Most addicts start with experimenting with the substance and it is a fallacy that people only who have weak will power get addicted. Even people with a strong will and an intense desire to quit are unable to quit on their own. For this reason it is necessary to understand how an addiction develops.
There may be any number of reasons why the person initially takes the drug including peer pressure, curiosity, or stress and trouble at work or home. As the person likes the effect of the drug or alcohol, it increases his or her desire to take it. Slowly the body and/or the mind get used to this effect and then the problem turns into an addiction.
If you are concerned about someone close to you who may be struggling with addiction, there are several warning signs you can look for. Here you need to bear in mind that different people are different and it may be more difficult to detect addiction in some people than in others. Let us look at some general red flags to be aware of:
- Ignoring responsibilities and commitments
- Unexplained absences at school or work
- Suddenly there is a new set of friends
- Suddenly seems to be short of money all the time’
- Keeping awake later than usual or sleeping longer
- Being secretive about some parts of their personal life and lying about their whereabouts
- Withdrawing from regular social contacts
- Sudden mood swings
- Lack of motivation
- Weight loss or obvious changes in the physical appearance of the person
No patient expects to develop an addiction when they start experimenting with a drug. However, if they continue the experimentation, then they may end up getting addicted. Often the person himself or herself also does not realize that they have become addicted until the addiction becomes out of control.