Last Updated on April 1, 2015 by Morris Green
Is addiction all in the brain? Is it embedded in our DNA? Is it genetic? Just what is it? According to Psychology Today, addiction is a condition. It is the direct result of consuming a substance or engaging in a pleasurable activity, but the persistent use or act becomes compulsive and interferes with daily responsibilities. Some consider addiction to be a conscious choice, but many users don’t realize their behavior is out of control until it’s too late.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction
The word addiction labels a great many things in today’s society. We’re almost all addicted to something from television programming to foods and games, but there are two prevalent addictions that, if left untreated, can lead to deadly consequences:
- Drug Addiction: Most drug addictions start with the experimental use of a drug for and in social situations. The rate and severity of addiction vary per person, but for most, it sneaks up. They begin needing larger doses of the drug to feel its effects, and soon they find it next to impossible to go without.
- Alcohol Addiction: Too much alcohol can lead to a battery of chronic medical conditions. Pinpointing a drinking problem can be tough. It doesn’t always manifest in the same manner. Some individuals that are addicted to alcohol can go for days or even weeks between drinking episodes while others drink very often. Even those who don’t often drink are at risk of developing an alcohol addiction.
5 Indications of Addiction
Spotting the signs of addiction is important. The signs are warnings of a developing problem, and it’s vital to seek help before the problem spirals out of control. While the precise indications of addiction can vary from person to person, there are five generalized signs you can be on guard for:
- Problems at School or Work: It’s one of the first signs to manifest. If sudden and out of character problems begin to arise at school or work after someone begins drinking or using, it’s possible they’ve developed an addiction. Keep in mind, prescription drugs can spiral into a habit, sometimes without the user even realizing.
- Neglect: A change in appearance can signal an addiction. Be aware of any negative changes in grooming, including a lack of interest in clothing or looks.
- Changes in Behavior: People that are addicted to alcohol or drugs often feel embarrassed or insecure because of their dependency. Secretive activity and a want to keep family and friends from entering a room or visiting can be signals of an addiction. A drastic change in behavior, especially in relationships, is also a classic sign of a habit.
- Changes in Spending: Supporting a habit is expensive. Sudden requests for money without a reasonable explanation can indicate a problem. It’s very likely an issue exists if an otherwise honest person suddenly begins stealing or extorting money or items.
- Physical Health Issues: Addiction takes a toll on the body. A lack of energy and motivation can be the beginning signs of addiction. If energy levels increase sporadically, it can indicate a dependency.
If you see these indications in yourself or a friend, it may be time to seek help. Addiction is a serious medical condition. Don’t take it lightly, and don’t shy away from seeking qualified assistance.
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