Addiction touches the lives of millions of people annually. Whether addiction to alcohol, opioids, or other addictive substances, addictions are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans each year. Historically, addiction was considered a conscious choice or even a moral failing by society and members of the medical and mental health communities alike.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. When someone is addicted, they cannot control the impulse to use drugs or consume alcohol, even when they know their actions have negative consequences. If you have a drug or alcohol addiction and try to reduce or stop using, you will likely experience unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms called withdrawal symptoms.


What are the Signs of Addiction?

Addiction presents in various ways. Its symptoms do not look or feel the same for everyone. The wide-ranging behavioral, physical, and psychological elements of addiction affect each person uniquely.

Behavioral Signs and Symptoms

Behavioral signs of addiction include those actions that impact a person’s relationship with the world around them. For example, you may notice increased obsessive thoughts and actions around getting and using drugs or alcohol. Someone with a drug or alcohol addiction will continue to use or drink despite any physical or emotional harm it causes to them or their family. When confronted about their use, someone with addiction will often deny or minimize the extent of their use.

Physical Signs and Symptoms

Physical signs of addiction vary widely. They may appear outwardly as signs of use, during an overdose, or as a symptom of detox and withdrawal. The most common physical signs of addiction include weight changes, changes in sleeping, enlarged pupils or bloodshot eyes, poor physical coordination, and changes in physical appearance.

Psychological Signs and Symptoms

Addiction also has a significant impact on your psychological state. Due to the perceived need to use, you are unlikely to recognize these impacts. You may notice increased anxiety, irritability, personality changes, emotional withdrawal, and others.

Some drugs have specific warning signs in addition to the general ones listed above. For example, marijuana may cause heightened euphoria, increased appetite, and paranoia. Stimulants may cause excessive energy, rapid breathing, and hostility. Barbiturates and benzodiazepines (Benzos) abuse can cause confusion, coordination problems, depression, and dizziness. Hallucinogens may cause impulsivity or hallucinations. Like barbiturates, opioid painkillers slow your system down, inducing sedation, difficulty concentrating, lethargy, and problems with memory.


What are the Causes of Addiction?

Drug addiction often begins with experimentation, exposure to prescribed medications, or recreational use. Many who “try” drugs or alcohol for the first time do not believe they can or will become addicted. For a select few, this might be true; however, most will continue to use increasing amounts, eventually leading to addiction that requires comprehensive addiction treatment to overcome.

The risk of addiction depends on the drug you use. Some drugs, for example, opioid pain medications, lead to addiction more quickly than others. Alcohol addiction sometimes results from using alcohol as a coping mechanism to handle stressful events and situations.

There are also several risk factors or causes that may increase your risk of developing an addiction. Common examples include:

  • Family history of substance use disorders
  • Age when you first used or drank
  • Environmental factors such as peer influence or family dynamic
  • Heredity and genetics
  • Pre-existing mental health conditions
  • Previous history with addiction and addiction treatment


Are There Rehab Programs in Humboldt County, CA

At Singing Trees Recovery Center, we understand the challenges you face as you take your first steps towards recovery. Choosing the best program for you is a vital yet sometimes tricky decision. At our peaceful, private Humboldt County rehab center, we offer addiction treatment in a safe, comfortable setting allowing our clients to achieve sobriety and long-term recovery in an environment conducive to healing.

If you are curious about our facilities and Northern California treatment programs, contact a member of admissions today for information about how we treat addiction on a personal level. There is sobriety, recovery, and a life without drugs and alcohol on the other side of addiction. Let our staff at Singing Trees Recovery help you start your recovery journey today.

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