Addiction is a serious disease that can have devastating consequences. The good news is that addiction is treatable, but the key is to catch it early. Many people don’t realize they have a problem until it’s too late. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of addiction, says the expert Karen Corcoran Walsh. Recognizing the early warning signs can make all the difference in getting help before it’s too late.
The most important thing to remember is that addiction doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, or social status. And it often starts with something seemingly innocuous, like drinking alcohol or taking drugs recreationally.
- One sign is if someone is engaging in risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence or having unprotected sex.
- Other red flags include changes in behavior, such as skipping class or work or losing interest in hobbies or activities that used to bring joy. People with addiction often withdraw from friends and family members and become isolated.
- Another telltale sign is if someone is using more of a substance than they intended to or for longer periods of time than they intended.
If you notice any of these changes in yourself or someone you love, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Addiction is a disease that requires professional treatment to overcome. It is possible to heal with the right care. Avoid leaving it until it is too late.
In spite of the consequences, obsessive drug seeking and use characterize addiction as a chronic, recurrent condition. People who are addicted to drugs often feel unable to control their drug use and may continue using drugs despite the harmful consequences.
- Tolerance: Needing more of the drug to get the same effect
- Withdrawal: Experiencing negative effects when not using the drug
- Loss of control: Using more of the drug than intended or for longer periods of time than intended
- Cravings: A strong desire to use the drug
- Obsessive thoughts: Thinking about the drug constantly
- Impaired judgment: Making poor decisions related to drug use
- Relationship problems: Strains on personal relationships due to drug use
- Financial problems: Spending money on the drug instead of other necessities
Addiction is a progressive disease, which means it will only get worse over time if left untreated. The sooner someone gets help, the better their chances are of making a full recovery. Early intervention can often prevent addiction from taking over someone’s life.
Addiction is a serious disease that can have devastating consequences if left untreated. Recognizing the early warning signs of addiction can make all the difference in getting help before it’s too late. If you notice any changes in your own behavior or the behavior of someone you love, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. With proper treatment, recovery is possible.