For those of us who have hit our rock bottom, admitted we were addicts and alcoholics, and started to live a new sober life, we can easily spot the signs of someone who is in active addiction. However, I’m sure there are many parents out there who were like mine and had no idea what was really going on with me. I never realized how absolutely manipulative and subtle the signs of addiction could be and how many people suffered from it. As someone who now works in the treatment field, I have become familiar with what the signs of addiction look like and they are usually subtle and often ignored or overlooked.
Addictions can vary from person to person, sometimes it’s alcohol, sometimes a drug, and sometimes to eating, gambling, shopping or even gaming. Obviously, some addictions or more dangerous than others, but once something starts to hinder a person’s life negatively, there should be cause for concern.
How Bad The Physical Need Is
The number one most common factor of addiction is when a person presents not only cravings but an actual physical dependence upon a substance. again, the addictive substance can vary for each person, but when a person must use whatever it is they are addicted to in order to function, and they will put the use of their substance above everything else, this is the clearest sign of addiction.
Signs of Addiction – The Interference
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous makes a reference to the thought process of an alcoholic who, trying to control their drinking, will go to any lengths to master their habit. It discusses the promises they keep to themselves to only drink at parties, or switch up their preferred drink of choice and even to quit their job if they were ever caught drunk at work. This thought process shows just how far an addict will go to ensure they can still function normally while using their substance. The downfall is that all of the plans to control their usage are usually thrown out the window when they develop the physical dependency and mental obsession to use their substance of choice.
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12 Step programs have a saying- “One is too many and a thousand is never enough.” In other words, once an addict has one, there will be no point in time that they feel they can comfortably relax for more than a few minutes before they need more. An addict, in comparison to a normal person, suffers from the phenomenon of craving that is never satiated, despite the amounts taken. It usually takes blackouts, an arrest, or another serious situation to finally consider getting sober.
Another clear cut sign of addiction is going to any length the keep their problem a secret. When an addict is aware that what they are doing is considered shameful to some people, they’re using will start to become a hidden endeavor. This is especially true for people who abuse illicit substances and people who have families close to them. That being said, mothers who suffer from addiction are among the largest group of poeple, according to studies, that never get help. This is usually because they have no one to help with the kids and they fear they will lose them if they admit they have a problem. So they will continue to use in secret because it is the only way they feel ok enough to take care of their children
A huge aspect of addiction is an addict’s denial and ability to minimize their problem. Many addicts will live in the false reality that they can control their using or that they can stop at any time if they want to. When the day comes that an addict admits they can’t stop on their own, they will usually be able to validate their excuses of, well I don’t have time to take off of work to go to detox or “I’m only going to keep doing this until this day and then I’ll stop.” This is why the first step in the 12 Steps is often just admitting that there is a problem to begin with.
People that don’t suffer from addiction will watch with horror as an addict completely destroys their life for their addition. It makes no sense when perfectly intelligent and well-mannered people make horrible decision after horrible decision and still won’t admit that they have a real problem. Addicts often face legal problems, the loss of friends or family, and even serious health issues and yet still continue to use like nothing has happened. This is one of the most baffling aspects of addiction, as normal people would assume their loved one would stop after multiple overdoses or DUI’s. However, once the addiction becomes strong enough, negative consequences mean nothing in the light of their next fix.
Know These Signs of Addiction
The fact of the matter is a full blown addict is pretty easy to spot if you know these signs of addiction. It is often the people who only show some of the symptoms, enough to cause concern, that should be worried about. In order to help our loved ones who seem to be going down the path of addiction, we need to always help from a place of love. It;s important to remember that addicts will usually know deep down that they are doing something that is not considered “socially acceptable.” They will most likely be carrying a lot of shame and guilt because of this. Trying to force an addict out of their addiction will never work. As family members, it is absolutely necessary that we provide them with a comforting outlet for whenever they are ready to stop using. This by no means signifies that their behavior should be enabled, but they should always feel as though they have a safe place to turn to when they are ready.
Freedom From Addiction
If you have found yourself or a loved one suffering from alcoholism or addiction, you are not alone! If you are ready to change your life and live free of addiction, then FindAddictionRehabs.com can help. We give you the jump start to recovery you need. Our holistic program is unique in that it doesn’t just treat the addiction, it treats the whole person. For more information on our program, call today.
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