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Symptoms

Signs And Symptoms Of Addiction

A sign is something others, like the doctor, see, whilst a symptom is something that the patient discerns and explains. Example is the case of dilated pupils being a sign while constant sleepiness is a symptom.

Drug Addiction - an addicted person cannot resist or restrict himself to the intake of the substance be it drug, alcohol, cigarette. Even if the substance poses a danger, they will still take it whether or not they know the dangers.


Drug addiction makes the body have a strong desire for the substance. It will be extremely difficult for the addict to stop using the substance without external assistance, even when they want to.


Personal circumstances, genetics, and the specific substance being used are all things that can determine how the signs and symptoms of abuse will manifest in an individual.

Signs and symptoms of substance enslavement may include:

  • It becomes difficult for the person to desist from using the substance - like drug, alcohol or nicotine, even when the person has attempted to stop at least on one occasion.
  • Withdrawal side effects - when body levels of that substance go beneath a specific level the patient has physical and disposition related manifestations. There are urges, spells of moodiness, fits of rage, poor concentration, a feeling of being sad and empty, anger, resentment and frustration.
  • There may be abruptly increased craving. Another common symptom of withdrawal is insomnia. In certain instances, the person may be constipated or suffer from diarrhoea. With certain drugs, withdrawal can set off seizures, perspiration, hallucinations, violence and tremors.
  • Even with the knowledge that health problems exist, addiction continues - The person keeps taking the substance on a regular basis, even though negative health problems are becoming apparent. To give an example, someone who smokes might continue to smoke even after a heart/lung issue has developed.
  • Recreational and/or social sacrifices - certain activities are relinquished because of a dependency to some substance. For instance, a heavy drinker may reject an invitation to go outdoors or spend a day out on a boat if no alcohol is accessible, a smoker may choose not to join up with companions in a sans smoke bar or eatery.
  • Keeping stock - Addicts always stock up on drugs to make sure they have a decent supply even if it costs more than they can afford. They may ensure that this substance is made available by dipping into the budget of the entire home.
  • Taking risks (1) - in certain instances the addicted person might undertake risks to ensure he/she can get his/her substance, like stealing or exchanging sex for drugs/cash.
  • Dangers of Addiction (2) - When the addict is on the drug, they may take bold actions like over speeding.
  • Managing issues - a dependent individual usually feels they require their drug to manage their issues.
  • Fixation - an addict may spend more energy and time concentrating on manners of to get his/her drug, and in certain instances on how to use the drug.
  • Secrecy and solitude - the addict may resort to enjoying these substances in solitude in most cases.
  • Denial - a considerable number of addicts are living in a state of denial. They don't know (or decline to recognise) that they have an issue.
  • Excess consumption - the individual takes too much of drugs, nicotine or alcohol in some cases of addiction. The effects can be physical symptoms, like a bad lasting cough (in the case of heavy smokers) and a sore throat, or blackouts (fail to remember moments).
  • Giving up activities and pastimes - as the dependency advances, the person might no longer do things he/she really liked. Some smokers who will discover that it is no longer easy for them to cope with the physical demands of their favourite sports may also resort to this.
  • Stashing the substance - an addict might hide small stocks of the substance in unlikely places, like around the house or in the car.
  • Taking a large initial dose - this is usually a problem with alcohol addiction. The addict will usually take a lot of the substance quickly so that they get the effect fast.
  • Having issues with the law - this is progressively a normal for some drug and liquor addictions (not nicotine, for instance). This can be because being on the substance impairs the user's judgement and they engage in risk taking behaviour or because the addict breaks the law to get a hold of the substance.
  • Financial issues - when the substance is not cheap, the addict might give up a lot to ensure his/her supply is stable. For instance, in most of the western world a packet of twenty cigarettes costs more than '11, if an addict smokes two packs a day, they will need '660 monthly and about '8,000 annually.
  • Relationship troubles - drug and alcohol addictions can cause a lot of relationship problems.

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Some people who abuse drugs or alcohol might not be technically addicted but can still suffer the effects mentioned here but do not usually suffer from withdrawal symptoms or have the same obsession to use the substance.