Substance addiction can be defined as overdependence by a person on a particular substance to such an extent that the person is no longer able to function until the substance has been taken. This happens when a person uses the substance to a point where the body begins to recognize it as an important nutrient in its system. The body therefore begins to ‘rebel’ when the drug has not been used and does not work as expected, causing sickness.
Any type of addiction causes a lot of problems for the victim’s physical, spiritual and mental health and could even cause death if not taken care of in time.
Many addicts have to be forced by their family and friends to get help after a planned intervention because they often deny that they have a problem, even after they have begun to show clear signs of addiction. If not handled in time, addiction will affect the close family members and even the friends of the victim of addiction.
There are many signs and symptoms that can be seen as a result of addiction. Often, however, addicts will try as much as possible to hide them from their loved ones so that they will not be forced into treatment. Since the problem has many facets, not all the effects of addiction are visible to the human eye. It can take a very long time for the signs to be noticed by others and by then the person’s health will have been severely compromised.
How then can a person conclude that it is time to admit their loved one to a residential addiction treatment center? The following are some of the symptoms of substance addiction that can help in deciding this, but it is important to note that not all signs of addiction are physical. In fact, most of them are psychological and it may take a long time before they are finally seen physically.
One of the most important signs to watch out for is someone trying several times to stop using the drug in question. This happens when addicts realize that the addiction is seriously affecting their families and want to change. However, because there is a lack of the necessary medical and family support, the plan nearly always fails and the addict goes back to square one. If family members notice this, it can be one of the points used when asking the person to get treatment for addiction.
Another noticeable sign that signifies a need for treatment is sudden changes in behavior in the addict. This could be experienced as an effect of excessive use of drugs or alcohol or withdrawal from them. The addicts’ moods tend to change very quickly from being happy, to being sad, then depressed, then excited. Anxiety also creeps in at such moments. When this has been witnessed more than once, the person should be told to seek residential addiction treatment. During this treatment, patients will be given tips on how best to handle withdrawal as well as how to manage stress.
Other signs or symptoms that may put families on the alert are mishandling of money, frequent lapses of memory, unexpected variations in sleeping patterns, slight or perhaps severe shaking, slurred speech and rapid changes in body weight.