Taking Action: What Are The Early Signs Of Addiction?

abuse disorder

Addictions can have a truly destructive impact on a person’s life and the associated behaviours can cause a huge range of devastating consequences on a person’s physical and mental health, their career, relationships, finances, and on their future prospects. 

Whilst exceptional addiction recovery services are available to help a person recover from addiction at any stage, in reality, the earlier an addiction is spotted, the better. 

Why Is Early Addiction Intervention Important? 

If you can spot the signs of addiction early, you can then get early treatment either for a loved one, or for yourself.

Studies show that early addiction intervention is important in preventing addiction progressing into a more serious issue. Early intervention has also been identified as particularly important for certain issues such as: binge drinking (particularly in young adults), and for those who abuse substances whilst driving or whilst being pregnant. 

In reality, anybody who is starting to show signs of addiction in its early stages needs help to avoid the consequences of a more established addiction, which is also much more difficult to recover from. 

What Are The Early Signs Of Addiction? 

There are very specific symptoms and signs that relate to specific addictions. However, certain signs and symptoms can apply to all addictive behaviour, and looking out for those signs in yourself or a relative could help speed up the process of that all important diagnosis, and treatment.

Here are some common signs of addiction, which may be very mild, or less obvious when the addiction is early or very well hidden: 

Fighting Addiction


  • Telling lies 
  • Turning up to school or work late regularly
  • Missing school or work regularly
  • Struggling with responsibility
  • Social life diminishes or disappears
  • Behaviour can be secretive
  • Continued behaviours or use of certain substances despite negative outcomes
  • Failure to stop taking part in certain behaviours, or to use certain substances, despite trying 
  • A lowered performance level at work or in school
  • A lack of interest in activities and hobbies that were once loved
  • Denial when questioned about clearly destructive behaviours


  • Personal maintenance and hygiene may suffer
  • A person may be sleeping more or less than usual
  • A person may be eating more or less than usual


  • Existing mental health conditions may worsen 
  • A hopeless feeling, like there’s no future and nothing to look forward to
  • A lowered feeling of self worth
  • Problems remembering things
  • Issues with concentrating
  • Being agitated or irritated particularly when being unable to take part in addictive behaviour
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling numb

All of the symptoms above can be signs of addiction, and in its earliest stages, these symptoms can be very mild. In yourself, or a loved one, you might notice very mild differences that just make things feel a little ‘off’. This is partly why getting an addiction diagnosis early on is so difficult, because it can be so easy to pass off any changes as not being ‘bad enough’ to warrant action. 

What’s important to recognise is that the ideal scenario is preventing any kind of addiction getting any worse. It’s a case of being incredibly honest with yourself, or encouraging your loved one to be honest about their situation, so that things don’t have to be glaringly obvious, or dire before help is sought. 

“One of the hardest things was learning that I was worth recovery.” – Demi Levato 

If you would like exceptional private addiction recovery advice and treatment, consider getting in touch with Infinity Addiction Solutions. If you think you may have an addiction, early treatment and support is available on both an inpatient and outpatient basis, with a comprehensive and individual plan created to suit you. 

If you’re worried about a loved one, you may also be interested in professional intervention help from Infinity Addiction Solutions to ease that first difficult stage of helping somebody in denial get the help they need. 

Remember, addiction is not a life sentence if you get the right help and support, and especially if it is diagnosed in the earliest stages. Speak to Infinity Addiction Solutions today to take the first step to a healthier, happier life of recovery.