To prevent substance abuse tendencies from developing and becoming a full-fledged addiction, look out for some of these early signs of addiction.
The longer a person abuses a substance, the stronger their dependence typically becomes and the more likely they are to develop an addiction. In many cases, early intervention may prevent addiction from fully taking hold. As such, if you have a loved one who you think may be on the path to developing a substance abuse addiction, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible. To do so, you must be able to recognize these early signs of addiction to look out for.
Physical Signs of Addiction
Substance abuse typically has negative effects on one’s health, and it will often start to reveal itself through a variety of physical symptoms. Some of the most common physical signs of addiction to look out for include frequent illnesses due to a weakened immune system; abrupt weight changes; bloodshot eyes; enlarged or small pupils; and discolored skin tone and nails. People who have already developed a dependence on addictive substances may also exhibit physical withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sweating, or vomiting.
A healthy person would typically recognize the negative effects substance abuse is having on their health and make an effort to stop such behavior, but an addict may not. If your loved one refuses to acknowledge their declining health or tries to justify and continue their unhealthy behavior, then they may be on the path towards developing an addiction.
Behavioral Signs of Addiction
Numerous behavioral symptoms are also associated with developing an addiction. If you notice that your loved one has been acting differently or that they don’t seem like their usual self, there’s a chance they may be engaging in substance abuse. Some of the most common behavioral signs of addiction to look out for include a tendency to eat more or less, failure to get an adequate amount of sleep, loss of motivation, changes in speech such as rapid rambling or slurred words, and inattentiveness. In addition, addiction can cause people to isolate themselves from those closest to them. If you notice your loved one is emotionally or mentally withdrawing from you and other people in their life, they may be developing a harmful addiction.
Psychological Signs of Addiction
Addiction can also have an effect on a person’s mental and emotional state. As such, people who are developing a substance abuse addiction may begin to exhibit psychological symptoms such as increased feelings of anxiousness or unexplained paranoia, which may cause irritability and increase their tendency to have angry outbursts. Addiction may also result in depression and other substantial changes in mood or personality.