Addiction Signs and Symptoms

What is Addiction?

Denial is a prime characteristic of addiction; thus, the addicted individual seldom recognizes it. It is left to the family, employer, or others close to the impaired individual to bring the problem into the open. Sometimes, however, loved ones are unsure. They ask: How can I know this is addiction?

A simple but compelling benchmark is that at least one major element of the person’s life is at risk. Try these questions:

• Are their personal relationships in jeopardy?
• Are they in trouble on the job?
• Is their health affected?
• Are they in trouble with the law?

If any of these is true, then action is required. A professional needs to be called in.

Addiction is an illness — a progressive, chronic, fatal illness.
Progressive means it always gets worse. People often spend years hoping it will get better, but without help it does not.
Chronic means that the person will never be able to use mood-altering substances without falling into addiction. However, the person can RECOVER from his/her addiction and lead a productive, joyful life in sobriety.

Treatment programs administer a formal assessment of how much the person is using, how long the use has gone on, and the impact on the person’s life. Such assessments are useful in developing a treatment plan for the individual. But for the family, a formal assessment is not necessary to determine that their loved one needs professional help.

Treatment is the beginning of a long-range recovery plan that includes counseling, support groups, and recovery coaching. The sooner treatment begins, the sooner a person’s life can be restored.

Employee Signs & Symptoms on the Job

  • Low productivity, carelessness, takes needless risks
  • Poor concentration – deteriorating work habits
  • Unexplained absenteeism, persistent tardiness, inappropriate use of FMLA, and disregards consequences
  • Interpersonal problems on the job – inability to get along with coworkers/supervisors
  • Anger management issues and/or aggression.
  • Avoidance and isolating at work (i.e. excessively long lunch breaks)
  • Higher than average accident rate and Worker’s Compensation claims
  • Inconsistent work quality, frequent mistakes, blames others for poor performance
  • Inappropriate conversation about personal problems at work, unpaid loans from coworkers
  • Conduct unbecoming of an employee