Signs of Addiction

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Warning signs of Addiction:

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuses Services (2011) provides the following information:

A person in need of treatment will likely exhibit some of the following symptoms:

  1. the substance (drugs or alcohol) is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period of time than intended;
  2. persistent desire, or one or more unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use;
  3. excessive time spent getting, taking, or recovering from the substance;
  4. frequent intoxication or withdrawal symptoms when expected to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home, or when substance use is physically hazardous;
  5. important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use;
  6. continued substance use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social, psychological, or physical problem that is caused or exacerbated by the use of the substance;
  7. marked tolerance--need for increased amounts of the substance (at least a 50 percent increase) to achieve intoxication or desired effect, or markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount;
  8. characteristic withdrawal symptoms; and
  9. substance often taken to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms.

Based on the number and duration of these symptoms reported, a diagnosis of abuse or treatment need may be determined.

In adolescents, warning signs often include:

  • changes in sleeping, eating, or grooming habits
  • hypersensitivity or temper tantrums;
  • unexplained weight loss or gain; red or watery eyes;
  • shaking of the hands, feet, or legs;
  • frequent nausea or vomiting;
  • excessive sweating; a drop in grades at school;
  • skipping school;
  • loss of interest in family activities previously enjoyed;
  • an "I don't care" attitude;
  • excessive need for privacy or secrecy;
  • and/or an unexplained need for money or stealing money.

If you or someone you know is affected by addition and wants help, please see our Helpful Links & Resources page or contact us for more information. Remember, addiction is real and addiction can happen to anyone. Help is available.