Addiction is a physical and psychological dependence and compulsive engagement of a substance or behavior that creates disorder and chaos in one’s life, and the lives of those connected to the individual. Most often, it’s associated with drugs and alcohol because of the visible signs of unmanageability resulting from the abuse of these substances.
Signs of Substance Abuse or Addiction
Many times, the signs of unmanageability are those most apparent to the public, or those who do not personally know the addict.
- Drugs and alcohol often lead to criminal consequences such as DUI, possession, and public intoxication charges.
- Intoxication from drugs and alcohol is often noticeable in a user’s appearance and behavior. The appearance of intoxication can lead to refusal of service for almost any business, and the criminal charge of public intoxication.
- The long-term physical effects of many drugs can be instant indicators, such as sunken cheeks or tooth and gum decay (known as meth mouth) resulting from methamphetamine. Also, track marks on the extremities of intravenous drug users can be a clear sign of an addict.
In addition to the visible signs of unmanageability with drugs and alcohol, some signs are less noticeable to everyday people. It is still obvious to those who are connected to the addict.
Most often noticed by the inner circle of addicts is the increase in neglect for family, friends, and responsibilities that are inherent to addicts. As tolerance grows and withdrawal symptoms come on faster, the daily pattern for addicts becomes one of ensuring they have enough drugs or alcohol to sustain their substance abuse. With this everyday hustle, addicts will no longer have the time and motivation to keep up with their responsibilities to themselves, their jobs, and their family.
Another indicator of drug and alcohol addiction is the financial struggle. Regardless of the financial resources, when an addict ignores his or her responsibilities for continuously maintaining enough drugs and alcohol to sustain their high, finances will undoubtedly suffer. Not only does it cost money to obtain drugs and alcohol, but the inevitable increase in tolerance for these substances requires higher amounts to feel “okay,” then more to get the “high.”
Physical Signs of Drug or Alcohol Abuse
Since drugs and alcohol are toxic to the human body, the effects of prolonged and frequent use cause future and severe problems. In addition to the internal damage done to organs, blood, and the brain, most drugs and alcohol have notably adverse effects. This damage can result from the substance itself, and the behaviors associated with its consequences. For example:
- Methamphetamine use causes tooth and gum decay, no matter how it is administered to the body. Methamphetamine can also create a delusional effect in users that often causes them to pick at the skin on their face and body.
- Heroin users, although they may start using by snorting the drug, eventually evolve to intravenous users. It creates “track marks” on their arms, legs, feet, hands, and neck where needles have been inserted for faster effects of the drug. To avoid detection of their use, many heroin addicts will wear long sleeves and pants throughout the year, even on the warmest of days.
- All drugs, including alcohol, opiates, stimulants, and benzodiazepines, cause a great deal of uncoordinated behavior, no matter how “put together” an addict may feel he or she is. This intoxicated state causes accidents and unsafe behavior that often results in injuries and damage to property. Whether it’s an inebriated fit of rage, stumbling and falling, or driving under the influence, the damage is an inevitable result of drugs and alcohol.
Read more about drugs and alcohol:
- Alcohol Addiction (Alcoholism)
- Drug Addiction
Behavioral addiction causes disarray and chaos in the lives of those addicted to such behaviors as:
- Video Games
Although these behaviors are normal and done in moderation for most people, those who suffer from behavioral addiction find themselves caught in the same turmoil as those addicted to drugs and alcohol. As it is classified as a compulsive repetition of behavior or substance, anything can become dangerous without moderation and responsibility.
There are some effects of behavioral addiction that are very similar to drug and alcohol. The main difference in the impact of the substance and behavioral addictions are the physical indicators; however, the psychological and functional damage is equally apparent and dangerous.
A Forever Recovery Can Help: Find Out More About Addiction
When considering the devastation and disorder created by an addiction of any kind, it is important to understand that it’s a progressive and deadly condition that takes lives every day. This can be treated, and they can reclaim their lives with an effective treatment program that is tailored to the individual needs of each person. This is why at A Forever Recovery, we customize treatment plans for each, based on his or her chosen recovery path, preferences, and belief system. No matter what the problem or its severity, we can help.
If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, please call us so one of our trained counselors can talk with you today about how we can develop an individualized plan for empowerment to overcome it and live life as it is meant to be lived – free from the chaos.