Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Understand The Characteristics Of Addiction

 Understanding the characteristics of addiction is the first step in knowing whether you or someone you love are struggling with drug or alcohol dependency. Studies show that many addicts often attempt to conceal their use from family, friends and medical professionals. In this entry, we will discuss some of the more common things to watch for when you suspect a problem.


The internal characteristics of addiction include regular cravings, difficulty or inability to stop use, ensuring easy access to the drug, and a feeling that the substance will help you sort out life’s problems. These characteristics are generally similar, regardless of the substance in question.


 Though each substance brings about it’s own specific set of symptoms, a number of external characteristics are shared, regardless of the drug type. Friends and family members will often notice psychological, physical and behavioral changes:

Psychological – Wild and sudden personality changes, outbursts, mood swings, and periods of both decreased and increased activity.

Physical – Bloodshot eyes, lack of personal hygiene, large or small pupil sizes, impaired coordination, and weight shifts.

Behavioral – Sudden need for money, chances in friends or interests, decrease in work performance, secretive behaviors, and an increase in dangerous activity, such as traffic accidents or legal issues.


Understanding the difference between typically teenage behaviors and addiction characteristics can be difficult. Common abuse symptoms in teens include lower grades, an increase in disciplinary action at school, ditching class and missing money. Sudden changes in appearance, behavior and health issues can also signal potential substance abuse issues.

Physician’s Office

It’s not uncommon for addicts to visit multiple physicians’ offices to obtain prescriptions for their chosen substance to avoid detection. Characteristics in the doctor’s office can include assertive and aggressive personality, agitated waiting room behavior and a somewhat unusual appearance. When speaking with physicians, addicts will make specific requests for particular drugs, exhibit an extensive knowledge of substances, and offer up exaggerated or vague responses to questions concerning their medical history and symptoms.

Need Help?

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, our Above It All treatment center is the place to call. Pick up the phone today, and let our team of addiction specialists help you back on track towards the healthy, happy lifestyle you deserve. 

Substance Abuse Causes

When it comes to substance abuse, it can be difficult to place blame on any one factor. However, some factors are often repeated so regularly they form patters of behavioral, emotional and biological reasons for the abuse. In this entry, we will discuss some of the more common reasons people fall into the grips of substance abuse.


Humans are curious creatures by nature. As such, it’s no wonder that many people often base their initial use on curiosity. Once the user discovers the euphoric effects of the substance, the abuse cycle takes hold – typically in young adults and teenagers.

Low Self Esteem

A great number of people begin dabbling with drugs early in life in an attempt to fit in with peers. Those who lack a social confidence in themselves are often more prone to drug use as a means of gaining acceptance.


Drug tolerance is developed once a user requires an excess amount of the same substance in order to achieve the same level of intoxication reached previously with less of the same drug. As a result, the user may begin using larger amounts of the substance, and using more frequently, in an attempt to enjoy the satisfaction level experienced previously.

A Change In Motive

Some addicts start out using prescription medications to address pain, gradually becoming emotionally and physically dependent over time. These types of addicts are typically law abiding, hard working citizens who grew into their addictions accidentally.


The term “Family Disease” is often used when discussing addiction causes due to the available evidence suggesting that hereditary factors play a role in which people will become addicts and alcoholics, and which will remain social drinkers or recreational users. Studies show a strong tendency for the offspring of addicts, or alcoholics, to also become addicted to alcohol and drugs.

Need Help?

If you or a loved one are experiencing difficulty with a substance abuse problem, our California drug rehabilitation facility is available to help. Give us a call today, and let our team of addiction specialists help you back on track towards the healthy, happy lifestyle you deserve.