Signs of Addiction

General Signs of Addiction

Signs of Addiction

The following list of common signs of drug and alcohol addiction and abuse are not all-inclusive, but are the most frequent signs of addiction, or that someone has a problem and needs to seek help.
  • Changes in personal appearance—disheveled condition, the smell of alcohol or substances on the breath or on clothes, bloodshot eyes, sometimes noticeable weight loss or weight gain.
  • Change in personal lifestyle, inability to complete work, absence from work or school.
  • Mood swings, irritability, drastic change in personality, trouble with the law.
  • For both drug and alcohol use, continuing substance abuse if someone has mentioned that there may be a problem, or expresses concern. Being defensive or justifying substance use / abuse.

Differences between Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction are diseases that manifest themselves in different social behaviors. The following signs of addiction are divided between common drug addiction and alcohol addiction behaviors.

Drug AddictionDrug Addiction

  • An increased need for privacy, placing locks on doors, or hiding personal items.
  • Paranoia, withdrawal from routine, irritability and distancing oneself from family and friends.
  • A change in personal appearance, noticeable attempts to cover legs, arms, or trying to disguise odors on clothes.
  • An excessive need for money, evidence of stealing, or mounting debt.

Alcohol AddictionAlcohol Addiction

  • Frequent use of alcohol, binge drinking, using alcohol to “escape problems”.
  • Being under the influence of alcohol while driving, operating machinery, or engaging in otherwise dangerous behaviors.
  • Receiving a DUI or experiencing other legal issues related to alcohol.
  • Frequently drinking either socially, or alone. Routinely getting ‘blackout’ drunk, or becoming uncontrollable under the influence of alcohol.