If you suspect that someone you love is abusing drugs or alcohol, you may be feeling overwhelmed. What are you supposed to do? How do you handle it?
And, most of all, what if you’re wrong?
The signs of addiction can be hard to spot. But there are a few different things you can look out for if you suspect that someone you love may be addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Keep reading to find out more.
Change in Personality
The number one thing to be on the lookout for is a change in behavior or personality. Drug and alcohol addiction can wreak havoc on someone’s brain, which leads to behavior and personality change.
People who have developed an addiction may be more jumpy, quick to anger or tears, or easily distracted. Their emotions tend to swing back and forth.
A change in behavior obviously doesn’t always indicate an addiction. There are a number of other ailments that can lead to a sudden change in your loved one’s personality. Either way, helping them address the issue can help heal the change.
They’re Isolating Themselves
Nothing is more heartbreaking than watching someone who used to be an outgoing person start to turn in on themselves.
Addiction is a disease that is steeped in shame. When people feel ashamed of their actions, they tend to try to hide them. That hiding behavior leads to isolation and loneliness, which is the perfect environment for addiction to get worse.
Someone who is isolating themselves is often trying to nurse their own wounds. Trying to help someone who refuses to meet in the middle can be heartbreaking. But reminding them that they have nothing to be ashamed of can help.
Troubles With Money
Another sign that can mean addiction trouble is a growing issue with money. Addicts can rarely get enough of the thing they’re addicted to. These substances aren’t cheap, and someone in the deep stages of addiction won’t think twice about blowing their grocery money on it.
If your loved one has been asking for money recently and can’t seem to account for where their money goes, they could have an addiction problem.
No addiction is exempt from this issue. Gambling, alcohol, drugs, and food addicts all spend unusually high amounts of money on the things they’re addicted to.
Neglecting Their Responsibilities
Another unfortunate behavior change that can come hand-in-hand with addiction is the neglect of their responsibilities. When people are in the throes of active addiction, they can stop cleaning their homes, paying their rent, taking out their trash, or showing up for work.
Not only does this put their homes at risk, but it can put their dependents at risk as well. People who are deep into their addiction may think that they’re capable of taking care of their children, but often those children are the first to feel the effects of addiction in the first place.
There are a few high-risk behaviors that are associated with addiction. While every addict is different and every addiction can look a little different, there are a few that are common among people who suffer from addiction.
Some behaviors to watch out for are:
- Soliciting sex
- Intimate partner violence
- Carrying weapons
- Multiple sexual partners
- Driving while intoxicating
These are just a few of the high-risk behaviors that can indicate a problem with addiction. If you notice that your loved one is partaking in one or more of these actions, an intervention may be needed.
Contact a center like this company for more information on how to help someone in the deep stages of addiction.
Attachment to Toxic People
If you think that someone you love is dealing with an addiction, take a look at the people that they keep close in their lives. Do these people display any of the behaviors we’ve talked about earlier? If so, they may be deep in addiction as well.
People who are dealing with addiction tend to support one another when it comes to addictive behaviors. Addicted people tend to not question each other’s choices and will pass less judgment than people who have never faced addiction.
While running with a “bad crowd” is certainly not an absolute indicator for addiction, it’s not a bad place to start looking either.
People who are dealing with active addiction often find themselves overwhelmed with their choices. When someone starts to seriously let their physical appearance slide, it could be a sign that their addiction has become unmanageable.
People tend to try as hard as they can to appear normal to the outside world. As we said, addiction is a disease steeped in shame, and keeping that shame at bay means not alerting anyone to the fact that they have an addiction.
If you notice a change in a loved one’s appearance, it could be a sign of an addiction.
Physical Signs of Addiction
Now that we’ve mentioned the behavioral signs of addiction, let’s take a look at some of the physical symptoms associated with addiction.
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Unexplained markings on the skin
- Excessive sleep
These are just a few of the signs of someone going through withdrawal or the active stages of addiction. This, coupled with the other signs outlined above, is a good indicator that someone is struggling with a substance abuse problem.
Watch Out for the Signs of Addiction
Now that you know some of the more prevalent signs of addiction, you can be on the lookout. It’s easier to take steps to protect and care for your loved ones when you take the time to better understand addiction and all the nuances associated with it.
For more information about addiction and how you can help combat it, keep reading.