Crossing the line of drug use to abuse may be difficult to discern by someone caught in the middle of such a complex disease as addiction. Typically, a person rationalizes and justifies the physical and behavioral changes associated with addiction. However, recognizing and acknowledging an addiction is the first step toward recovery.
The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is a safe place where those on the path of sobriety, want to help others do the same and continue their journey. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one.
What Is An Addiction?
In defining addiction, the American Association of Addiction Medicine highlights these key aspects that help us understand the complexity of addiction.
- Addiction is treatable. According to the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse, researchers have developed proven methods to help people overcome their addiction and live a productive life.
- Addiction is a chronic medical disease. Although it is treatable, the NIH emphasizes that addiction is similar to chronic diseases like asthma and heart disease. These conditions aren’t curable, but a person can manage them with the proper treatment.
- Addiction is a complex interaction between the brain, genetics, environment, and life experiences. A person’s addiction may seem as simple as someone’s abuse of a drug that willpower can conquer. However, these complex interactions show that treatment will involve many aspects of a person’s body and life.
Physical Signs of Addiction
Recognizing the physical signs of addiction can help you and your loved ones recognize if you are an addict. These physical signs include:
- Dilated or constricted pupils
- Reddened or bloodshot eyes
- Rapid and involuntary eye movements
- Repeating words or phrases
- Slurred or mumbling speech
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Acne and other complexion problems
- Frequent runny nose not attributable to a cold
- Unusual body odors
- Tremors or seizures
- Loss of muscular coordination
Psychological Signs of Addiction
Addiction not only changes a person physically but also makes them act like a different person. It is essential to acknowledge these changes as signs of an addiction. Some of the important behavioral changes include:
- Loss of interest and absence from school or work
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Poorly performing necessary tasks
- Habitual lying
- Interacting dishonestly and deceitfully with others
- Behaving secretly
- Mishandling finances
- Depression and anxiety
- Sudden mood changes
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of motivation
Importance of Early Intervention
It is encouraging to learn that you can identify addiction and successfully treat the disease. However, research on early intervention for addicts, reveals that early intervention can increase the success rate. Early detection and intervention minimize the complications that occur as the disease progresses. The goals of early intervention include:
- The reduction of harm caused by substance abuse.
- The prevention of injuries caused by unsafe behaviors.
- The improvement of overall health.
- The enhancement of one’s social life and interactions.
- The prevention of more severe treatments such as the use of specialty substances.
Sanctuary Recovery Foundation
Our caring professionals understand the challenges and complexities of addiction. We offer a supportive and sober living environment to help you return to a happy, fulfilling, and productive life. Contact us for more information on the Sanctuary Recovery Foundation located in Charleston, SC.