First of all, if you believe that you or someone you love is facing an addiction problem, know that you are not alone. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a treatable, chronic medical disease that involves complex interactions about brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and life experiences. It is estimated that as many as 21 million Americans face addiction, but only 10 percent of those affected seek treatment.
The good news is that treatment approaches for addiction are generally successful. The first step in treatment for addiction is to first recognize there is a problem.
Recognizing Addictive Behaviors
Individuals suffering from addiction may display various symptoms, but some commons signs to watch out for are:
- Inability to stay away from the addictive substance or behavior
- Decreased socializing
- Changes in mood
- Ignoring risk factors
- Physical Symptoms
- Changes in personality
- Family history of addiction
- Being strongly drawn to a substance or activity
- Looking for scenarios where the substance or activity will be present
- Binging or loss of control
- Ignoring negative consequences
- Increased secrecy
- Aggressive behavior
- Risk Taking
- Neglecting obligations
- Unexplained injuries
These are just some of the symptoms to watch out for if you believe yourself or a loved one may be dealing with addiction. If left untreated, addiction can have debilitating consequences.
The first step in getting treatment for yourself or a loved one is to admit you have a problem to those closest to you and to a qualified medical professional. Your close friends and family will provide an invaluable support system and your trusted medical professional can help you find the right path for recovery, which might include either inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation.