Addiction is classified under Substance-related and addictive disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Under the said classification, one can have either dependence or abuse which can be measured on a continuum from mild to severe. In the criteria, abuse is evident in the earliest phase of the disorder while dependence can manifest later on its severe phase. A person with an addiction can cause a great range of harm to himself and to other people as well. If the signs and symptoms will not be recognized early, the impairment may be too hard to deal with as time passes by.
The pattern of substance usage is the primary indicator of addiction. If it becomes problematic, it can lead to significant dysfunction and disorder. Those who are diagnosed with addiction find it hard to control or regulate their use of a certain substance. They continue using the substance even with its harmful implication to them and at the same time, even amidst addictive behaviors exhibited that are commonly unregulated. The person continuously craves the substance that he experiences some distress when he is not able to take one. Therefore, trying to quit the addiction is too hard for them to bear.
The signs and symptoms may vary from one person to the other which we can attribute to their family history, personal experiences, and the amount of substance they are addicted to. Substance use typically has psychological, physical, and social implications to its abusers. Such implications can change the quality of life and relationships of these individuals in the long run. What are the common signs and symptoms of those who are diagnosed with addiction?
The impact of addiction to bodily functions can be disastrous with the amount of these substances on their bodies—more than what the body can usually take. Here are some of the signs and symptoms to look for someone who might be diagnosed with addiction:
1. APPEARANCE. A person may start to look more tired than usual. They usually do not care about how they look. They may neglect proper hygiene since they are more preoccupied with their substance cravings more than anything else.
2. LACK OF SLEEP. Substances can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle leaving the person to suffer from insomnia or lack of sleep which can be due to the chemical reaction of the drug taken by the individual. Most substances are stimulants and therefore, will induce more wake cycles than sleep.
3. TOLERANCE. Their tolerance to the drug will increase and will, therefore, aim to increase the amount of their intake for the drug to take effect. This could be dangerous if the person’s intake is more than what his body can actually bear. Some of them might overdose with the drug and will damage their organs because of excessive intake. They will experience withdrawal if not able to take the substance on those times they think they need one.
The impairment could go psychologically and can elevate into a mental disorder with the following symptoms:
DYSFUNCTION. The person no longer performs tasks he must be able to perform functionally. He will not be psychologically fit to carry out small to big tasks because of their preoccupation with the substance use and because of the side effects of too much usage of these.
DISTRESS. The person will develop distress as he tries to satisfy his craving on the substance. If not satisfied, the person will try to increase the dosage until such time that it won’t feel like working for him. His distress will be on not feeling as good as before because the substance no longer has an effect on him. Further, his distress could lead to more damaging behavior just to keep his distress away.
DEVIANCE. With the drug having its effect, these individuals may be deviant as they try to take risks, be compulsive in their decisions, and at the same time, with their obsession on the drug they are currently taking.
The addiction cannot only affect a person physically and psychologically. Most times, their social interactions are on rocks because of their dependence on it.
IMPAIRED SOCIAL FUNCTIONS. Someone with an addiction probably has an impaired social function due to their inability to carry out their everyday functions and roles. Some of them may have problems with someone with authority and might choose to be in isolation just to indulge themselves in the substance. They may try to get away from their family members and peers who would ask them to stop using one.
LEGAL ISSUES. With too much intake than can no longer be controlled, they may be referred to legal authorities or in Alcohol and drug rehab Bali and may further escalate if their behavior gets more unruly and intolerable.
Once addiction sets in, it will be too hard to deal with. If you know someone who might be having these signs and symptoms, it would be very helpful to refer them to professionals who can help them overcome their dependence on the substance before it is too late.