Drug addiction is a substance use disorder (SUD).  A person continued use of alcohol or drugs that causes significant health issues or disability is a SUD. It can also affect work and home relationships.

Alcohol addiction, alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a disorder in which people cannot manage drinking habits. It can cause severe and adverse side effects and drive a life out of control.

The time it takes for addiction to occur depends on factors based on each person. This can be biology, environment, age, gender, etc. There is no answer to how soon one can become addicted. Though if you have a family member who is an addict you are far more likely to suffer dependence issues.

Common signs of drug or alcohol addiction are: 

  • sudden weight loss or weight gain,
  • change in appetite
  • change in sleep patterns
  • changes in mood or disinterest
  • in appearance, changes in hygiene
  • impaired speech, bloodshot eyes
  • pupils smaller or larger than normal
  • strange smells on body

If your loved one is drinking or doing drugs regardless of whether it is negatively impacting their life (work, money, friends, or physical issues), then they are very likely suffering from addiction.

Addictions can be treated with behavioral therapy and medications depending on the type. Treatment isn’t the same for everyone and varies on their addiction and life. Some people succeed the first time around and never need rehab again, others need repeated treatment. Some people don’t need meetings after a while. Other people need them every day for the rest of their life. Recovery takes a lifetime, and there is no right way to do it.

Detoxification is when you all the body time to get rid of the drug in its system while managing symptoms of withdrawal. Detox is generally the first or second step in a recovery program and is the second of the four stages of rehab recovery

Withdrawals are symptoms experienced after a person stops using drugs or alcohol suddenly. Symptoms and time it takes are different for not only each person but each type of drug. Examples include:

  • shaking
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • insomnia

In some cases, withdrawal symptoms can be treated with medication but other times it cannot. Treating the withdrawal is not treating the addiction.