In Clearbrook Treatment Centers Pennsylvania, Family Resources, Personal Resources

Drug and alcohol abuse usually begins as recreational and eventually progresses as the person’s use becomes more frequent and severe. Addiction is a progressive disease that can become more intense as the person’s substance abuse persists. Tolerance is the foothold of this disease. The more frequently a person uses drugs or drinks alcohol, the more tolerant their body will become. Eventually, they may need to use more of these substances more frequently to experience the same side effects. This continuous pattern of behavior often leads to addiction.

As a drug rehab in Pennsylvania, we understand that substance abuse can cause both physical and psychological damage. We wanted to point out the four major emotional signs of addiction that you should be aware of. 

What Are the 4 Major Emotional Signs of Addiction?

While there are various mental and emotional signs of drug abuse and addiction, there are four main emotional signs of substance abuse: 


Diversion refers to changing or avoiding the topic of addiction completely. Admitting your addiction can be difficult, and many addicts struggle to admit they have a problem because they either don’t want to give up the substance in question or they don’t want to seem weak. They may believe they’re fine when in reality they’re suffering emotionally and physically. Our inpatient drug treatment in Pennsylvania can be beneficial because it separates addicts from the daily triggers and temptations they face, allowing them to focus on understanding their condition and progressing in their recovery. 


Rationalization refers to making excuses or trying to justify their behavior. Rationalization often goes hand in hand with denial. Because drugs and alcohol can cause both physical and emotional dependence, the thought of quitting can actually be terrifying to an addict. They may have developed an emotional bond to the substance they use and they may be afraid of losing any joy they believe they’ve found in their addiction. Addicts may also attempt to rationalize their substance abuse because they don’t realize the damage it’s doing to others. Addiction is a blinding disease that can isolate users from the reality of their problems. At Clearbrook Treatment Centers in Pennsylvania, we offer a variety of addiction treatment services that include counseling and therapy that can help the individual realize their problem and develop coping mechanisms for any negative thoughts or emotions. 


Minimization includes admitting the problem offhandedly but not admitting to the severity of the problem or fully understanding the behaviors or consequences related to addiction. Minimization is a very superficial form of admitting an addiction. A person may minimize their drug or alcohol problem by having the “it could be worse” or “I’ve got it under control” mentality. Even though they realize there’s a problem, they may not accept drug or alcohol addiction treatment until they hit rock bottom. 


Blaming is one of the most difficult of the 4 major emotional signs of addiction to cope with as a loved one of an addict. An addict may realize their problem but blame someone else or an event for their substance abuse disorder. If you’re a friend, family member, or spouse of this individual, they may blame you for their drug or drinking problem. Blame is a response to the stress they’re experiencing because of their addiction. A person’s addiction is never the fault of another. At Clearbrook Pennsylvania, our addiction treatment includes cognitive behavioral therapy that helps recovering addicts realize the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that have contributed to their disease. CBT can also help a person in recovery make amends with people they hurt during active addiction. 

Additional Signs of Addiction

There aren’t only emotional symptoms of addiction. Drugs and alcohol can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Addiction may not always be immediately apparent, but it usually becomes more physically and emotionally obvious as it progresses. 

Some additional physical and emotional effects of substance abuse include: 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulties concentrating or making decisions
  • Mood swings
  • Major changes in behavioral patterns
  • Changes in friend groups 
  • Isolation from people 
  • Delirium 
  • Seizures
  • Drug paraphernalia, such as empty pill bottles, burnt spoons, syringes
  • Skin sores
  • Poor physical hygiene 
  • Chronic coughing 
  • Breathing problems 
  • Track marks or scars at injection sites on the arms or legs
  • Frequent nose bleeds

Witnessing a loved one battle the disgusting effects of drug addiction is heartbreaking. If you or someone you care about is struggling with this disease, we can help. Call Clearbrook Treatment Centers now at 570-536-9621 for more information about our levels of care.

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