Legacy Healing Center Blog
Identifying Patterns of Addiction
Learning how to identify addiction patterns can warn you that your loved one is in trouble and needs help. There are many reasons that can contribute to why a person abuses drugs or alcohol, and the reasons will vary with each person. But regardless of why people abuse substances, they will all exhibit telltale patterns of abuse.
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Substance abuse results in creating physical, emotional, and mental effects in people that can be quite revealing. Individuals may react to substances differently, but they will all begin to reveal specific patterns that can indicate substance abuse. If you suspect your loved one of abusing drugs or alcohol, you can learn how to identify 5 common addiction patterns that people struggling with addiction exhibit.
Stages of Addiction
Your loved one may display each pattern to a greater or lesser degree than someone else, but you will be able to find traits of each pattern when you know what to look for. The patterns of addiction that you should look for are:
1. A Pattern of Use
This is the first pattern of addiction that you may recognize. If you begin to notice that your loved one is using alcohol or medications more than he usually does, it may be a sign of the beginning of substance abuse. Try to keep an account of the number of substances being used, and if the usage escalates. If you suspect that your loved one is secretly abusing illicit substances, you will have to watch closely for patterns of addiction.
2. Risky Behavior
Another pattern of addiction is exhibiting risky behavior. Polydrug use is a term used for individuals who mix different types of drugs together to get a more intense or longer-lasting high. Polydrug use creates lethal cocktails that are very dangerous and can lead to overdose and death. Adding alcohol to the mix is another form of creating a lethal cocktail. Another type of risky behavior is when an individual is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and engages in dangerous activities, like driving a vehicle, having unsafe sex, or using a dirty needle to shoot-up.
Once a person’s body gets used to the presence of drugs or alcohol, his body will develop a tolerance to it. He will need to use more of the substance to get the same effects of euphoria and well-being that he initially experienced. If you see your loved one increasing his alcohol or prescription drug intake, that should serve as a red flag that he may have built up a tolerance to the substance. A tolerance to substances can cause brain impairment and physical and emotional problems. When an individual develops a tolerance for a substance, he can experience cravings for the substance and will want to use it every day.
When an individual becomes dependent on a substance, they have developed a substance use disorder. The individual will continue to use the substance, increase the dosage, and also experience adverse withdrawal symptoms if they try to decrease or stop using the substance.
Full-blown addiction will reveal itself in physical, mental and behavioral ways. Some of the signs include:
- Irritability, aggression, violent behavior
- Lethargy, depression, hallucinations, psychosis, suicidal thoughts or acts
- Changes in attitude, personality, habits,
- Isolation, loneliness
- Lying, stealing, criminal activity
- Loss of finances, homelessness,
- Disregard for duties and responsibilities
- Changes in appetite and weight, bloodshot eyes, sleep problems
- Poor hygiene, unusual body odors, unkempt appearance
- Shaking, tremors, slurred speech
Once you become aware of addiction patterns, you will be better equipped to recognize substance abuse. If your loved one is exhibiting these signs of addiction, he can receive professional help to overcome addiction at Legacy Healing Center. Call us today at 888-534-2295 to find out about detox and rehabilitation programs.
Individuals can opt for an inpatient or outpatient status and begin their journey back to living a sober, productive life. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol abuse, reach out to Legacy Healing Center at 888-534-2295 and learn how rehab can change your life. Also, stay up to date with us on social media and leave us a review on Google!