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Alcohol Addiction

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If you or a loved one have struggled with a drug or alcohol addiction, you may be aware of some of the more common signs and symptoms of addiction as a whole. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all drug and alcohol addictions manifest in similar ways, as individuals are affected by addiction on a personal level that is unique to their own personality, behavioral patterns, and addiction.

Understanding unusual signs of drug or alcohol addiction can help you to spot addiction in yourself or others and help you find much-needed assistance.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Because alcohol, amphetamines, prescription medications, opioids, benzodiazepines (benzos), and marijuana have a variety of different effects on individual people, it can be difficult to pinpoint when a loved one is struggling with an addiction. Having a general understanding of some of the most common signs and symptoms that are prevalent among occasional use or severe addictions can help you to identify when someone you know may be in need of help.

Physical Symptoms of Addiction

Some of the most common physical symptoms in individuals who are struggling with addiction include:

  • Hand or joint tremors
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle aches or stomach aches
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Red eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Uncontrollable sweating
  • Increased heart rate and pulse
  • Increased or decreased blood pressure
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Changes in hygiene and grooming

Mental and Emotional Symptoms of Addiction

Keeping an eye out for mental and emotional symptoms of addiction is also necessary if you believe your loved one is struggling with addiction but is attempting to hide it from others. Not all mental and emotional signs of addiction will likely be apparent with your loved one, but it is worth noting that they may occur depending on the substance being used as well as the overall severity of the addiction itself.

Mental and emotional symptoms of addiction often include:

  • Cognitive impairment (loss of train of thought, slurred speech, language difficulties)
  • Loss of focus
  • Preoccupation with obtaining, using, and consuming substances over other activities
  • Insomnia or extreme fatigue and drowsiness
  • Increased anxiety, agitation, and irritability
  • Lack or loss of emotional control
  • Emotional sensitivity and reactivity
  • Increased emotional outbursts
  • Defensiveness when discussing behaviors or possible addictions
  • Denial

Unusual Symptoms of Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Not all addictions look the same, especially when it comes to individuals who lead outwardly successful lives and appear professional, reliable, and positive. Spotting unusual signs and symptoms of addiction can be tricky and often requires a bit more time and effort, but it can also provide valuable insight into the true nature of addiction and how it is impacting your loved one.

Some more unusual signs of an addiction may indicate a more serious or life-threatening situation. They could include:

  • Avoidance of family members, friends, and loved ones
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Loss of familial and close relationships
  • Loss of jobs or the inability to maintain a steady job with regular work hours
  • Problems with schoolwork and grades
  • Lack of respect relating to loved ones, friends, bosses, coworkers, teachers, classmates, and others
  • Deceptive behavior that might include sneaking around and lying
  • Increases in impulsive behaviors such as gambling, stealing, lying, making expensive purchases, or engaging in unsafe sex and illicit affairs
  • Stealing from family members, friends, and loved ones in pursuit of obtaining and consuming a substance
  • Physical violence and intimidation due to substance abuse or a serious and life-threatening addiction
  • Blacking out (especially if this becomes a common occurrence without other possible medical explanations)
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Death

If you believe your friend or loved one is facing an addiction, take note of odd behaviors, personality changes, and physical changes that have occurred recently. Knowing what your loved one is potentially experiencing on a personal level can help you to better assess the proper way to approach the topic without causing a rift in your relationship.

Improve Your Ability to Communicate with Someone Who Is Struggling with Addiction

If you believe your loved one is struggling with addiction and you are unsure of how to go about providing them with help or guidance, improving your ability to communicate is a must. When you want to help your loved one deal with the symptoms of kratom withdrawals or other drug withdrawals and want to help them find an alcohol and drug rehab treatment that could truly fit their needs, it’s important to find the best method to communicate with them to avoid being ignored or rejected.

Because many individuals who struggle with serious or life-threatening addictions find themselves in denial or try to avoid the topic of addiction and their behaviors altogether, using tact when communicating your thoughts, opinions, and concerns regarding their lives is imperative.

When you are comfortable communicating with those who are struggling with addiction, you are less likely to take any insults or negative reactions personally, especially if you are approaching a loved one for the very first time about their behaviors and potential addiction.

The better you understand just how addiction can affect many aspects of an individual’s life and just how complex an addiction can be, the easier it will become to effectively and positively communicate with those in your life who need help and guidance. When you understand what to look for when watching for potentially unusual signs and symptoms of addiction or abuse, it could be easier to treat such conditions.

Although addiction doesn’t manifest in the same manner among multiple individuals, familiarizing yourself with unusual symptoms and signs of drug or alcohol addiction can assist you with spotting problems in your own life or in the lives of your loved ones. The more comfortable you become with spotting physical, mental, and emotional signs of addiction at any stage, the less likely you or someone you know is to fall into the traps of addiction itself.

With a thorough understanding of the devastating emotional, physical, and mental effects that addiction has on the mind and body, you can truly be a genuine source of comfort. You can become a resource for those who are looking to overcome addiction in their lives for good.

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