Do I need addiction rehab treatment?

How do you tell if you or a loved one has an addiction serious enough to warrant treatment? Any addiction, whether it is a substance addiction or a behavioral addiction, will have detrimental consequences on all aspects of your life: love life, friendships, family, and financial success.

Learn to look for the signs to know when your actions show signs of becoming an addiction, and when that addiction is severe enough to seek out treatment.

“Wanting” versus “needing”

There are two words to learn when identifying an addiction problem: want and need. While any use at all of drugs or alcohol poses health and personal risks, not all usage leads to addiction. Likewise, not all shopping, sex, gambling, or playing video games will be detrimental; when you can no longer control yourself it becomes a serious problem.

It is possible to merely “want” the use of a substance or to partake in a behavior and to have control over the amount you participate in these activities.

But if a person cannot sustain a stable life without resorting to drug and alcohol usage or certain behaviors, their indulgences in these activities is a “need” — and consequently an addiction.

Everything in moderation

A glass of wine on the weekend, or even a wild party binge every few months– while hard on the internal organs — is probably nothing to worry about. But, If you are intaking alcohol or a drug to intoxication every time you partake of it, that also is a sign of a serious addiction.

When a substance or behavior’s significance in you or a loved one’s life goes beyond the occasional indulgence and becomes something that is needed in order simply to make it through the day — that’s an addiction.

Constant dependency

Another sign of alcohol, drug addiction or behavioral addiction, is if you constantly rely on the substance or cannot pull yourself away from an activity. If you find yourself or a loved one using a substance during an inappropriate time of the day — before driving, at work, or at school — that is not only a dangerous hazard to you and the well-being of people around you, but it is a sign that you no longer have control. The substance controls you.


If the usage of alcohol, drugs or engaging in certain behavior causes you to sacrifice your commitments and lose track of your schedule, that is a clear sign that you are addicted. If you are willing to skip out on important duties such as a work shift, classes, or meetings with friends and family in order to feed your craving, you definitely have an addiction.

Poor performance

A drug alcohol or behavioral addiction is devastating to one’s performance at work and school. If the use of drugs, alcohol, or any behavior or activity is causing disciplinary action to be taken at work or school, if work pay or school grades are being harmed because of sacrifices made to obtain and keep these activities going, this is the sign of an addiction that could ruin everything. Addiction treatment should be sought immediately.

Damages relationships

Addiction also does heavy damage to relationships. An addict will choose the drug, substance or activity over bonding with friends, family and loved ones, perhaps seeking the addiction as a replacement for these human needs. Even sexual performance can be degraded by excessive use of drugs and alcohol or other behaviors.


If you suspect that a loved one has an addiction and you find that valuable items are going missing throughout your house, that is an indicator that they are addicted. It is a sign that they are selling these possessions for money to fund the addiction. Addiction treatment, in this case, should be your immediate priority.

Physical deterioration

If you are aware of a physical condition that is caused or exacerbated by your alcohol or drug use, and you are taking alcohol or drugs anyways, that is a clear sign of addiction.

Another physical symptom of dependancy is tolerance. If it takes you more amounts of alcohol or a drug in order to feel its effects, that is a sign that you are developing an addiction.

Both weight gain and weight loss can be associated with an addiction. Drug addictions also have the tendency to reduce one’s ability to walk normally. A slower pace or a stagger can develop in drug addicts.

Glazed or red eyes are also a clear marker of an alcohol or drug addiction. An addict’s pupils have a tendency to be either smaller or larger than they would normally be. There might also be a propensity for addicts to fall into a blank stare.

Cold palms or shaky, sweating hands are also signs of a drug addiction. The face will sometimes grow puffy, blush, or turn pale. Drug addicts can become excessively talkative or extremely hyperactive.

Drug addiction could be marked by a runny nose or a hacking cough, depending on the substance consumed. In the case of IV drug use, needle marks will appear on the lower arm, leg or bottoms of an addict’s feet. It is not unusual for strange odors to develop around someone addicted to a substance.

The very worst stages of addiction will be accompanied possibly by nausea, vomiting, as well as excessive sweating. There could be nosebleeds or the outbreak of unusual acne or rashes on the skin.

Mood changes

People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol not only suffer from physical deterioration but their mood changes as well. Addicts often experience very little or no energy at all. They experience anger, anxiety, or depression, especially when they have not received the amount of alcohol or drugs that their addiction demands.

This also leads to a deterioration in one’s appearance or their hygiene. Addicts, relying more and more heavily on their substance for self-esteem and well-being, lose motivation to maintain their appearance or to even properly clean themselves. Indeed, they are often not even aware of their worsening physical appearance.

So is it an addiction?

If you or a loved one actively use alcohol, drugs or are regularly engaging in harmful behaviors and you are experiencing any of these mentioned symptoms, then the answer is yes — treatment is most likely a necessary step to prevent the addiction from worsening and ruining your life and the lives of those around you.