Symptoms of Drug Addiction

Some of the Symptoms of Drug Addiction

One of the more common symptoms of addiction is the increased tolerance to the drug over time. In other words, the effect of the drug no longer kicks in as soon as it used to and the effects last shorter than before.

Another common symptom is the withdrawal that takes place when the drug is not taken. Withdrawal is the unpleasant and sometimes dangerous, physical response that takes place.

Diagnosing the Signs of Substance Addiction

According to the American Psychiatric Association if more than three of the following patterns are displayed during the period of a year addiction is in place:

  • Increased tolerance to the drug.
  • Withdrawal symptoms or continued use of a substance to alleviate withdrawal.
  • Loss of control where the person takes larger doses of the substance or over longer periods of time than they had intended.
  • Desire to cut back or abstain from the substance and recurring unsuccessful attempts to do so.
  • An inordinate amount of time is spent on obtaining, using and or recovering from drug use.
  • Substance abuse results in other important activities being neglected, such as work, social and recreational commitments.
  • Continued use of drugs even when the individual realises that there are serious physical or psychological problems caused as a result of using.

Part III – Understanding Addiction as a Brain Disease

Back to Understanding Addiction

Understanding Addiction


Drugs, brains and behaviour – the science of addiction (National Institute on Drug Abuse downloadable PDF)

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