Some signs of addiction are blatantly obvious while others are questionable, but either way they should not go unnoticed when it comes to deciphering if your loved one is addicted to a substance. There are different stages of addiction as the addict’s disease negatively progresses, but there are also stages of recovery for when your loved one makes the effort to get and stay clean. Before the recovery process comes into play, you may want to take a look at your loved one’s behaviors because they may be displaying signs of addiction.
What do signs of addiction look like?
In the earliest stage of addiction, you may notice your loved one becoming isolated, withdrawn, secretive, and defensive. These character traits are signs of addiction because your loved one may be wrapped up over the compulsion of when they will be able to get their next fix of their substance of choice. This may cause them to miss family dinners, stop participating in previously enjoyable activities with others, miss classes for school, and be late or absent for work. If approached about their actions, your loved one may bark back at you in anger and fear over you catching onto their recurrent misuse of their substance. The best way to react to this would be to remain calm, keep reaching out in a respectable manner, and pay attention to more of their behaviors in order to confirm your suspicion.
When an addict keeps using, the signs of addiction become more noticeable. You may see that they are sleeping much more frequently and at odd times. This could be because they are exhausted from their drug use or as a side effect of having taken the drug, as some drugs produce drowsiness. On the other hand, their behavior may be the opposite and they may appear to be an insomniac, as they are always up, unusually on the go, and look as though they have not slept for days.
Other physical signs of addiction could entail but are not limited to pinpoint or overly dilated pupils, significant weight loss, hands or body shaking, lack of or increase in appetite, track marks on arms or other places of body from injection, excessive sniffling when they do not have a cold from inhalation, mood swings, low or extremely high energy, irregularly slow or fast heartbeat, overheated body temperature, sweating, vomiting, and nausea. Most of these signs of addiction can seem as though your loved one is physically sick, which they may actually be due to physical withdrawals from a drug if they have not taken it recently. These physical symptoms will help in confirming the addiction that your loved one has and you should take action by approaching them again and seeking them professional help through treatment in the forms of inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient drug therapy, psychiatry, or 12-Step Fellowship meetings.
Before any form of treatment can occur and sometimes even in the midst of treatment, addiction can worsen to the point where your loved one’s signs of addiction become lying, stealing from home or stores, lacking proper hygiene, never coming home or coming back at late hours in the night, and being argumentative or physically attacking. Your loved one may seem unrecognizable. At this point, you need to be aware that they are suffering from the disease of addiction and may need a more efficient method of treatment.
The signs of addiction can be scary because the loved one you once knew seems to be no longer present. This is what the disease of addiction can do and treatment is necessary in order for them to fully recover to live a life free of alcohol and/or drugs. To seek alcohol and/or drug treatment for your loved one today, contact The Watershed.