Signs of a problem

Addiction is a complex illness, affecting mental, emotional and physical health. 

And like other diseases, the signs and symptoms will vary, depending on the person and the severity and stage of the illness.

While addiction is far more than a behavioral disorder, we focus on those here because that’s generally what families and others experience. 

If these behaviors are familiar, contact us for support.


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Common behavioral symptoms

  • Excessive use of a substance, more often and in greater quantities than intended.
  • Persistent desire for and unsuccessful attempts at behavioral control.
  • Excessive time lost to substance use or recovery from use.
  • Significant harm to social and job functioning (for example, relationship problems or neglecting responsibilities at home, school or work).
  • Continued use despite physical or psychological problems that may have been caused or made worse by substance use.
  • Inability to change behaviors despite worsening problems.
  • Lies and deceptions regarding use and other areas of life.
  • Broken promises around use and other areas of life.
  • Legal issues and related problems.
  • Dangerous and damaging behaviors.
  • Poor choices.
  • Impulsivity and compulsivity.
  • Bad judgment.