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How to Recognize Addictive Behaviors

 

The number of addicts in the United States continues to reach epidemic proportions, from the 24.6 million people who abuse illicit substances, as estimated by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, to the millions more that are addicted to behaviors other than drugs, such as gambling, shopping and video games. Realizing you have an addiction can be one of the most difficult steps towards rehab treatment. However, there are a few common signs to look for.

Obsession

Addiction is typically paired with obsession or obsessive behavior. Obsession consists of constantly thinking about using drugs or performing a certain action to a point that it interferes with your ability to function normally throughout the day.

Compulsion

Obsession is often paired with compulsion in addictive behaviors. When you’re compulsive, it means that you continue to perform the behavior, even when you don’t necessarily want to. This compulsion leads to a loss of control, such as only wanting one shot of alcohol and ending up drinking an entire bottle.

Disregard of Harm

When you no longer have control over your addictive actions, another problem sign develops, which is a disregard of harm to yourself or others. This disregard can come in many ways. For some, it’s no longer paying attention to the risks of health problems associated with your actions, which in some cases can even lead to death. For others, it’s no longer caring about legal actions associated with trying to get your fix, whether it be buying or selling illicit substances, or performing illegal actions like stealing to get money to support your habit.

Hiding the Problem

You often know an act is wrong when you feel you need to hide it from those around you. A dependence on a substance or action can make you feel concerned about what others will think about you, or worry that if you’re caught there will be consequences. This makes it natural to try to hide the action from others

Withdrawal

One of the most noticeable signs that you’re addicted to something is withdrawal. Withdrawal consists of physical or emotional side effects that occur when you don’t pursue the substance or behavior you’re addicted to. These symptoms can be as serious as tremors and hallucinations, to simply excessive sweating and anxiety. Withdrawal is a primary reason why rehab is so important, especially in cases like illicit substance abuse where withdrawal can come with serious health side effects.

While you may feel you have your behaviors under control or can treat it yourself, the truth is that most people need to seek out help. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, seeking out help through rehab treatment can help you get back on the road to a happier and healthier life.

Are you or someone you love suffering from drug or alcohol addiction? Call our addiction advisors for help 1-800-259-1361

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