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What are the Signs of Addiction?

Not every addict is like the people you see on TV and in movies. Addicts on the street or in jail are usually in the later stages of addiction, long after they have lost control. Most addictions are of a quieter sort and may go on for years before serious consequences become obvious to outsiders. This is especially true because addicts and their families will go to great lengths to hide the addiction. Often, they don’t acknowledge that frequent drinking or drug use has become an addiction. How do you know when that line has been crossed?

The first sign, and really the definition of addiction is when you try to quit using but can’t. Maybe you scraped your car on something but don’t remember doing it. You say, “Ok, this is getting out of hand. I’m not going to drink for a while,” but that weekend you’re already drinking again. It’s easy to call a mulligan on these failed attempts to quit, like maybe you weren’t really serious, but at some point you have to ask why you repeatedly decide to quit but don’t follow through.  

The second sign of addiction is that you do make a serious attempt to quit and you experience withdrawal. This indicates your addiction is actually a physical dependence. You have been using regularly enough that your body has adapted to the presence of the drugs or alcohol and you can no longer function normally without them. The pain of withdrawal is one of the biggest reasons people fail to quit. They try, they feel terrible for a couple days, knowing the whole time that they would feel better if they just started using again. The temptation is enormous and it’s why many people need to go to a detox center to get clean.

The third sign of addiction is when you skip things so you can use. This could be anything important–work, school, plans with friends or family. When you start clearing your schedule to make sure you have time to drink or use, the addiction has become a priority and not something you do for fun or relaxation.

The fourth sign of addiction is when you start doing things you wouldn’t normally do so you can drink or get high. Maybe you are normally a responsible person but somehow you spent the rent money on alcohol. Maybe you would never steal money, but it might be ok to borrow some just this once. Maybe you are just resigned to doing whatever you have to to get high, including taking foolish risks.

If you or someone you love shows any of these behaviors, seriously consider getting help. The longer you wait to detox and start treatment, the harder it will be. Left untreated, addiction only gets worse. Treatment can help you regain control of your life. Call Gardens Wellness Center today at 844-828-1050 or email us at to learn more about our programs and facilities.