Addiction Symptoms

Addiction is a Disease

Addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medications is a common, chronic disease that “hijacks” the brain of the addict, robbing him or her of the ability to control use of the substance. It is a progressive disease with serious symptoms and consequences.

If left untreated, addiction can be fatal.

The paradox of alcohol and drug addiction is that the addict is convinced that there’s nothing wrong in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. To his or her family and friends, the condition defies logic and commonsense, as its power over the addict causes atypical irresponsibility, lack of dedication and a lost love for life. This progressive disease causes those affected to develop intractable denial, which is supported by anger, blaming others and self-destructive behaviors.

Doing nothing, changes nothing.

Addiction, no matter if it’s to drugs or alcohol, is a serious illness that requires treatment to get well and live a life free of chemical dependence.

The only answer is abstinence, complete freedom from these substances.

When addicts wonder, “How can I live without my drug?” Nova provides the answers. Our four to five week residential inpatient treatment, halfway house and aftercare programs focus on beginning and maintaining the lifelong healing process by providing intensive forms of addiction treatment.

Through it all, we help addicts invest in clean, sober and purposeful lives.

Addiction affects individuals of all ages, all backgrounds, their families, their friends and their other relationships. This section of our website is designed to provide addicts and their loved ones with facts about alcohol addiction and drug addiction, resources to help identify addiction, information on how to recognize addiction symptoms and details about how to help. Nova can help. Whether dealing with alcohol or other drug addiction, the symptoms of disease are similar and medical consequences equally as serious. If, after reviewing the symptoms and consequences of addiction below, you feel you or a loved one may be suffering from alcohol or drug dependency, please contact Nova Counseling Services today.

Success Stories

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Medical Consequences


  • Trouble focusing
  • Loss of concentration
  • Seizures
  • Irreversible brain and nervous system damage
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of memory
  • Hallucinations or distortions of vision and sound
  • Confusion
  • Stroke

Heart and Lungs:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High/low blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Collapsed veins
  • Infection of heart lining
  • Lung failure
  • Slowed or quickened breathing
  • Pneumonia
  • Lung infection
  • Lung cancer

Liver and kidneys:

  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Risk of hepatitis
  • Liver cancer
  • Kidney cancer


  • High body temperature
  • Weight loss
  • Sleeplessness
  • Tooth decay
  • Hearing loss
  • Nausea
  • Convulsions
  • Slurred speech
  • Pancreas and stomach damage

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Personal Life Consequences

In addition to the medical consequences of addiction, alcohol and drug addiction can also cause problems in an addict’s personal life when the disease “hijacks” the brain and causes abnormal behavior. From trouble with the law, to losing a job, to relationship problems, alcoholism and drug addiction ruin the lives of not only those suffering from the disease but also their closest friends, family and loved ones.

Common Lifestyle Addiction Symptoms:

  • Blacking out (not remembering events) after using alcohol or drugs
  • Breaking promises
  • Changes in personality, moods and emotions
  • Consistently apologizing for mistakes related to alcohol or drug use
  • Defending use of alcohol or drugs
  • Failed promises or pledges to stop or limit use
  • Lying to cover up alcohol or drug use
  • Needing to use alcohol or drugs in order to complete a task
  • Quick to become angry or otherwise emotional when alcohol or drug use is challenged
  • Showing up late or not at all for important events or engagements
  • Unpredictable behavior and loss of control
  • Using alcohol or drugs alone
  • Withdrawal from social activities

Do any of these addiction symptoms sound familiar to you? Maybe in regard to your own behavior or that of a family member or friend?

If so, contact Nova Counseling Services today – we can help you take the next step to recovery.