Understanding the Signs of Addiction: What to Look Out For

Understanding the Signs of Addiction: What to Look Out For

There is a very thin line between occasional drinking and alcoholism, but when it’s hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and even certain prescription meds that we are talking about, that line is almost non-existent. What this means is that the moment you indulge in an illegal drug, or legal drug without prescription, there is a very high chance that you will get addicted to it almost from that point on.

Alcoholism can actually be even worse than drug addiction in some situations, since it’s completely legal for a grown adult to drink as much as he/she wants to, and there is very little others can do to stop that person, except in special situations where the actual sanity of the person is under scrutiny due to the addiction or some other reason.

So, how are you supposed to detect if and when a person should be admitted to a rehabilitation clinic? Some or all of the following symptoms of addiction should be present in addicts, and should you be able to relate to them yourself, or to someone close to you, seeking professional help will be necessary as soon as possible.


The most common aspect of almost all kind of addicts is their disorganized lifestyle. In fact, Chateau Recovery actually gives us a close and personal peek into the lives of addicts. Go through the post and learn more about it. You will come to know some sad but enlightening truths about what they usually suffer from on a daily basis, as well as multiple symptoms common to almost all addicts, exhibited through their very lifestyles. For example, they often steal and borrow money from their families, friends and sometimes, even strangers to find the money to buy the very substance that’s ruining their lives.

Uncontrollable Cravings

Whether it’s the alcoholics or the drug addicts, the characteristic craving for the particular substance is common in everyone who has developed a dependence.

The cravings will be intense and uncontrollable for most people, especially when the chemical dependence is in its advanced stages.

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Since the dependence is not just psychological, but very much physical in nature, withdrawal symptoms will kick in on being unable to supply the brain with the substance.

As mentioned earlier, stealing, looting, or worse, is expected if the individual in question is in advanced stages of drug addiction or alcoholism, but does not have the funds to buy the substance. At that point, his/her brain is not working like it should, and the person may not stop at anything to satiate that addiction.

Although our focus is substance abuse and addiction here, do understand that similar symptoms are also exhibited by people with gambling problems. The dopamine boost which they receive on winning a hand in cards or in any other casino game must be satisfied on a continuous basis.

Even when they do not win, the craving for the adrenalin rush which comes from betting is enough to intensify those cravings and make it an uncontrollable urge.

Taking Irrational Decisions

When someone is taking a certain drug or even alcohol on a regular basis, their brain begins to lose some of the rationality of a sane and sober human being.

A person driving recklessly without cause, walking on ledges without being suicidal or simply taking decisions that don’t make any sense to the sober people around them, is possibly under the influence of something or the other.

By taking irrational risks, they are seeking the adrenaline rush, and due to the brain’s impaired reasoning, they are unable to assess the risks and consequences associated with such actions.

When it comes to completely irrational decisions or actions, it might be a clear sign that the person’s sanity is either at risk, or at the threshold of going completely.

Financial Troubles

Unpaid bills, instalments and other dues are a common sign that something is wrong. It could be a legitimate financial problem after losing one’s job or suddenly having to take on previously absent responsibilities of course, but if such circumstances can be ruled out, the financial troubles are most likely stemming from a drug/alcohol/gambling problem.

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Talking with the people nearest to the person, even if it is you, will reveal more about the situation. Sometimes, addicts are not even aware of the seriousness of their situation, so an intervention might help towards getting him/her admitted to a rehabilitation clinic.


A person who prefers to live in isolation is not necessarily addicted because a lot of people are introverts and they do not enjoy the company of others as much as most of us do. However, if a previously extroverted and outgoing person is suddenly shrinking into a cell of isolation on their own, some investigation on the matter might reveal the cause to be depression or addiction, and most likely, both.

Depression goes hand-in-hand with addiction because one fuels the other, until only a shell of the person is left behind.

People get depressed and they seek solace in alcohol and drugs, which works temporarily by boosting the dopamine levels, but is soon followed by a crash.

The individual falsely believes the temporary boost to be a solution and seeks it again desperately to get rid of the depression that has now become even more intense. The hopeless cycle goes on and the person in question becomes a full-blown addict.


Fellow drug addicts and street dealers will be seen frequently keeping company with someone who is addicted to illegal drugs. It may not be as hard to notice either, if you keep a close watch on the person.

In case of alcoholism, there won’t of course be any illegal drug dealers involved, but the person is likely to spend a lot of time either drinking in a bar, or drinking somewhere else with a bunch of other people who are also suffering from alcoholism.

It isn’t uncommon to falsely believe that any kind of addiction is a purely mental dependence, when in truth it is not so at all. A fact we often forget is what we call the mind is actually the brain, which works on physical processes as well, just like the rest of our body.

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