When your loved one starts behaving in a way that isn’t typical of them, you may begin to wonder what is going on in their life. Have they started to neglect their personal responsibilities, have relationship problems with family and friends, or act shady and suspicious with their finances? Although each individual situation is different, there are many signs and symptoms of addiction that are common for all addicts. It is important to be educated on the behavioral warning signs of addiction so you can protect your loved ones and get them help right away if needed.
What are Common Signs of Addiction in Others?
There are many signs of an addict that you should look for in the person you suspect to have a drug problem. You know your loved one’s normal personality, temperament, and nature, so keep an eye out for unusual behaviors for them. Make sure you are not being overly paranoid, though. Some of the warning signs of addiction may include:
Depression/anxiety — If the person has been seemingly anxious or depressed, it may be a sign of drug addiction. The drugs they are on may affect their mental health, and it could result in depression or anxiety.
Lying — Has the person been secretive, shady, or telling lies to family members and friends? You may be able to detect lies since you know the person’s typical way of being. Lying and sneaking around is a common sign of addiction.
Isolation — If the person has been isolating themselves and has been spending a lot of time alone, something may be going on. They may be spending this time alone to do drugs, or they do not want to face their loved ones because of their problem.
Relationship problems — If the person you are concerned about has been having problems in their relationships that they have not had before, it may be because of their addiction. On the other hand, marriage problems or divorces may lead to addiction.
Loss of interest — Individuals suffering from serious addiction tend to make drugs their first priority, so they may lose interest in their typical hobbies.
Work issues — If your loved one cannot keep a job, it may be a result of having an addiction. Work requires time management, responsibility, and a hard work ethic, and addiction may push all of that aside.
Financial problems — Has the person been asking family members for money? Have they been running out of money frequently? Financial problems are a common sign of addiction.
Criminal behavior — If your loved one is engaging in risky behaviors that are not typical of them, such as breaking the law, they may have a problem with drugs.
Physical signs — Look for physical signs of addiction, such as slurred speech, excessive talking, mood swings, hallucinations, irritability, clumsiness, paranoia, and other usual signs.
How Can I Cope with My Loved One’s Addiction?
Although you want to help your loved one, don’t be an enabler. An enabler is someone who takes on the responsibility and consequences of their loved one’s addiction in order to do what they see as “helping.” For example, a mother may blame society for her son’s drug problem or herself for not raising him differently. The mom is placing the responsibility for her son’s addiction on everybody/everything else but her son.
It is important to realize that you have the power to help your loved one in the addiction recovery process, but you can’t do everything for them. Encourage them to take responsibility for their own actions, but you can still help by finding different treatment options and beneficial resources for them.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, get help as soon as possible. For more information on addiction treatment and prevention, call Safe Prevention at 1-877-503-2608. At Safe Prevention, you can learn about addiction, treatment, and how to find the right resources for the individual’s specific needs. Call Safe Prevention today to get you started on your journey to long-term sobriety.