Addiction: Signs & Symptoms
The American opioid crisis has sparked a new era of medical research into addiction dynamics. At Pennsylvania State University, psychiatrists who have evaluated fentanyl addicts have noticed the current formulation of this designer drug produces buprenorphine contraindications. This complicates the induction of patients who require opioid modulation not just to recover but also to save their lives.
In the June 2023 edition of the American Journal of Public Health, researchers from Northeastern University reported that current law enforcement actions in Philadelphia districts with a high number of homeless opioid addicts have only resulted in more overdose emergencies. This research underscores the need for investigation in the field of addiction recovery, which starts with recognizing the signs and symptoms of problematic substance use disorder.
Physiological Symptoms of Addiction
It’s easy to conflate signs of substance abuse with symptoms of chemical dependence. In the case of opioids, pinpoint pupils indicate a person has surpassed the euphoric phase and is beginning to feel uncomfortable. However, persistent or intermittent pinpoint pupils in the days following a binge episode suggest withdrawal is beginning to set in. Long-term insomnia and drowsiness after the substance has gone past the half-life stage are more indicative of opioid addiction.
Psychological Symptoms of Addiction
Substance use disorder is easier to understand as a spectrum. Frequent recreational use is at the lower end of the spectrum, and it’s more likely to cause psychological symptoms than physical signs. Changes in mood and personality that arise a few days after a binge or a period of heavier use are clear signs of a brewing compulsion that can end in psychological dependence. When a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed emerges, irritability, anxiety, and depression may follow. Sober lifestyle coaches, such as those who offer Encinitas recovery coaching, can be especially helpful when it comes to addressing the psychological aspects of addiction.
Social Signs of Addiction
Stealing money or property to get drunk or high is a clear example of a severe addiction that’s likely exacerbated by underlying mental health issues. Losing interest in personal hygiene, becoming overly aggressive or violent, constantly lying, and withdrawing from others are social signs that individuals have substance use disorders that are affecting them deeply.
Withdrawal as the Unequivocal Symptom of Addiction
Desperate cravings for liquor and psychoactive substances are often to blame when patients in recovery relapse. Even though addiction recovery isn’t a heuristic field of healthcare, it’s safe to assume individuals who relapse because they couldn’t cope with severe withdrawal are deeply addicted.
For alcoholics and opioid addicts, severe withdrawal can turn deadly. It can cause seizures that may turn into strokes, and it generates elevated amounts of stress hormones with long-term deleterious effects on the immune system. Withdrawal is essentially neurochemical dependence, and it’s the reason many patients have a hard time kicking their addictions.
For strength-based support with addiction recovery, Encinitas residents can rely on the trained recovery coaches at Sober Lifestyle Coaching. Our mission is to offer our clients maximum recovery support, especially in the first fragile days or weeks of early recovery. If you’re looking for extra addiction recovery support, we’ll work with you to put together a game plan to keep you safe and sober as you accomplish your goals. Give us a call today at (760) 300-8338.