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.