A drug or alcohol addiction can come about abruptly and is defined by a physical and psychological dependence on a substance. Many substances can cause an addiction, including alcohol, prescription medications and illicit drugs.
There are many addictive substances that have different effects on people. While some addictions are both physical and psychological, others may be mostly psychological.
Warning Signs of Addiction
- Ignoring commitments or responsibilities
- Problems at work, school or at home
- Unexplained absences
- Appearing to have a new set of friends
- Considerable monetary fluctuations
- Staying up later than usual or sleeping in longer
- Lapses in concentration or memory
- Being oddly secretive about parts of personal life
- Withdrawal from normal social contacts
- Sudden mood swings and change in behavior
- Unusual lack of motivation
- Weight loss or changes in physical appearance
No one expects to develop an addiction when they begin experimenting. However, continued experimentation can lead to addiction, often without the person realizing they have become addicted until they try to stop.