Symptoms of Addiction

Plano Drug Treatment Centers Guide to Understanding Symptoms of Addiction

Addiction is a disease that can impact anyone, whether you are rich or poor, educated or uneducated, young or old. Addiction is powerful enough to overtake your life if you allow it to. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is classified as a chronic brain disease that can result in relapse. This disease is characterized by compulsive drug use and drug seeking behaviors. Individuals who continue to abuse substances in spite of knowing the harmful consequences associated with using the drug are labeled as addicts. Although many people start out taking drugs voluntarily, continued use can result in involuntarily developing an addiction. Drugs have the ability to hijack the brain and cause brain changes that will start to change you as a person. Once a tolerance for a drug is developed, trying to achieve the same high by using more and more of the drug often leads to experiencing less pleasure from other activities which were once enjoyable to a person.

What Does Addiction Do to The Brain?

Most drugs are capable of affecting the reward circuit in the brain by flooding the brain with dopamine. When the brain's reward circuit is overstimulated it produces a "high" that often leads people to use the drug over and over again. Over time, the brain starts to become accustomed to the excess levels of dopamine. Therefore, addiction has been labeled as a brain disease due to the changes that drugs cause within the brain. Drugs have the ability to change the structure of your brain, in addition to manner in which your brain functions. The changes which drugs cause in the brain can become long term and often lead to developing harmful and self destructive behaviors.

Symptoms of Addictions

Symptoms of addiction tend to vary from person to person, however many individuals will show some more common symptoms. Common symptoms of addiction include the following:

  • Loss of control
    • Loss of control over drug use is one of the most common symptoms of addiction. When an individual is unable to limit their use of a substance, and are continuing to use despite telling themselves they will stop, they have lost control.
  • Developing a Tolerance
    • Over time, with repeated use a person's body will begin to adapt to the effects of the substance, causing them to need to use the drug more frequently and in larger amounts to experience the same effects.
  • Continued Use Despite Being Aware of Negative Consequences
    • When an individual makes the choice to continue using a substance despite knowing the harmful consequences associated with the drug, this is a strong indicator of abuse or addiction.
  • Experiencing Withdrawal
    • Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal such as depression and anxiety, when the use of a substance has been abruptly stopped or significantly reduced.
  • Relationship Troubles
    • Experiencing broken relationships and/or issues in relationships with friends and family in relation to one's substance use.
  • Social Withdrawal & Isolation
    • Withdrawing or isolating oneself from friends and family as a means to hide substance use, and drug using behaviors and activities.
  • Neglect
    • Neglecting important responsibilities and commitments such as work, school, and home due to use of substances.
  • Poor Performance
    • Changes in performance and attendance at work and/or school in relation to substance use.

Get Started On Your Path to Recover at Plano Addiction Centers

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