acquiesce - July 14th, 2022

Early Signs of an Addiction

Recognising that you or a loved one has an addiction can be tricky, especially if you aren’t sure of exactly what addiction looks like. If you’re concerned that either you or someone you know is starting to develop an addiction, here are some of the following early signs of addiction to look out for.

Although there are a number of common early warning signs for addiction in general (tolerance increases, negative effects on physical health/mental health), different substances and behaviour affect individuals differently and can therefore manifest in a variety of ways. That’s why we have divided the following early signs into drug, alcohol and gamlbing addictions.

Early Signs of a Drug Addiction

Drug abuse can be a volatile and destructive illness that affects people in a myriad of ways, often with massively detrimental physical and psychological implications. Due to the eclectic spectrum of drugs misused in the UK, the nature and early onset of addiction can vary widely depending on the drug(s) in question. Common types of drugs that cause addiction in this country can include cocaine, marijuana, ketamine, MDMA and heroin. Also prescribed medications used to treat illnesses such as codeine, diazepam, alprazolam, and methylphenidate can manifest in illicit substance use. Prescription drug abuse is often harder to detect compared to ‘street drug’ abuse due to the relative albeit controlled legality of prescription drugs.

Psychological symptoms 

  • Paranoia
  • Defensiveness
  • Agitation
  • Poor judgement
  • Feelings of hopelessness/diminished self worth
  • Deteriorating existing mental disorders, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts

Behavioural Signs

  • Isolation or withdrawal from socialising and responsibilities
  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities that were once important
  • Dishonest, secretive or manipulative behaviour
  • Diminished performance/attendance at work

Early Signs of an Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction or ‘Alcoholism’ is when a person drinks to excess and becomes physically and mentally dependent on alcohol and the perceived effects it causes. Often more deceptive by hiding in plain sight than drug addiction (due to a socially accepted drinking culture in the UK), alcohol addiction is an unhealthy consumption of quantity of alcohol, or destructive or detrimental behaviour due to alcohol. Alcohol abuse has many negative consequences on a person’s life and left untreated can result in a range of serious health conditions. 

Behavioural Signs

  • Regularly being unable to recall events that occurred whilst drinking (known as blackouts).
  • Conflicts with family, friends and work colleagues.
  • Mood swings, depression or irritability.
  • Using alcohol regularly in order to relax
  • Using alcohol to improve mood
  • Using alcohol to sleep
  • Using alcohol to cope with issues or feel ‘normal’

Physical Symptoms

  • Redness in the face, usually nose and cheeks
  • Numbness in hands or feet
  • Persistent or repeated skin abscesses (sores)
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as shaking or trembling, vomiting, aching during periods of not drinking

Early Signs of A Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction is a behavioural addiction that consists of a persistent need or urge to gamble despite the negative effects this causes. Compulsive gambling can ravage a person’s life due to its toll on resources such as finance, as well as the person themselves. Rapidly deteriorating financial loss can lead to a person feeling an escalated or accelerated loss of control and like their situation is spiralling, this often compounds the urge to gamble to win money back, known as ‘chasing losses’. 

With a huge increase in digital and online gambling platforms, compulsive gambling cases have risen exponentially due to the fast and convenient nature apps or websites provide. The reward-like nature heightened by loud, flashy software combined with winning a bet, gives the gambler a satisfaction or ‘high’ similar to the experiences of alcoholism and drug dependence.

Symptoms Of A Gambling Addiction

  • Preoccupation with gambling, constant thoughts or planning related to gambling
  • Needing to increase amounts of money being gambled to reach same level of thrill or excitement
  • Gambling to escape problems or relieve issues
  • Chasing losses
  • Depending on others to financially fund you or bail you out

How Acquiesce Can Help

While no one will dispute the NHS does the best it can in providing free drug, gambling and alcohol services despite being spread too thin to accommodate demand, private residential rehabilitation centres provide the highest levels of bespoke care. 

If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from a drug, alcohol or gambling addiction, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. At Acquiesce, with different treatments available and an easy admissions process, a specific strategy is deployed with understanding and expert encouragement to give the patient the best chance of a successful recovery.

We have been granted an ‘Outstanding’ overall rating from the Care Quality Commission, and an ‘Excellent’ 5 star Google Review rating for our eclectic patient services. 

Get in touch with our team today to find out how our rehabilitation programmes can help you.

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