Witnessing a loved one fall victim to drug addiction is never easy. It’s even worse if you find out they’ve been fighting addiction for a long time, and you didn’t know anything about it. Because if you had known, you would have taken the appropriate measures to help them recover.
It’s never too late to educate yourself on substance abuse signs and symptoms though! Here are a few to look out for if you think someone you love may have an addiction problem.
Did you know that one of the biggest signs of addiction is denial? The person battling addiction will get defensive when the topic is brought up and avoid speaking about the problem. Denial is also the reason why people who have fallen victim to substance abuse don’t see how their behavior is endangering their lives. They don’t think about the negative consequences or how they’re affecting their families.
Denial is your loved one’s way of refusing to acknowledge there is a problem at hand and ultimately refusing to seek help because they don’t believe they need it. Fortunately, there is a lot of help available for those suffering from addiction. Recovery communities can make all the difference. At newlifehouse.com for instance, several young men aged 18-32 are beginning their journey to recovery and a new future.
Noticing changes in how a person behaves is crucial when they have an addiction. They may act differently depending on the type of substance they’re addicted too. Most drugs affect their ability to focus, concentrate, and think clearly. They may seem more irritated than usual or more aggressive.
Moreover, substance users could come off as being lazy and have little to no desire to participate in the activities they once enjoyed. Instead, they’ll want to sit in the house all day which can also come across as depression.
Substance addiction can even lead to involvement in criminal activity because they’ll do anything to get their next fix.
Physical appearance is probably the easiest way to spot someone with an addiction. Sudden weight loss is something to look out for. Addicts tend to have a loss in appetite. They would rather choose to spend their money to feed their addiction, not their stomach. Alcoholics, for example, tend not to eat as much because alcohol is full of ’empty’ calories, making them feel full.
Addicts also tend to not care what they look like and therefore things such as personal hygiene can go out the window. Body odor and general cleanliness can become a real issue as nothing else matters except for getting their next fix. Addicts are often described as having poor oral hygiene, rotting teeth, and bad breath.
Depending on what they are addicted to, the eyes can certainly set off red flags. Glazed red eyes or dilated pupils are often signs that someone is on drugs. If you notice any of these signs in a friend or family member, consider the fact they may be a victim of substance abuse.
As well as their physical appearance, someone who has an addiction doesn’t usually care about their home appearance. A messy house or apartment is definitely something to look out for. This includes dirty plates, clothes on the floor, bad smells, or curtains that always remain closed.
An addict will usually drop most social activities and sometimes even stop showing up for work. They will often make excuses to avoid social events and have little desire to hang out with family or friends.
Although it’s briefly been mentioned above, there are serious health concerns to look out for. Anxiety and depression are signs of a mental illness caused by addiction. Other side effects can come in the forms of paranoia, delusions and hallucinating.
Some addicts will appear fatigued a lot of the time due to a lack of sleep. Others will sleep for most of the day depending on the substance they are using.
If a loved one is showing signs listed above, it may be time to reach out and help them. Remember that if they are in denial, it may be hard to get through to them. When this happens to be the case, reach out to a team of professionals that can help.