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How do you recognize the signs of addiction?

Do you have a family member, employee, co worker, or friend with a substance
abuse or dependence problem? A formal assessment including interview,
and perhaps a urinalysis or other lab testing, and contact with others who know
the person will give an answer. However, The Addiction and Recovery for
Dummies book, by Brian Shaw, Ph.D., Paul Ritvo, Ph.D. and Jane Irvine D. Phil.
gives us the following pointers:

1) Forgetting commitments or being frequently, uncharacteristically late
2) New or more frequent illnesses
3) Unexplained work and relationship difficulties
4) Increased absences or erratic breaks from routines
5) Spending hours with new friends who, themselves, keep unusual hours and don’t have regular jobs
6) Financial troubles
7) Memory and concentration problems
8) Sleep disturbances or major changes of sleep habits
9) Surprising secrecy

If you have noticed one or more of these, be concerned. You may need to deal with your own denial and avoidance of the issue, seek help through AlAnon or NarAnon, and perhaps get individual psychotherapy. Addiction affects a minimum of seven other people, so do not be swayed when your loved one insists that it is none of your business. Do not interrogate either, but keep reading more articles about handling this serious condition, watch some of the WYNK flash videos for education and support, and keep learning.

by: Lois Cochrane Schlutter, Ph.D. L.P.

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