Addiction is often spoken casually as if simply enjoying something a lot qualifies one as an addict. It doesn’t, as you may have guessed. In contrast to popular perception, the truth is more obscure, subtle, and more prevalent than a character from a Charles Dickens book, as what society often thinks. However, how can you tell whether you’re only enjoying something or slowly growing an addiction?
If someone in your family has struggled with addiction, you also have a higher chance of getting addicted to something. Rather than one “addiction gene,” scientists have discovered that inherited sensitivity to addiction is a highly complicated issue, with numerous genes and their interpretations potentially contributing to your risk of developing an addiction disorder later in life.
According to research done at the University of Utah, specific genes impact distinct addiction tendencies in rats, from morphine responsiveness to alcohol intake. Genetic predispositions are only the reason for roughly half of the addictive behavior, so having them doesn’t ensure you’ll become an addict.
Recognizing the Earliest Warning Indicators
In the beginning, an individual may not exhibit any indications of a severe addiction problem. A few early warning signs involve:
- Addiction familial history
- Often drawn to a substance or activity
- Looking for instances to use or do addictive behavior
- Experiences with binging or barely having control without any remorse of the after-effects
It can be hard to tell if someone has an underlying addiction issue when they engage in regular social habits such as smoking or drinking. What appears to be addiction might be how they cope with stress or simply a temporary phase. However, if unaddressed, a true addiction might progress to the point of becoming a crippling habit or a higher incidence of sickness. If you’re experiencing any of the signs mentioned, you might want to visit a drug rehabilitation clinic before it worsens.
Avoiding Situations When You Can’t Use
People addicted to drugs or alcohol frequently find that the things they like are no longer attractive to them since it doesn’t include their addiction. Apart from that, addicts also begin to make compromises in recreational and social activities, where they deliberately avoid social events just to get their fix. They may not want to go out with colleagues because they don’t want to waste time looking for a date or because they’re aware their companions don’t drink.
As a result of their preoccupation with their addiction, addicts may discover that they neglect more fundamental necessities such as food and cleanliness.
Despite the Obvious Negative Consequences, You Still Continue
It’s very typical for people with an addiction to ignore basic warning flags such as adverse effects in other areas of their lives. Addicts’ brains choose to overlook or rationalize the severe consequences of their addiction to keep consuming. If you’re still trying to use substances or engage in a particular activity despite creating harmful disruptions in your life, you might face an addiction problem.
The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) lists relationships, careers, and physical well-being as the three factors most affected.
Saying you’re intending to start anew but end up continuing your old habits is a common occurrence for people with addiction problems. This is what people mean when they say, “I’ll start dieting on Monday.” The very thought of denying oneself of something enjoyable, or at the very least diverting, opens up a slew of rationales and justifications for why the current moment is not the ideal opportunity to quit. You’ll convince yourself you can stop at another time in a different situation, even though it will only get worse the more you prolong it.
You Often Make Significant Sacrifices When Taking Risks
In February 2016, the research concluded that the framework of drug-addicted minds shows different wiring, giving them increased chances of taking extreme risks to attain their high or sustain a stockpile. This increased risk-taking capabilities of the addicted brain have been among the most studied aspects of addictive behavior. You will be convinced that it’s okay to take your roommate’s bottle of liquor without their knowledge, take $50 from your flatmate’s wallet, or stay up late playing poker digitally when you have a business meeting the following day. The addicted brain has a decreased risk perception compared to that of a normal one.
Addiction is the likely cause of all of these symptoms. Addictive behavior has the power to imprison and devastate a person. If there’s no external chemical or drug concerned, it’s often only you—your urges, joys, concerns, fears, and preferences—that take precedence over your moral instincts or rational conclusions. If you think you’re having problems with an addiction affecting your well-being, it’s time to consider professional support.