Addiction can be a scary word and a difficult thing to do for a family. Nobody wants to get addicted, but it still happens to so many people. Developing an addiction in a child is one of the worst fears for many parents. Understandably, given the numerous negative side effects that can develop from this condition.
Since addiction is so destructive to the person using drugs and the people around them, this is a less than ideal situation. While they’re not always obvious, there are certain signs and behaviors that can indicate an addiction. Often times, a person will be able to keep their addiction going without alerting others to the fact that they have a problem. However, the longer an addiction lasts, the more it will destroy a person’s life.
Below are common signs and symptoms of addiction to look out for.
1. Drastic changes in personality
Drugs and alcohol can dramatically change a person’s behavior. If your loved one is not looking like himself lately and there is no apparent reason, it would be a good idea to take a closer look at what is going on. There are many reasons someone might act differently, but one thing is certain: drugs and alcohol can turn someone you love into someone you barely recognize.
2. Lies about drug or alcohol use
If someone lies about how much alcohol they use or says they don’t use drugs when it’s obvious, chances are there is a problem. If they didn’t have a problem with drugs or alcohol, they wouldn’t feel the need to lie about them.
3. Problems with work or school
The longer a person abuses drugs or alcohol, the more likely they are to develop problems in school or at work. It’s hard to maintain good grades or an acceptable job performance when you’re constantly on the roller coaster of addiction. If your loved one is having significant problems in any of these areas of life, it is a good idea to take a closer look at things and see what is going on.
4. Asking for money all the time
Addiction often leads people to spend all or most of their money on drugs or alcohol. If your loved one is constantly asking you for money or pulling cash from the ATM and not telling you what to do, there is a good chance a substance abuse problem will develop. If you ask them where the money is going and they go defensive, that’s another red flag.
5. Extreme changes in weight or appearance
Certain drugs can cause drastic weight changes in people. If your loved one has lost a lot of weight for no apparent reason, chances are it was due to drug use. Scabs and scratch marks are also signs of meth use.
6. Spend time with drug users
If your loved one spends a lot of time with drug users, chances are they are drug users themselves. If their friends are or seem to be using it, it is probably only a matter of time before your loved one starts using it too. It’s hard to hang out with people who actively use drugs without using drugs themselves.
7. Legal issues related to substance abuse
Drunk driving, possession of a controlled substance, and allegations of theft are all signs of an addiction. The longer a person continues to use or abuse drugs and alcohol, the more likely they are to get into legal trouble. If your loved one has legal problems due to their drug use but continues to use them, chances are they are addicted. One of the most blatant red flags of addiction continues to be consumed despite negative consequences. If this happens to your loved one, it may be time to investigate treatment options.
8. Failure to meet obligations
It is not easy to take responsibility in dealing with an addiction. One of the negative aspects of addiction is that keeping it up can become a full-time occupation in and of itself. As an addiction becomes so time consuming it becomes difficult to fulfill other obligations and responsibilities. If your loved one is constantly not doing the things they need to do, it is wise to investigate things to see if addiction may be one of the causes.
9. Loss of interest in family or hobbies
Often times, people struggling with addiction will stop doing things they used to enjoy. They will also begin to alienate themselves from their families and often avoid family functions altogether. One of the challenging aspects of addiction is that it often becomes so consuming that there is little time left for anything else.
When your loved one steals money or valuable belongings from you or someone else, the problem is serious. Addiction causes despair in many people, and theft is often practiced to get money for drugs. When someone has gotten to the point of having to steal to keep their addiction going, they really need help.
While all of these problems are often warning signs of an addiction, it’s important to note that by themselves they don’t necessarily mean that your loved one has a habit. The more of these symptoms a loved one exhibits, the more likely they are to be addicted. On the other hand, your loved one may still be in the early stages of their addiction and not have as many symptoms, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a serious problem.
Often times, a person with an addiction denies that they have a problem. If so, it is wise to keep monitoring the situation if you still feel that there may be a problem. If your loved one continues to have multiple addiction symptoms, it would not be unreasonable to ask them for a drug test. If they have nothing to hide, they’ll usually stick to it, but if someone gets out of hand at the thought, then they’ve probably been on drugs and don’t want you to know.
If you already suspect that your loved one may have an addiction or drug problem, chances are they are. It’s always good to listen to your instincts when it comes to such things. When you have a secret suspicion that something is going on, it is better to talk about it and be wrong than to say nothing and be right. The best time to deal with an addiction is always sooner rather than later.