Addiction is the state of dependency on something (and in rare cases someone) in order to function. In other words, it is a situation whereby a person has little or no control over their lives without the company of the substances or habits they have gotten so used to. There are different forms of addiction just as there are very many things/habits that could become addictive to a person. Take for instance; there is physical addiction just as there is mental addiction. And someone may be physically addicted to substances such as nicotine, hard drugs, binge-eating, TV, Games, Social Media and masturbation. In this same vein, many are addicted to the idea of something or even a person.

In the world today, many teenagers are addicted to one thing or the other. It is like a viral disease, one which unfortunately is not paid the right attention. The consequences of this therefore are numerous, leading to many teenagers who grapple with different kinds of issues while struggling to become adults. There is therefore need to look into the seriousness of this matter and proffer solution to it. But then just as it is the case with every quest for solution, it is important to first identify some of the symptoms of addiction as this will serve as pointers. See below some of the signals that will indicate that you or someone is addicted to something-

  • The use of drugs or alcohol as a way to forget problems or to relax
  • Withdrawal or keeping secrets from family and friends
  • Loss of interest in activities that used to be important
  • Having problems with schoolwork, such as slipping grades or absences
  • Changes in friendships, such as hanging out only with friends who use drugs
  • Spending a lot of time figuring out how to get drugs
  • Stealing or selling belongings to be able to afford drugs
  • Failed attempts to stop taking drugs or drinking
  • Anxiety, anger, or depression
  • Mood swings

Having identified the symptoms, the imperative question therefore is- what can an addict do to help him/herself? In the same vein, what likely tips could possibly help an addict overcome his or her addiction? Please some of these tips enumerated below-

  • Tell your friends about your decision to stop using drugs.Your true friends will respect your decision. This might mean that you need to find a new group of friends who will be 100% supportive. Unless everyone decides to kick their drug habit at once, you probably won’t be able to hang out with the friends you did drugs with.
  • Ask your friends or family to be available when you need them.You might need to call someone in the middle of the night just to talk. If you’re going through a tough time, don’t try to handle things on your own — accept the help your family and friends offer.
  • Accept invitations only to events that you know won’t involve drugs or alcohol. Going to the movies is probably safe, but you may want to skip a Friday night party until you’re feeling more secure. Plan activities that don’t involve drugs. Go to the movies, try bowling, or take an art class with a friend.
  • Have a plan about what you’ll do if you find yourself in a place with drugs or alcohol.The temptation will be there sometimes, but if you know how you’re going to handle it, you’ll be OK. Establish a plan with your parents, siblings, or other supportive friends and adults so that if you call home using a code, they’ll know that your call is a signal you need a ride out of there.
  • Remind yourself that having an addiction doesn’t make a person bad or weak.If you fall back into old patterns (backslide) a bit, talk to an adult as soon as possible. There’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it’s important to get help soon so that all of the hard work you put into your recovery is not lost.