Addiction - Symptoms

All forms of addictions have some common symptoms, including:

  • Loss of control. Addicts are unable to manage their behavior or their use of a substance. They may decide to quit the behavior or using the substance one day and then fall back into the habit the next day.
  • Tolerance. In most forms of addiction, a person needs more and more of the substance or behavior over time. Early in an addiction, a person may need only one "hit" of heroin a day. A few months later, he or she may need two, six, or a dozen "hits" to get the same response.
  • Impairment. Addicts often continue to use a substance or demonstrate a behavior even when they know the undesirable effects it may have. For example, a gambling addict may continue to wager money even though he or she has lost everything in previous gambling experiences.

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