Addiction seems like a hopeless situation. An innocent toothache prescription can become a heroin addiction. The habit of addiction comes from seemingly harmless needs, like pain or anxiety. The feel-good reward becomes a need; then the need can become an addiction. 

According to the Addictionhelper.com, addiction is the change in behavior of a person who no longer has control over their actions or consumption of a substance. The addiction may not seem bad at first, but it is a progressive disease. At first, the person may seem to moderate to save their jobs and relationships. Over time, the addict no longer cares about saving anything. 

Types of addiction

The types of addiction commonly known fall into two categories: drugs and alcohol. A person addicted to drugs may be addicted to illegal drugs, such as cocaine or heroin. A drug addict may also be addicted to prescription drugs. Certain prescription drugs, like Adderall and painkillers, are frequently abused. Any time a drug is used more than prescribed, that is considered drug abuse and addiction. 

People can develop a high tolerance for certain prescription drugs. A high tolerance means that the intended dosage is no longer sufficient, and a person must take more medicine to feel the effect. This tolerance leads to abuse and addiction. Drugs with a quicker half-life (meaning they leave the body more quickly) will lead to developing tolerance to the drug. 

Alcohol addiction is a dangerous one. Any addiction is harmful; however, alcohol is legal and readily available. Drinking can become a problem and an addiction when dangerous behaviors, like driving and drinking at work, could cost addicts their livelihood or their lives.

Warning signs of an addict

Addiction comes with general and sometimes very distinct warning signs. Warning signs are like flares going up that there is something wrong with your loved one. Are they more isolated? Are they having trouble more at work? Generally, these warning signs fall into two categories: physical and psychological.

Physical warning signs of addiction

Signs of intoxication can be one of the first warning signs but the hardest. Addicts try to hide the substance abuse, so you may not see them high or drunk at first. As time goes on, the addict stops caring, and you will notice signs of slurred speech or lack of coordination. 

Beyond the signs of intoxication, the addict has grown a tolerance to the substance. Their tolerance is so high that their body now needs it to function. As tolerance increases, the addict needs to ingest the substance more often. Other signs of addiction can be losing weight or a lack of care in appearance. As the addict overtakes their life, the addict no longer tends to the other aspects of their lives. 

Psychological warning signs of addiction

The mental warning signs of addiction can mimic other mental illnesses. Being withdrawn, moody, or erratic can be just some signs of an addiction. When an addict goes without the substance, he or she may become agitated or angry. The body becomes dependent upon the substance, and the mind does too. 

The psychological dependence on the substance can leave the addict feeling depressed. The person may seek to stay alone or only be in situations where they can get the needed substance. Their minds are gripped with the need to get high.

Treatment options

If you or a loved one needs help with addiction, there are treatment options available to you. Treatment requires the changing of your behaviors and mindsets. Once you go through the physical part of the withdrawal, you want to learn new behaviors that drugs had replaced. 

There are Los Angeles outpatient centers, for example, that allow you to get help while still allowing you to feel like a normal, functioning member of society. From group therapy to individual therapy, you have choices to learn how to live your new normal life. Your sober life can be just as exciting. A doctor should always manage treatment due to the life-threatening side effects of physical dependence on substances. 

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