Signs & Symptoms of Addiction

Signs & Symptoms of Addiction

If your own substance use is beginning to worry you, visit our self-assessment page: Am I addicted?

Some common signs of addiction in others include:

  • Secretiveness
  • Unexplained absences, having to leave at odd times with a sense of urgency
  • Financial difficulties
  • Changes in social groups; vague about where and how they met new friends
  • Stashing behaviour; finding large supplies of drugs or alcohol hidden
  • Finding drug paraphernalia: burnt spoons or bottle caps; used, dried up cotton balls; razor blades and mirrors; cut up straws or hollowed pens; burnt foil squares; rubber tubing
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Changes in sleep patterns; sleeping for unusually long or short periods, or at unusual hours
  • Changes in energy; appearing highly energetic or lethargic without explanation
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Pupils dilating or contracting
  • A cough or runny nose that comes and goes and doesn’t appear to be linked to an infection
  • A change in physical appearance: self-care habits are neglected, may appear dishevelled

It is important to note that many of the signs and symptoms of addiction can have various explanations,  or be associated with other mental health issues. If you don’t know how to talk to your child or loved one about addiction we can help. An important first step to treating addiction is a safe and controlled environment where the person feels comfortable being open and vulnerable.

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