Addiction is characterized by the impulse to continue using despite the negative consequences. Addiction happens when there is physical and/or psychological dependency to any substance; alcohol or drug. People with an addiction often do not have control over what they are doing, taking or using. Their addiction may reach a point at which it is harmful.
It is imperative that we understand the difference between habit and addiction. With a habit you are in control of your choices, with an addiction you are not in control of your choices. Many of us can use substances or become engaged in activities without any significant problems. Some people, however, may experience damaging psychological and/or physical effects when their habit becomes an addiction.
Are you addicted?
Addiction often begins with casual or occasional behaviour that increases in frequency and intensity over time. If you feel like there is some latent force constantly overpowering your decision making and challenging the better of you, you might be addicted. To now better, you can judge from the various signs and symptoms of substance addiction, that include:
Physical Signs of Addiction
• Over-active or under-active (depending on the substance)
• Repetitive speech patterns
• Dilated pupils, red eyes
• Excessive sniffing and runny nose (not attributable to a cold)
• Looking pale or undernourished
• Weight loss or weight gain
• Change in eating habits
• Unusual odors or body odor due to lack of personal hygiene
Behavioral Signs of Addiction
• Missing work/school and important engagements
• Disrupted sleep patterns or Insomnia
• Relationship/marital problems
• Financial difficulties
• Conversations dominated by using or drug/alcohol related topics
• Constant effort to maintain a good supply of the substance
• Continued use despite awareness of health problems
• Engaging in risky activities
• Increasing contact with people who are also addicted
Emotional Signs of Addiction
• Unwarranted frustration, anger, bitterness or resentment.
• Inability to deal with stress
• Loss of interest in activities/people that used to be part of their lives
• Losing temper at small things
• Obsessive traits
• Requiring the substance to deal with problems
• Secrecy, solitude and withdrawal from relationships
What happens if you are addicted?
Addiction is a disease, and it can pose a series of negative consequences on a person’s well-being, physical health and professional life. There are many forms of addiction, and each one poses its own series of risks.
Compulsive cravings combined with prolonged substance abuse can prompt physical consequences throughout the body. Most substances will cause strain on the organs, as well as the venous and respiratory system after prolonged use.
Heath risks of Substance Abuse Include:
· Organ damage
· Hormone imbalance
· Cancer (caused by nicotine or steroid use)
· Prenatal and fertility issues
· Gastrointestinal disease
· long-term neurological impairment
· mental health problems such as Depression, Anxiety, Memory loss, Aggression, Mood swings, Paranoia, Psychosis
The ultimate health consequence of substance abuse, of course, is death – either caused directly by a situation such as an overdose or heart attack, or eventually through the development of drug-induced cancer or AIDs.
Many addictive substances are highly regulated and, in certain situations, even banned by local and federal governments. Being caught with a large quantity of drugs could result in a prison sentence, civil lawsuits, large fines, probation, suspension, etc.
Addiction is hard to hide. As chronic substance abuse continues, it will affect almost every aspect of the user’s life. Drug or alcohol addiction usually causes tension among family and friends, job loss, suspension from regular activities, divorce & more. An addict may only find comfort when around other people who abuse substance and his relationship dynamics with non-users change sooner or later.
Mood swings can become unpredictable and hard to control, and other health issues such as chronic fatigue can make it hard to function in many facets of society. Loneliness, anxiety, depression are all factors which cause social circle to shrink and in the worst case scenario may also lead to suicidal thoughts and overdose on purpose.
Get help for your addiction: the sooner, the better
In much the same way your brain is able to adapt to unhealthy patterns based around addictive behaviour, it can reverse those and establish new, beneficial ones. Like other chronic diseases, addiction can be managed successfully. Treatment enables people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects on the brain and behavior and to regain control of their lives.
With treatment, you will find that not only can you gain power over your addiction recovery can be an enjoyable and affirming part of your life.
Begin the Journey to Recovery with Safe House Wellness Retreat.
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