Physical signs of addiction
If you are addicted or close to someone who is, there are a number of physical signs of addiction that may become apparent. These are as follows….
Physical signs of alcohol and drug addiction
Appetite supressed: this will depend on the nature of the addiction. It is not unusual for alcoholics to have an extremely poor appetite. This is in part due to their obtaining most of their calories from alcohol. So they have no appetite. Increasingly this will lead to psychological issues with eating. Many alcoholics are underweight. Despite the common association of beer drinkers being overweight.
People addicted to other drugs such as heroin may have a suppressed appetite. Those addicted to cannabis can get the so called ‘munchies’ when they eat large amounts. Often in the night at unsociable hours.
Dry heaving: this is often associated with alcoholics who frequently have a dry mouth and acidic digestion system. When put together with the additional stress and anxiety associated with addiction, this can lead to dry heaving. It can be particularly common early in the morning.
Goosebumps also known as ‘chicken skin’: associated with withdrawal especially from opiates (heroin, codeine)
Pupils dilated / constricted: usually associated with drug use. The pupils change size and shape according to the drug used. For example, the pupils of people using opiates (including heroin and codeine) often have small pupils. Sometimes referred to by professionals in the field as ‘pinned’.
Runny nose / sniffing: this is primarily associated with cocaine use. As cocaine destroys the lining and structure of the nose. It can even destroy the septum so that the two nostrils become one large space. Other drugs, including alcohol, can also cause increased sniffing and fluid in the nose.
Other common symptoms
Shaking: usually associated with withdrawal, especially from alcohol. It can be anything from a slight tremor to a full on rigid shake. Which can lead to fits and seizures.
Sleep pattern disturbed: most alcoholics and addicts have a poor pattern of sleep. Alcoholics may go to sleep easily but will wake up and be unable to get back to sleep. As the withdrawal from alcohol takes effect. Our drinking and drug use totally affects our natural sleep pattern. It is one of the things that will be addressed if you go into a private alcohol and drug rehab clinic.
Sweating: again this is a symptom of withdrawal from alcohol and many drugs, including opiates.
Yellow tinged eye and skin: this is a sign of malfunction of the organs, especially the liver. Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to jaundice and fatty liver. And ultimately liver scarring – known as cirrhosis. This can be permanent damage if the alcohol issue is not addressed urgently.
Swollen abdomen: this can be due to weight gain (beer belly) associated with too many calories from alcohol. It can also be due to fatty swollen liver from the damage caused by alcohol. It can make some women look as if they are pregnant.