohol dependence from becoming a reality.

Here are some warning signs to look out for:

Drug Addiction:

Having trouble with one’s relationships. A person abusing drugs could be having a difficult time getting along with family, friends or coworkers. Family members might be complaining about how the person has changed or how much they are consuming drugs. Friends could be upset that the person has gained a new set of friends who only do drugs because they are ignoring them or not spending getting to spend as much time with you as they did in the past. Partners, who are using drugs, may be belligerent, yell more, say things they do not mean and have unexpected mood swings while they are under the influence of drugs. They may be engaging in riskier sexual behaviors, either outside of their relationship or with their own partner, which can add more pressure to the romantic relationship. Drug abusers can also become very manipulative to obtain their drugs, which puts strain on their relationships as well. In a nutshell, addicts may withdrawal from family activities for many different reasons.

Keeping secrets about how much one is using drugs. One could also be hiding the effects the drugs are having on him from others. There are many ways and many reasons one chooses to withhold information about their drug addiction from others.

Deterioration in physical appearance. Shaking or gaining or losing weight are just a few ways one’s physical appearance can change due to drug use. Drugs take a serious toll on the the body, both inwardly and outwardly.

Neglecting activities which used to be important to the person. One may no longer get pleasure from activities that used to be enjoyable to her. One may stop engaging in hobbies that at one time brought her great joy. The chase of the next high gets in the way of earlier activities that one once enjoyed.

Taking more risks to obtain one’s drugs. For example, one may drive while under the influence of drugs. There are a multitude other dangerous behaviors one could engage in while under the influence.

Continuing to use drugs despite knowing the negative consequences they cause. The person has become unable to control her drug intake. Perhaps the person steals money in order to buy drugs. One may be sleeping more or less than usual, which could be causing difficulties in job performance or standing in the way of one performing her family duties. Other consequences for drug use could include being more susceptible to illnesses due to a weakened immune system or liver damage. A person using drugs could also experience paranoia and hallucinations. There are many negative consequences an individual could be experiencing while using drugs, but if she is addicted to drugs, she will continue to use them despite the consequences.

Prior family history with drug abuse greatly increases the chance of a person becoming dependent on drugs as well. Children, whose parents were addicts, are 8 times more likely to develop an addiction themselves. Those who have a drug addiction in their bloodline, will likely become dependent if they are using drugs as well.

Having withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop using drugs. When the drugs wear off one may feel shaky, nauseous, lacking appetite, abdominal pain or headaches. In severe cases, one may even experience seizures. Withdrawal symptoms could also include feeling things on one’s body that are not actually there. In extreme case, death can even occur. Serious consequences ensue when people are using drugs, but serious dangers are prevalent when an addicted person tries to stop using them also.

Alcohol Addiction:

Continuously having arguments and disagreements with one’s family. Alcoholism often causes strife between spouses. Often financial stress or disagreements on spending money for a family member’s alcohol fixation can causes stress and arguments among those family members. Unfortunately, alcohol addiction can also lead to divorce because the strain becomes too much for the spouse on the other side of the addiction.

Experiencing unpleasant symptoms when trying to stop drinking. When trying to break the habit, one may experience withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, irritability, shaking or nightmares. Other symptoms one might experience include extreme sweatiness, headaches, lack of appetite or increased heart rate. Yet others might experience hallucinations or confusion too.

Hiding one’s amount of drinking from others. They might hide the addiction because they do not want others to find out about it. Maybe they do not want others to judge them for their drinking habits. They may want to protect their image, so they choose not to tell anyone about their drinking. They might fear losing their job. They would not want their children to find out about their habit of drinking alcohol. To hide an addiction, one might likely travel far away to buy their alcohol, so others would not recognize them. They might add water to bottles in order to hide how much they actually drink.

Others may possibly hide their alcohol bottles in places where they do not think anyone will find them. It is feasible that they might drink before going to a party, so others do not find out how much they are actually drinking. They will use breath mints or mouthwash to disguise the smell of alcohol. Possibly, the would become very successful in other areas of their life so they can mask their addiction from others. They are more prone to take time off from work or come in late due to hangovers or binges in the previous days. They would have reason to do things in secret, so others will not find out about their drinking also. People hide their drinking habits from others for a number of reasons, but the underlying factor is because they are afraid or ashamed of how others might react to their overuse of alcohol.

If you are someone you know are exhibiting any of these signs, please seek appropriate, professional help. There are services available for each of the warning signs listed above.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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