What is Substance Addiction?


What is Substance Addiction?

Substance addiction is a more serious form of substance abuse. Someone can be addicted to any type of substance including alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs and illicit drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin or meth. With continued use, substance abuse often leads to addiction.

With addiction, the body and mind have become dependent on the substances.


You might experience severe withdrawal symptoms if you go more than a few hours without the drugs or alcohol, which cause you to continue using and it creates a vicious cycle. Here is a guideline to substance addiction and some tips for overcoming your addiction.

Causes of Substance Addiction

There is no known cause for substance addiction, but there are certain issues and factors that make someone susceptible for addiction. The first risk factor is someone abusing drugs.

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Consistent drug abuse commonly leads to addiction.

Another issue is someone coming from a family of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction; genetics play an important role in your life.

If you experienced traumatic experiences, neglect or abuse a child, you are also a risk factor for addiction.

Some mental disorders can make you more susceptible for addiction, which include anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.


If you started using drugs at an early age or spend time with others who frequently drink, smoke or do drugs that is another big risk factor for addiction.

Signs That You Need Substance Addiction Help

If you suspect that someone close to you is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there are some common signs that might convince you further. Any combination of the following signs can hint at addiction and physical dependence on drugs or alcohol including prescription drugs. The following signs are the most common behavioral changes experienced with addiction to substances:

  • Trying to quit drugs or alcohol, but failing.
  • Feeling like they need the drugs or alcohol, as if it were food or water.
  • Making sure they have an endless supply of the substance and continuing to obtain more.
  • Avoiding important expenses like rent, bills and buying groceries in favor of supporting their drug habit.
  • Getting into legal trouble and stealing in order to support the habit.
  • Getting into financial or legal troubles as a result of the drug use or obtaining the drugs.
  • Telling you they need the substance to have a normal life.
  • Doing risky things while under the influence.
  • Putting themselves or others at risk while under the influence.
  • Letting all their emotions, actions, decisions and moods be reflected on the drugs and whether or not they have them.
  • Constantly missing work or school and performing poorly when they do show up.

Physical Signs of Addiction

  • Neglecting physical appearance.
  • Having poor dental and personal hygiene.
  • Wearing dirty clothes and having odd smells.
  • Suddenly unhealthy hair, skin, nails and teeth as a result of the drugs.
  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain.
  • A sudden increase or decrease in appetite.
  • Slow reaction time and problem concentrating.

Complications of Drug Addiction

People who are struggling with substance addiction will also experience a variety of short-term and long-term effects that are detrimental to their health and every part of their daily life.

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This includes having physical and mental health problems, a risk of coma or death as a result of drug abuse especially when combining narcotics, getting a disease like HIV from shared needles, having an accident as a result of doing risky things, suicide, family and relationship issues, work issues, school issues, legal troubles and financial troubles.


All of these situations can worsen in time if treatment isn't sought right away.

Treatment for Drug Addiction

It can be extremely difficult to quit using different types of substances when you have become addicted and dependent on drugs or alcohol. While it is more difficult to quit on your own, you still have treatment options with a high level of success. Substance abuse and addiction treatment facilities offer inpatient and outpatient programs that include different types of treatment including cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, detox and medication therapy, addiction counseling and therapy sessions. You should find a treatment center that lets you personalize the treatment plan according to your needs and preferences, such as only private counseling sessions or attending group therapy if you like the support system. What you put into treatment is what you will get out of it. Contact a local drug rehab center 800-654-0987 today and start your road to recovery.

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