Addiction can happen to anyone at any time. Some people are more susceptible to succumbing to addiction. But how do you know if you have an addiction – or if someone you love is? Most of the time, telltale addictive behaviors will clue you in.
What is Addiction?
Addiction refers to the inability to stop consuming or doing something, even though it is harmful. It can be a drug, activity, substance, or chemical. The inability to stop can stem from a psychological or physical need. People can be addicted to gambling, sugar, sex, drugs, prescription medicine, alcohol, tobacco, or something else. The addiction causes them to ignore important needs and responsibilities to fulfill their addictive desires. To get even more specific, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction as “a chronic disease that affects the brain’s reward, motivation, and memory functions.” Addiction is a chronic disease that requires treatment.
Who is Prone to Addiction?
People can develop addictive personalities, which are personality traits that make them predisposed to developing an addiction. This can come from their biology, environment, or be a learned trait over time. This isn’t a proven fact, but more of a hypothesis that believes common personality traits are seen in people suffering from addiction. These common themes are considered addictive behaviors.
What is Addictive Behavior?
Addictive behavior is a type of behavior or stimulus-related to behavior that is both reinforcing and rewarding and leads to the development of the behavior. For sex addicts, it’s the act of sex. For alcoholics, it’s the numbing feeling. And for marijuana users, it’s the chill factor or pain relief. It’s different for every situation.
Why Do People Become Addicted?
There are many reasons people become addicted to drugs. These include:
- To feel good, increase self-confidence, or enhance pleasure
- To help with pain, anxiety, or depression
- Because of social pressure
- To improve their performance, focus, or results
- Due to biology, family history, or environmental factors
What are the Telltale Addictive Behaviors I Should Look For?
Common characteristics can identify addictive behaviors and can be thought of as telltale addictive behaviors that most addicts will display. These include:
- The person becomes obsessed with the object, activity, or substance
- They are compulsive about engaging with the object, activity, or substance
- Withdrawal symptoms will be present if the person tries to stop
- They do not seem to have control over themselves and their behavior related to the addiction
- They will be quick to deny they have a problem
- The person will seek it out and engage in the behavior even if it is harmful
- The person may hide their behavior
- They will commonly be depressed, have low-self esteem, anxiety, etc.
Some addicts are more obviously addicted, but it isn’t always easy to tell when someone – or you – has a problem. That’s because there is such a thing as a ‘high-functioning addict.’ These are the people that appear to be normal and may not seem to be addicted because they seem to have their lives under control. They may exhibit some of the above behavior, but some other signs include:
- Their friends may be addicts
- They may abuse during odd hours, like alcohol in the morning
- May not feel like themselves or seem a bit ill in the mornings due to hangover or withdrawal symptoms from using the night before
- They may begin losing interest in their hobbies
- They will make excuses for their behavior
How Do I Know if Someone is Addicted?
There are several general physical signs and symptoms of addiction that may help you identify that a person is using, especially when they are under the influence at that moment. These include:
- A sudden weight gain or loss
- Small or enlarged pupils
- Bloodshot eyes
- Unusual body odors
- Looking disheveled
- Poor coordination, memory, or slurred speech
What You Can Do if You See Telltale Addictive Behaviors
If someone you love exhibits these telltale addictive behaviors, it may be time to get them help. The help could also be for you if you’re ready. Reach out to an addiction treatment center or detox program like Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston. Call us at 866.516.8356 to begin your road to recovery today.