What Are The Signs of Addiction


Understanding the signs of addiction is essential for anyone struggling with substance use issues. If you’re wondering if you might have a problem with addiction to alcohol or drugs, knowing the warning signs will give you a better idea if you could benefit from a drug treatment plan.

Addiction, dependency, and tolerance are often misunderstood because people use the terms interchangeably. Beyond this, there are varying types of addiction, both psychological addiction and physical addiction.

It’s vital to know the signs of addiction so you can seek out the proper addiction treatment. To learn about your substance abuse treatment options, contact our California treatment center today at 866.330.9449.

Understanding the Way Addiction Works

Addiction to a substance is cyclical, so it works in a circular motion, with one part feeding off another part.

When you start using a new substance, the first thing that occurs after a short time is your body starts becoming more tolerant of the substance. You become accustomed to the effects of the substance and you don’t feel the same high you did when you first started taking it. This is when many people increase their level of the drug. This leads to them feeling the drug’s effects more powerfully. In time, though, this levels off again.

Another thing that happens during addiction is that the brain will alter itself due to the effect of the drugs. Because the substance provides a feeling of well-being, it suppresses your brain’s natural chemicals to feel good. Therefore, over time, you can get depressed without the chemical substance as your brain is no longer creating it on its own.

What Are the Signs of Addiction?

While it’s true that everyone is different, there are some common signs of addiction that many people share.

Some of these signs are as follows:

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms 6-12 hours after the last dose
  • Taking the drug every day
  • Lying about your usage of the substance
  • Doctor shopping to get the drug
  • Buying the drug illegally
  • Doing other things that are unethical to get money or drugs
  • Feeling like you can’t go without the substance

You may be addicted if you present some of these signs. However, you can find hope and relief from addiction by reaching out to an experienced drug rehab center for treatment.

Various Types of Addiction

Some addictions are more challenging to deal with, but with the proper diagnosis and treatment plan, you can overcome it.

The main types of addiction are psychological and physical. You may have heard quite a bit about physical dependence because of the withdrawal symptoms associated with it. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Sick stomach
  • Excessive yawning
  • Chills
  • Irritability
  • Moodiness
  • Restlessness
  • Cravings
  • Headaches

A psychological addiction involves your emotions and means you feel attached to the drug. It may have become part of your routine and daily life. So, although you may not experience physical symptoms, if you quit, you’d feel emotionally upset.

So, how about the more specific addiction of alcoholism, now more commonly called alcohol use disorder?

Stages of Alcohol Addiction

addictAlcohol addiction has several stages. It rarely comes on suddenly, but instead builds over time.

There are several stages of alcohol addiction. It rarely comes on suddenly, but rather builds over time.

Alcohol use disorder is assessed using the fifth edition of DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

BY exploring these signs of alcoholism, you can start determining more easily whether someone is going through early, severe, problematic, or end-stage alcoholism.

What can you expect from each of these stages?

Early Stage

Many people with alcohol problems started drinking young, and most started drinking socially.

Over time, though, social drinking can easily turn into binge drinking, concentrated spells of heavy alcohol consumption that can be particularly problematic.

Many people never go beyond the fringe of early stage alcoholism. Even if drinking doesn’t enter a more advanced stage of alcohol use disorder, constant exposure to binge drinking triggers many negative effects on the body.

For men, drinking more than 4 drinks a day or 14 drinks a week puts you in the high risk category for developing alcohol use disorder. For women, more than 3 drinks a day or 7 drinks a week constitutes a higher risk for alcoholism.

Problematic Stage

If you move beyond the purely social aspect of drinking and start to drink heavily, or you start to drink for the sake of it, things start becoming more serious. By this stage, many people become strongly attached to alcohol, putting them at an exponentially greater risk of addiction.

It’s during the problematic stage of alcoholism that the person starts losing control over life at home, work, or school.

This stage also tends to feature unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if the person is temporarily unable to drink for any reason.



Once you are accustomed to alcohol, tolerance rapidly builds and much more alcohol is required to achieve the same effect. Many drinkers start drinking hard liquor if beer is no longer delivering the requisite kick.

By the stage of severe alcoholism, the problem will be apparent to friends and family. Changes, both physical and mental, become more pronounced. Health conditions can be inflamed by chronic alcoholism, and new conditions can manifest.

Withdrawal symptoms will also be much more dramatic, often triggering nausea and fatigue along with shakiness.



By end-stage alcoholism, the drink is in charge and most drinkers at this stage of proceedings no longer even possess the will to try quitting.

Withdrawal symptoms will be severe after years of sustained drinking, and the person is likely to drink in order to stay pain-free.

End-stage health problems like brain bleeds and cirrhosis can occur. Alcohol tolerance is also so high that alcohol poisoning becomes a real concern.

Get Help for Addiction at Renaissance Recovery

At Renaissance Recovery, you can overcome the problems of addiction, whether it’s physical or psychological. We can help you put your life back together again so that you are on the pathway to a brighter future. Compassionate therapists are waiting to guide you through the healing journey of recovery. You need to take that first step and discover the future you desire. Our broad range of treatment programs is here to assist you. Some of these include:

Don’t let addiction issues bog you down in life. Now that you know the signs of addiction, you can find hope by contacting Renaissance Recovery for the most appropriate substance abuse treatment. Call us at 866.330.9449 today, and we’ll get you back on the right pathway.

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Renaissance Recovery Coronavirus Policy Update

As the national pandemic continues to make it increasingly difficult for individuals to receive quality aftercare, The District Recovery Community & Renaissance Recovery has provided a solution to all those seeking long term care. We are proud to announce that we will be offering all aspects of our treatment including intimate groups, one on one therapy, and case management to individuals in all states from the comfort and safety of your home. This is a great option for clients that are in need of continued treatment, but are returning home to be with their families during this time.

The District Recovery Community and Renaissance Recovery will remain in operation during this time and continue to serve our mission of treating those suffering from alcoholism and addiction.

We encourage you all to reach out to learn more about how we can work together to ensure that our clients remain sober, safe, and continue to get the help that they need.