Addictions often begin simply enough, with a person enjoying the substance recreationally at first but developing a high tolerance over time, which gets pushed on by strong cravings. The media does not often paint an accurate picture of what a person suffering from an addiction looks and acts like. If you want to know a few ways to recognize the signs of addiction in a loved one, read on.

Types of Addiction

There are quite a few things, including behaviors and substances, that people can get addicted to. They include substances like alcohol, nicotine, tobacco, and even medication. One can also be addicted to behaviors like shopping, working, gambling, sex, video games, and using the internet.

Addiction is the inability of a person to refrain consistently from something, usually at the expense of their mental health, physical health, and even finances. It is a sad fact that just 10% of Americans who are living with an addiction will get treated for it because this is a very small figure.

Initial Signs and Symptoms

While a person may not show any signs initially, a few clues could help point to potential addiction and they include:

  • One being particularly drawn to a substance or activity
  • Having a family history of addiction
  • Going through episodes of binging on the substance or activity with no remorse afterwards.

In the case of addiction, and with these behaviors left unchecked, they spiral down into extreme changes in the personality and health of the afflicted, both physical and mental health.

Changes To Look Out For

As mentioned, there are many changes that one goes through when they get addicted to a substance. They include mental, physical, and emotional changes like:

  • Becoming very private and reclusive
  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities they once found important
  • Missing obligations like school and work
  • Neglecting relationships
  • Developing risk-taking tendencies
  • Ignoring the negative consequenses that their actions may have
  • Aggressive behavior, depression, and apathy
  • Unexplained injuries and constant illness

When you start to notice such changes and behaviors in a loved one, it is important to consider approaching a specialist. They will be able to help you bring up the subject and talk about it in an environment free of judgment and potential misunderstandings.

Christianity is the largest religion in the world, with more than 2.4 billion Christians worldwide. If you come from a religious background, it may be a good idea to seek out the help of religious leaders who have experience dealing with cases of addiction.

Long Term Consequences

If left unchecked for a long time, the negative effects become more permanent and have long-term consequences. The addict will often play these down so they are able to carry on with their habits. Some of these consequences include jail time, a destroyed reputation, damaged relationships, getting infectious diseases, dropping out of school for students, and losing jobs and homes for adults.

While these events are not unique to those with an addiction, they are more prevalent among addicts. It is important to seek help for them and avoid judging them when they get to the deep end. By the time they develop a high tolerance, it is important to understand that they need fast, professional help. To get a good idea of how high tolerance can build, a dose of just 5mg of parenteral heroin is just about equivalent to about 20mg of oral methadone, the substance used to help treat people with drug addiction.

It is important to get a loved one who is addicted into a health treatment plan that is comprehensive and has several steps geared towards improving both physical and mental health. Stay involved and voice your concern whenever there is a relapse, and you just might help your loved one defeat the terrible condition that is addiction.