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What are the early signs of addiction?

March 19, 2018

What are the early signs of addiction?

Early signs of addiction vary from person to person. It also depends on the substance you have a addiction to. However, common early signs are:

  • Frequent Cravings
  • Denial or keeping it a secret
  • Feeling Withdrawal
  • Change in Behavior
  • Increased tolerance
  • Negative Consequences  

Frequent Cravings  

Do you crave or have intense urges for drugs? Does you use drugs every time you drink? If so, you are displaying addictive tendencies. 

Other things such as sound, feeling or taste can be a trigger that causes you to crave.

Denial or keeping it a secret

Are you lying to yourself or your friends/family about your addiction? Are you keeping your drug use a secret? This is very common and you are not alone.

For many, being in denial or keeping it a secret is a sign of early addiction

Many people who are addicted feel embarrassed or too proud to admit that they are addicted. 

Some common lies an addict tells themselves and others   are:

  • “I am not addicted”
  • “Can easily stop anytime I want”
  • “I don’t take that much when I do it”
  • “At least I’m not as bad as (friends name)”
  • “This helps me feel less stressed”
  • “Only do it a few times a month”
  • “I just do it socially”
  • “ I like the feeling not the drug”
  • “Don’t do it that often”
  • “ Its not impacting anyone else”
  • “It just helps me relax”
  • “I’m just enjoying life”
  • “I will stop soon”


Do you feel anxious or more stressed when you haven’t taken drugs for a certain amount of time?

Withdrawal symptoms can very from person to person. However, there are usually common symptoms for different drug types:

  • Opioids & Heroin –  Flu-like symptoms that last can last 24-48 hours
  • Cocaine – Feeling restless and or depressed between 7-10 days
  • Benzodiazepines (Xanax) – anxiety and or seizures for multiple weeks and in some cases months
  • Alcohol – tremors and or seizures for 3 – 21 days

Withdrawal symptoms are normal and often occur when you or someone you know is trying to stop using. Intense cravings can occur alongside withdrawal.   

Increase in tolerance

Do you feel like the drug is becoming less effective? Do you have to take more of the same substance to get a high? This is another symptom that you are becoming addicted.

Your body, over time, creates a relationship between the amount you take and the reaction it causes. As you or someone you love progresses into addiction, the body needs more to get the same high they got when they first took the drug.

This can also be referred to as adapting to the drug or substance.

Negative Consequences

Are drugs or substances causing bad things to happen? Are they effecting your relationships, your job or other things? Often drug users will justify or ignore the problems the addiction is causing.

Treatment Options

If you or someone you know seems to be showing signs of addiction there are many options for them. Call Addiction Help Today to talk with a specialist.

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Mark Lambert

Mark Lambert

Mark joined the Addiction Help Team in 2017. Learning the business from the ground up, he now utilizes his expertise in addiction, treatment and recovery to help create content for Addiction Help Today. Mark enjoys playing golf and hockey in his spare time. He is from Toronto and went to school on the east coast of Canada .

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