The Symptoms of Addiction

The Symptoms of Addiction

The symptoms of addiction in a family member can be pretty hard to spot.  Hiding an addiction to alcohol can be very different from someone who has a problem with heroin.  But there are some common signs that are universal both behavioral and physical that indicate addiction has taken hold.  Here are some things to look for and what you should be wary of.


An addicts behavior can become very secretive and this is one thing you should keep an eye out for.  Regardless of whether they gambling, using drugs, drinking or shopping, the addict will be more secretive as the addiction takes hold.  You have to be particularly careful when it comes to teenagers, teenagers can become addicts too but and they are secretive by nature anyway.

Mood and Behavioral Changes

Addiction doesn’t discriminate between sex, socioeconomic status or age.  It can happen to anyone but there are physical symptoms that you can watch out for.  Many addicts are anxious and jittery, they are constantly looking for their next fix or the opportunity to find money to support their habit.  This same addictive behavior leaves the addict moody and defensive when you question their actions.

There are emotional side effects as well, addiction is stressful and addicts are constantly under stress.  Most addicts are also extremely paranoid and that is a side effect of the drug use.  Addicts are naturally secretive and try and hide their behavior from their loved one.  They see everyone with a suspicious eye and become hostile if anyone questions them.


Because of their paranoia and hostile behavior addicts tend to isolate themselves from loved ones.  That keeps anyone from suspecting that they are a drug user, at the same time their friendships change instead they hang out with other addicts.  While you may consider these new friendships completely toxic the addict sees them as another avenue to feed their habit along with someone who understands their needs.  The stronger the addiction becomes the more isolated they get from family and friends.  There are parents who haven’t seen their children in years because of their addictions.

If you see someone you love showing any of the signs of addiction then it is time to act.  You can encourage them to get professional help or check into a rehab facility.  You will need plenty of patience as the suggestion may not be accepted by the addict.  An addict needs to want to quit and to enter into any kind of therapy or rehab voluntarily.

Can Rehab Help?

Can Rehab Help?

Families of addicts often struggle with the question, can rehab help their loved ones overcome addiction and lead a normal life?  Rehab centers all across the country help addicts abstain from using drugs and alcohol using a variety of options.  They all have one goal in common and that is changing lives and giving addicts another chance to work through their addiction.

Therapeutic Setting

One of the reasons that addicts find it so difficult to quit is because of the environment that they are in.  At home you they are surrounded by other addicts, peer pressures, familial issues and they need to learn different coping skills to deal with all of it.  Coming to a rehab center removes all of that.  Many inpatient rehab centers don’t allow any contact with the outside world for the first 30 days.  That means no family, friends or even any phone calls.  The addiction is given the chance to focus only on their recovery.

Depending on the nature of the addiction, for example opioid addiction, it is a physical addiction and an addict needs medical intervention to get through the detox process.  After the detox process is over and the physical symptoms have subsided then it is time for therapy to get to the root of the addiction.  Qualified therapists are on staff the help the addict understand their behaviour and how to change it in the future.

Group Therapy

One aspect of rehab is group therapy and it is there an addict can meet other addicts who are struggling with the same issues.  The premise of group therapy is to let the addict know that they are not alone in their struggles.  It helps to have others around you who understand your struggles and can give you the accountability that you need to stay away from drugs or alcohol.  It is this type of accountability that helps with long term recovery.

Does Rehab Help?

Yes, in many cases it does help.  Patients with physical addictions would never be able to kick their habit without medical intervention.  In some cases the addict may need long term rehab or they may have taken several tries before they commit to being drug or alcohol free.  However the patient has to want to live a life of sobriety and effectively work the program so it can work for them.   Kicking addiction doesn’t happen overnight and it can take months of intensive therapy to get to a place where they can be a functioning member of society again.