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Different Types of Addiction and Substance Abuse Warning Signs

symptoms of addiction

Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disorder that causes individuals to seek out and use substances or engage in activities despite harmful consequences, potential health problems, and legal problems. Alcohol and drug abuse impacts not only the person struggling with it but also their loved ones and society as a whole.

There are various types of substance abuse addictions, each with its own unique set of warning signs. Knowing the signs of drug and alcohol abuse can help you monitor your consumption habits or those of your loved ones.

Understanding the social changes, behavioral characteristics, and physical symptoms associated with alcohol, opioids, and other drugs can help individuals identify the problem and seek treatment for alcohol or drug abuse before it’s too late.

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism or alcohol use disorder, is a serious problem that affects millions of individuals worldwide. It is characterized by compulsive and excessive drinking despite the short and long-term health consequences and impact on one’s relationships, mental health, and overall well-being.

Signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse:

  • Drinking alone or in secret
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home due to drinking
  • Continuing to drink despite negative consequences such as DUIs or relationship problems
  • Developing a high tolerance for alcohol and needing more to achieve the desired effect
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to cut back or quit drinking
signs of addiction

Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana, also known as cannabis or weed, is a psychoactive drug that produces feelings of relaxation and altered perception when used. Despite popular belief, marijuana can be addictive, especially when used heavily or by those with a predisposition for addiction.

Individuals at risk for developing an addiction to marijuana include those who use it to cope with stress, anxiety, or other mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction:

  • Regularly using marijuana throughout the day
  • Needing increasingly larger amounts to achieve the same effect
  • Spending significant time obtaining, using, or recovering from marijuana
  • Neglecting responsibilities and relationships due to marijuana use
  • Diminished occupational or educational performance
  • Continued use despite experiencing social or interpersonal problems caused by the effects of marijuana
  • Foregoing important activities or hobbies in order to use marijuana
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, restlessness, and physical discomfort when trying to quit or cut down on marijuana use.

Prescription Drug Addiction

Addiction to prescription drugs is the misuse and dependence on prescription medications. These can include prescription painkillers, opioids, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives.

While these medications can provide relief for specific medical conditions, they can also be highly addictive and dangerous when misused. They can cause blood pressure problems, organ damage, and even death when misused or mixed with other substances.

Signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse:

  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • “Doctor shopping” or going to multiple doctors for prescriptions
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Neglecting responsibilities and relationships due to drug use
  • Using the medication for non-medical reasons, such as getting high

Illicit Drug Addiction

Addiction to illicit drugs refers to the abuse and dependence on illegal substances such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and others. It is a chronic disease that affects brain function and behavior, leading individuals to seek out and use drugs despite harmful consequences compulsively.

Specific Symptoms of Addiction to Cocaine

Cocaine, sometimes called crack cocaine, is a powerful stimulant drug that can cause intense addiction. The drug affects the central nervous system, producing short-term euphoria, mood swings, excess energy, and talkativeness, in addition to potentially dangerous physical effects like raising heart rate and blood pressure.

Some warning signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction include:

  • Increased energy levels and restlessness
  • Overconfidence and excitability
  • Rapid talking and increased sociability
  • Dilated pupils
  • Frequent nosebleeds (for those who snort the drug)
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Intense cravings for the drug
  • Paranoid thinking or full-blown paranoia in severe cases
  • Neglecting responsibilities and relationships due to drug use
  • Financial difficulties due to spending money to maintain a consistent supply
  • Psychosis or hallucinations in severe cases

Specific Symptoms of Addiction to Heroin

Heroin is an illegal opioid that produces a sense of intense relaxation and euphoria when used. It is highly addictive and can lead to severe physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

Some warning signs and symptoms of heroin addiction include:

  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Changes in mood and behavior, and sometimes mood swings
  • Decline in personal hygiene and personal appearance
  • Injection marks on arms or other body parts (for those who inject the drug)
  • Financial difficulties due to spending money to obtain heroin
  • Involvement in criminal activities to support drug use
  • Slurred speech and disorientation
  • Respiratory depression or slowed breathing in severe cases
types of addiction

Other Types of Substance Use Disorder

Aside from alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs, there are other types of substances that can cause addiction. These include:

  • Stimulants
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Nicotine (tobacco)
  • Club drugs (e.g., MDMA, GHB)

Seeking Addiction Treatment for Alcohol or Drug Abuse

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Jewel City Treatment Center provides a range of treatment options and support to help individuals overcome their substance use disorder.

Our programs include a comprehensive assessment, personalized treatment plan, therapy sessions, and aftercare planning to support long-term recovery.

Don’t let addiction control your life any longer – reach out for help today via our online contact form and ask about our treatment programs.

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