Addiction is a complex and challenging condition that can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. One of the most crucial steps in overcoming addiction is recognizing that it exists. However, this can be a difficult task as addiction often creeps into a person’s life gradually, making it challenging to pinpoint when it transitions from recreational use to active addiction. In this blog post, we’ll explore the signs and symptoms that can help you determine if you are in active addiction and offer guidance on seeking help.
INCREASING TOLERANCE AND ESCALATING USE
One of the telltale signs of active addiction is developing a tolerance to a substance/behaviour. Over time, you may find that you need more of the substance/behaviour to achieve the same effects. This increased tolerance can lead to escalating use, as you chase the initial high that you experienced when you first started using the substance/behaviour. If you notice that you are consuming larger quantities or using more frequently, it could be a sign that you are in the throes of addiction.
LOSS OF CONTROL
A significant indicator of active addiction is the loss of control over your substance/behaviour use. You may find that you are unable to stick to limits you set for yourself or that you repeatedly fail in attempts to cut down or quit. Despite your best intentions, the substance/behaviour begins to dictate your actions and decisions, making it challenging to maintain a healthy and balanced life.
When addiction takes hold, it often leads to neglecting important responsibilities and obligations. You might start missing work or school, neglecting household chores, or disregarding relationships. The substance/behaviour becomes a priority over everything else, and your ability to fulfill your duties diminishes.
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you try to cut back or quit using a substance/behaviour is a clear sign of active addiction. These symptoms can vary depending on the substance/behaviour but often include physical discomfort, mood swings, and intense cravings. The fear of withdrawal can keep individuals trapped in a cycle of addiction, as they continue to use the substance/behaviour to avoid feeling unwell.
HEALTH AND PHYSICAL CHANGES
Active addiction can take a toll on your physical health and appearance. You may notice changes such as weight loss or gain, deteriorating hygiene, bloodshot eyes, and overall poor health. Chronic use of substance/behaviours can lead to long-term health issues, so paying attention to these changes is crucial.
Addiction can strain relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. As your focus shifts to obtaining and using the substance/behaviour, you may become isolated, irritable, or secretive. These changes in behaviour can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and ultimately, a breakdown of important connections.
LOSS OF INTEREST
A marked decline in interest in activities you once enjoyed can be a strong indicator of active addiction. Hobbies, passions, and social engagements that used to bring you joy may take a backseat to the substance/behaviour, leading to a sense of emptiness and detachment.
Recognizing the signs of active addiction is the first step towards recovery. If you find that you identify with several of the signs mentioned in this blog post, it’s essential to seek help as soon as possible. Addiction is a serious and treatable condition, and recovery is possible with the right support and resources. Whether you reach out to a healthcare professional, a therapist, a support group, or a helpline, remember that yous don’t have to face addiction alone. Taking that first step towards acknowledging your situation and seeking help can lead to a brighter, healthier future.
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