Warning signs of alcoholism include the consumption of increasing amounts of alcohol and frequent intoxication, preoccupation with drinking to the exclusion of other activities, promises to quit drinking and failure to keep those promises, the inability to remember what was said or done while drinking (colloquially known as “blackouts”), personality changes associated with drinking, denial or the making of excuses for drinking, the refusal to admit excessive drinking, dysfunction or other problems at work or school, the loss of interest in personal appearance or hygiene, marital and economic problems, and the complaint of poor health, with loss of appetite, respiratory infections, or increased anxiety.
Prescription misuse has been defined differently and rather inconsistently based on status of drug prescription, the uses without a prescription, intentional use to achieve intoxicating effects, route of administration, co-ingestion with alcohol, and the presence or absence of dependence symptoms. Chronic use of certain substances leads to a change in the central nervous system known as a ‘tolerance’ to the medicine such that more of the substance is needed in order to produce desired effects. With some substances, such as stopping smoking can cause withdrawal symptoms to occur, but this is highly dependent on the specific substance in question.
Severe anxiety and depression are commonly induced by sustained alcohol abuse, which in most cases abates with prolonged abstinence. Even sustained moderate alcohol use may increase anxiety and depression levels in some individuals. In most cases these drug induced psychiatric disorders fade away with prolonged abstinence.
The ICD, DSM and CCMD list promiscuity as a prevalent and problematic symptom for Borderline Personality Disorder. Individuals with this diagnosis sometimes engage in sexual behaviors that can appear out of control, distressing the individual or attracting negative reactions from others. There is therefore a risk that a person presenting with sex addiction, may in fact be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. This may lead to inappropriate or incomplete treatment.
Problem gambling is an urge to gamble continuously despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. Problem gambling is often defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others, rather than by the gambler’s behaviour. Severe problem gambling may be diagnosed as clinical pathological gambling if the gambler meets certain criteria. Pathological gambling is a common disorder that is associated with both social and family costs.
In areas that have enacted self-exclusion policies, an individual who is aware that they suffer from a gambling problem can voluntarily request that their name be added to the self-exclusion list. If their application is accepted, the person in question becomes legally banned from all participating casinos within the self-exclusion coverage area. Both land based and online casinos recruit gaming compliance staff to ensure that both the law and the spirit of the law is followed to protect players. If a person who has been added to the self-exclusion list enters or attempts to enter a casino that participates in the self-exclusion program, they can be arrested and charged with trespassing. In addition, any chips, tokens, credits or other winnings in their possession at the time of arrest can be confiscated or invalidated.
It is up to you to stick to your self-exclusion agreement, but if you try to gamble during that time the gambling business should take reasonable steps to prevent you from doing so. Once you have made a self-exclusion agreement, the gambling company must close your account and return any money in your account to you. It must also remove your name and details from any marketing databases it uses.
“Cold turkey” is a colloquial term indicating abrupt withdrawal from an addictive drug, and in this context indicates sudden and complete cessation of all nicotine use. In three studies, it was the quitting method cited by 76%, 85%, or 88% of long-term successful quitters. In a large British study of ex-smokers in the 1980s, before the advent of pharmacotherapy, 53% of the ex-smokers said that it was “not at all difficult” to stop, 27% said it was “fairly difficult”, and the remaining 20% found it very difficult. Studies have found that two-thirds of recent quitters reported using the cold turkey method and found it helpful.