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Identify Addictive Behaviour

What is Addiction?

Addiction occurs when someone has a negative relationship with a substance or behaviour that they cannot control without the help of a professional.

Oftentimes, we confuse the idea of addiction with habits. With addiction, there is a physical and psychological component in which the person afflicted cannot stop consuming a substance because of the mental conditions involved. A habit is something we do by choice. We can break our habits because we are not tethered to them due to the lack of psychological and physical factors that are involved with addiction.

How to tell if Someoneis an Addict

Addiction manifests itself in different ways besides obvious intoxication. If you are concerned about a loved one’s behaviour but are unsure if they have a problem with drugs, alcohol or gambling, view our list below to see if your friend or family member is struggling with addiction.

Physical – Addiction rears its ugly head by wreaking havoc on the body through:

  • Red eyes/dilated pupils/glassy eyes
  • Runny nose or constant nosebleeds
  • Extreme weight loss or gain
  • Constant scratching
  • Fidgeting/lack of focus
  • Incoherent speech
  • Bad breath and body odour
  • Shakes, tremors and even seizures without a history of epilepsy
  • Multiple bruises on the arms and legs near venous areas
  • Cracked/dry skin and extremely chapped lips
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea, vomiting

Behavioural– Addiction also causes behavioural changes like:

  • Loss of interest in favourite activities
  • Frequently calling in sick to work/school
  • Lack of motivation
  • Engaging in dangerous or reckless behaviour like stealing, driving without a seatbelt, etc.
  • Constant need for money, borrowing funds excessively

Psychological– Addiction is also the cause of psychological changes such as:

  • Major shifts in personality and attitude
  • Mood changes that seem to come out of nowhere
  • Periods of mania or hyperactivity that last for days
  • Appearing agitated, paranoid or fearful for no reason
  • Extreme anger
  • Showing signs of depression

Tolerance is a Factor

When trying to identify an addict, people often forget to look at tolerance as a contributing factor. Over time an addict will need more and more drugs or alcohol to feel the same euphoria. If you notice that your loved one’s tolerance for substances has hit the roof, they are probably an addict.

Seven Words You Will Hear and Need to Immediately Ignore

“I can stop if I want too.”

When you hear these words spring forth from your loved one’s mouth you need to ignore them. If they could stop, they would have already.

Addiction is serious. In the movies and TV, addicts are often portrayed without consequences for comedic effect. In real life, someone who exhibits additive behaviours will suffer the consequences if they do not seek help as early as possible.

Don’t Wait

Have a conversation with your loved one and express your concern. Addiction is dangerous is left untreated and you don’t want to lose your loved one for good.


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