What Exactly is Addiction?
Addiction, or Substance Use Disorder (SUD), is defined as a physical and mental dependency on a substance, coupled with an inability to stop using the substance without adverse side effects. The beginning stages of addiction are often characterized by recreational substance use, which
can eventually turn into a SUD.
At this stage, the body will have become reliant on a substance to function and carry out daily activities. The individual will also experience physical and mental cravings when they are not using drugs. There are many signs and symptoms that can aid in deciphering whether someone is experiencing addiction.
An individual who is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol may prioritize these substances overproper nutrition and food consumption, causing malnourishment. Additionally, drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine can suppress one’s appetite, also causing weight loss.
In contrast, heavy consumption of calorie rich alcohol, like beer, can cause bloating and weight gain. The psychoactive compound in marijuana, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is an appetite stimulant and can also result in weight gain.
Drug and alcohol addiction may also result in changes in body odor. When someone is consumed in addiction, they may stop practicing regular hygienic routines due to the prioritization of drugs and/or alcohol.
Drugs and alcohol themselves can carry strange odors. Drugs such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and alcohol may leave lingering odors on the body and/or clothing.
Marijuana use can also cause one’s eyes to become drowsy or droopy and the user may look asthough they are squinting or trying to keep their eyes from shutting
Various Withdrawal Symptoms
These symptoms occur when someone who is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol stops taking them abruptly. Many of these symptoms can be very dangerous and may result in fatality if they are not given proper medical attention.
An individual with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol may incur a sudden increase in legal issues. They may experience an increase in fines, a stay in a holding cell, court appearances, and/or jail time.
Relational Neglect and/or Isolation
Someone with a SUD will usually recognize their own physical and social symptoms. Unfortunately, many of them will find it difficult to admit they are in trouble and will have an even harder time quitting on their own. It is important for the loved ones of someone suffering from addiction to understand symptoms and aid in getting them the help they need.