Signs of Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction typically starts off as recreational, whereby the individual drinks and/or uses in a social setting. The disease is progressive, which means that as time passes, he or she will exhibit a higher tolerance, frequently engage in the behavior and experience intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Below is the Jellink Curve that clearly shows the progression of addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use disorder, get help now.


Physical Signs of Addiction


• Over-active or under-active (depending on the drug)
• Repetitive speech patterns
• Dilated pupils, red eyes
• Excessive sniffing and runny nose (not attributable to a cold)
• Looking pale or undernourished
• Abrupt weight loss or gain
• Change in eating habits
• Poor personal hygiene

Behavioral Signs of Addiction


• Missing work/school
• Work/school problems
• Missing important engagements
• Isolating/secretive about activities
• Disrupted sleep patterns
• Legal problems
• Relationship/marital problems
• Financial problems (e.g. always needing money)
• Conversations dominated by using or drug/alcohol related topics

The Three Cs of Addiction


• Loss of Control over the amount and frequency of use
Craving and compulsive using
Continued use in the face of adverse consequences