A sign is something other people, like a doctor, notice while a symptom is something that the patient describes. Example is the case of dilated pupils being a sign while constant sleepiness is a symptom.
Drug addiction - when an individual is dependent on a substance, like a drug, nicotine or alcohol, he/she is unable to manage his/her use of that substance. Though these may be dangerous to them, they go ahead with alcohol consumption (the possible dangers may or may not be clear to the person)
Being dependant on a substance can lead to strong cravings. Addicts may desire to quit (give up), however experiences it very hard to do without assistance.
The symptoms and signs of drug addiction differ according to the person, the drug they are dependent to, their genetics (family history) and personal situations.
Some signs and symptoms of abuse could be:
The patient is unable to stop taking the said drug, for addiction to cigarettes, alcohol or a drug; they will have tried to stop on their own at some point and failed.
Withdrawal side effects - when body levels of that substance go beneath a specific level the patient has physical and disposition related manifestations. There are desires, episodes of grouchiness, awful temper, poor concentration, a sentiment being discouraged, purge, disappointment, outrage, severity and disdain.
There may be abruptly increased craving. A sleeping disorder is a typical side effect of withdrawal. Sometimes, the user might have GI symptoms, like constipation or diarrhoea. There may be seizures, hallucinations, sweats, trembling, and violence when certain substances are involved.
Addiction proceeds in spite of medical issue awareness - the individual keeps taking the substance frequently, despite the fact that they have created diseases associated to it. Example is a smoker not giving up smoking even when they have been diagnosed of a related heart or lung disease.
Recreational and/or social sacrifices - certain activities are relinquished because of a dependency to some substance. Example is a smoker turning down a meeting with friends in an environment that is smoke free or an alcohol addict refusing to attend a profitable social gathering that does not involve alcohol.
Keeping a good supply - the person always makes sure they have access to the substance, even if they don't have a lot of money. They will cut on house spending to buy the drugs.
Taking risks (1) - in certain instances the addicted person might undertake risks to ensure he/she can get his/her substance, like stealing or exchanging sex for drugs/cash.
Risky behaviours (2) - could also occur as a result of being under the influence, such as reckless driving.
Coping with issues - an addict often feels he/she requires his/her substance to cope with his/her issues.
Obsession - someone who is addicted will continue to focus more and more time and energy on getting access to their substance.
Secrecy and solitude - the addict may resort to enjoying these substances in solitude in most cases.
Denial - most people suffering from addiction refuse to admit it. These addicts do not know (or deny to admit) that they in fact have an issue.
Excessive use - with certain addictions, like alcohol, a few substances and even nicotine, the person uses it excessively. The results of over-indulgence could be memory loss or physiological issues like respiratory infections or a chronic cough as experienced by chain smokers.
Giving up activities and pastimes - as the dependency advances, the person might no longer do things he/she really liked. This might even be the situation with a smoker who finds he/she can't physically deal with participating in his/her best-loved sport.
Stashing the substance - an addict might hide small stocks of the substance in unlikely places, like around the house or in the car.
Taking an initial large dose - alcohol abuse normally has this symptom. An alcoholic might drink quickly to get drunk faster and feel good.
Legal problems - problems with the law occur more with drug and alcohol addictions. This can be because being on the substance impairs the user's judgement and they engage in risk taking behaviour or because the addict breaks the law to get a hold of the substance.
Money problems - if the drug is costly, the addicted person may neglect or cut down on other needs to afford it. Even cigarettes, which in a few nations, for example, the UK, parts of Europe and the UK cost over '11 for a pack of twenty; a 40-a-day smoker in such a territory should set aside '660 every month, almost '8,000 every year.
Strained relationships - such are seen more in cases where drugs or alcohol are the substance in use.
Certain alcohol or substance abusers who aren't technically addicted might also be affected by or cause a few of the above-mentioned descriptions, though these abusers don't generally experience the withdrawal symptoms of addicts or the exact same obsession to use the substance.