While virtually any substance can be abused, some drugs have a higher risk of dependency than others. Certain addictions can be easy to identify, and others may take time to spot.
Many people with drug abuse disorders do not realize they are addicted until they can no longer control their use. Some may try to hide their addiction from loved ones to avoid confrontation or reprimand. If you suspect a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, the best thing you can do is support them and help them seek addiction treatment.
So how do you tell that a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol? Here are a few signs to look out for:
Sudden Physical Changes
The first and most evident sign of drug abuse is a noticeable physical change. As the addiction takes root, these physical signs may be more visible and may worsen with time. In most cases, you will notice a sudden fluctuation of weight; the person either gains or loses weight suddenly due to overeating or undereating. People dealing with addiction also appear to have bloodshot eyes, which may pop out more than usual.
Depending on what the person is using, they may have marks or sores on their skin, particularly on the hands, legs, and face. You will also notice a change in hygiene as most addicted people tend to neglect their bodies and focus solely on drugs. Different drugs cause different physical symptoms. Be on the lookout for sudden changes that are seemingly out of the blue.
Unpredictable Mood Swings
Most drug or alcohol users experience drastic mood swings. Some substances can cause extreme energy in a person making them too hyperactive or chatty. Other times they may become too quiet, violent, lethargic, agitated, or irritable, especially when the drug starts wearing off. When the drugs are out of reach or if the person is trying to stop, they may look pale and sickly. Extreme outbursts or random mood swings can be a sign that a person is struggling with addiction.
Withdrawal From Family and Friends
When substance abuse becomes too prevalent in one’s life, it completely changes the person’s behavior, character, and their entire lifestyle. The most significant telltale sign is withdrawal from friends and family. Since the individual is hiding his or her addiction from the family, they may prefer to keep things low. Instead, they will hang out with a new group of friends who are most likely using the same substance. They do this to hide their addiction from you and make things look as normal as possible. The person may avoid settings that put their drug abuse traits in the light, such as going for a vacation with family or visiting other families elsewhere. If a person is addicted to alcohol, they may avoid family or friends’ parties where their drinking could get out of control and blow their cover.
They Are in a Financial Crisis and Don’t Seem Worried
Whether a person is wealthy or not, drug abuse always leads to financial hardships. This is because most people do not care about the impact their addiction is bringing to their finances. As the addiction progresses, the person will need to use large sums of money to fund the addiction, which increases as the dosage increases. The person may not appear worried as they are in a stage where they can’t control the intake. As the person continues to obtain the drugs, they may end up selling their properties and assets to help buy the substances. Consequently, the person may borrow loans or steal money from loved ones to fund their addiction. They may also steal drugs in an attempt to fix their daily needs.
Exhibits Withdrawal Symptoms
Keep a close eye on a person you suspect is dealing with addiction and watch for withdrawal symptoms. This typically happens when the person is not using drugs or alcohol. They may try to hide the signs by locking themselves in their rooms, especially if the symptoms are too physical. The individual may also show unusual or constant cravings of the substances they use. If they are addicted to a certain over-the-counter medication, they may try to steal it from you to quench their addiction thirst.
When a person experiences withdrawal symptoms, they can exhibit erratic mood swings, and become irritable, depressed, and fatigued. In the early stages of addiction, these symptoms may not be noticeable. The more severe the addiction gets, the more serious the withdrawal symptoms.
Many people dealing with addiction often change their way of doing things. In most cases, they are too focused on their drugs or substance addiction that they neglect their families or what they loved doing. For instance, if the person loved watching football, you may notice that they no longer like to watch and prefer to find ways of acquiring their drugs. Changes in hobbies, friends, diet and even dressing style are excellent signs that a loved one is addicted.
We Want to Help
At Enlight Treatment Center, we are all about providing high-quality addiction treatment plans to individuals from all walks of life. We work closely with our clients and their family to give personalized treatment and support positive quick recovery from a wide range of substances.
When you visit us, we will first ensure that you are comfortable, in an excellent natural environment. Our expert teams will then ask you a few questions in order to determine which treatment option will best suit you. We are here to support you throughout your journey to sobriety. We invite you to contact us and learn more about our treatment programs and options available for you. Contact us today!