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      Sober Nation

      Putting Recovery On The Map

      09-14-13 | By

      The Signs of Addiction: A Guide

      signs of addictionThe signs of addiction can be both explicit and more subtle.  While the signs of addiction are obvious for those who are in recovery, those signs may not be so apparent for family members and friends who are witnessing a loved one struggling with addiction.  This guide outlines seven signs of behaviors that can point to addiction.  With increased awareness of these signs, addiction is forced out of the closet and into the open.


      Quite simply, if a behavior has gotten your attention and that behavior is haunting your thoughts, that is a red flag indicating that things aren’t right.  Often times people may ask things like “Why am I doing this?”, “Why can’t I stop?”, or “Why can’t I stop?”.  If someone has been asking those types of questions more frequently, the behavior that is coming into question may have caused disruption in normal daily functioning enough to start making impacts.

      Being Defensive

      This sign of addiction is the most common sign that can be seen and expressed explicitly.  When the topic of a possible problem with a substance is brought to the forefront, an individual will be quick to dismiss such concerns.  Statements like “I can quit anytime I want to” or “I don’t know why people are making such a big deal” are common.  When people are being defensive, they know deep down there are issues but aren’t ready to face those issues honestly and openly.


      Pinning the root of unfavorable behavior and undesirable outcomes on others is a common way for addicts to throw up a smokescreen in an attempt to hide from the true reasons those things are happening: themselves.  This is obviously a short-term solution as best because when the situation is resolved and the problem behavior continues the true roots of what the problem are apparent.


      Addicts think they are hiding their addictions from others by lies and manipulation.  The truth is that the people closest to them are noticing changes in their behavior.  They may be noticing, for example, there are money worries or their physical appearance has deteriorated.  As the addictive behavior increases and becomes chronic, the addict may know that others know what is going on, but continue to do those things anyway.


      When people are putting energies into furthering their addictive behaviors and not putting effort into constructive and healthy pursuits (i.e furthering their career, building better relationships, etc.)

      Guilt and Shaming

      If a behavior causes you to feel guilt, shame, remorse or another negative emotional state, that is a great indicator that a problem exists  If one feels guilt or shame, yet they can’t stop that behavior from occurring, that defines what an addiction means.


      Staying away from family and friends because of feelings of being unloved or that people don’t understand what you are going through is also a clear indicator that a behavior has crossed into addiction.  While an individual feels that isolating themselves is protecting themselves from pain and disappointment it actually worsens the situation.  If people say they can handle things on their own and that in some way they are different than others in those situations is a red flag that needs attention.

      Tim Powers – bald, tattooed, a business professional by day and rocker by night. Sober by the grace of God since the 8th of May in the year of our Lord 2003. Sharing my stories and myself in order to pay it forward. You can follow me on Twitter @tpowersbass42


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