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Addiction is defined as a chronic disease that affects the brain’s reward, motivation, and memory functions. While this definition may seem straightforward, recognizing a problem with addiction in yourself can be challenging. What started as normal, infrequent substance use can quickly cross the line into addiction. So, how do you know if you have an addiction?

Changes in Personality

When you struggle with addiction, you will most likely experience changes to your personality. You may find yourself engaging in behaviors you never imagined. These changes may be infrequent at first but can quickly become your new “normal.”

Some common personality changes you may experience when struggling with addiction include:

  • A lack of interest in hobbies or activities that used to be important
  • Neglecting relationships or reacting negatively to those closest to you
  • Missing important obligations
  • Risk-taking tendencies
  • Ignoring the negative consequences of your actions

Changes in Health

Changes in physical and mental health can also be a telltale sign you are struggling with an addiction. Changes in physical health you may experience include:

  • Constant illness
  • Abrupt change in weight
  • Bad skin, hair, teeth, and nails
  • Memory loss

Changes in mental health you may experience include:

  • Sudden changes in mood
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Intense Cravings

Cravings are defined as an intense desire to use drugs or alcohol. Cravings often occupy large blocks of time and push any other concerns you have to the side. If you find yourself obsessing about the next time you can get high or drink, to the point that everyday life seems like a distraction, then you may be struggling with an addiction.

Increased Tolerance and Withdrawal Symptoms

Increased tolerance is another sign you may be experiencing an addiction. When you continue to use drugs or alcohol, at some point or another, you may need more and more of the substance to achieve the desired effects; this is known as increased tolerance.

With increased tolerance also comes withdrawal symptoms, another telltale sign you may be struggling with an addiction. Withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on what substance you use. However, if you experience symptoms such as sweating, chills, depression, seizures, body aches, or nausea when you try to stop drinking or using, you may have an addiction.

Substance use can quickly cross the line into substance abuse and addiction. However, it can be challenging to know if you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Common signs you may have an addiction include changes in personality, changes in physical and emotional health, intense cravings, increased tolerance, and the presence of withdrawal symptoms. If you believe you may be struggling with addiction, The Guest House is here to help. We help individuals get to the root problem of their addiction and heal. For more information on treatment options, call (855) 483-7800.