What’s wrong with your kid, or friend, sibling, or spouse? Has the light left the eyes of someone you care about?
Addiction isn’t difficult to spot, especially for those closest to the addict. Your loved one may be out of control and stressed out, which is understandably very difficult to deal with. If you’re uncertain you’re witnessing the signs of addiction, the following outlines what those signs are and how you can help the person you care about.
REMEMBER: All people are susceptible to addiction from your child to an elderly grandparent. Addiction does not discriminate, and if someone you love is exhibiting the following signs of addiction, you’ll absolutely need to research addiction treatment programs, choose one, and offer this as a solution to the addict.
The Early Warning Signs of Addiction
During addiction’s earliest stages, it can seem as though your loved one is using drugs or alcohol casually, such as only once a week or at appropriate social gatherings. If, during these bouts of using, the addict is participating in binge drinking (unhealthy drinking for hours) or illegal/illicit drug use, your loved one may be in the early stages of addiction. Moreover, if your loved one’s family has a history of drinking or drug abuse, the user is that much more at risk of addiction.
Alienation is a Sign of Addiction
Is your loved one suddenly pushing you away? If someone has a rapid change in personality and suddenly prefers isolation there may be an issue. Don’t feel as though this behavior is your fault. The addict is likely to push everyone away; you can do your best to remain visible to them, but be careful not to enable the addict. The best thing to do is encourage healthy choices and reach out to addiction professionals for help.
The addict wants to be around people who condone their addiction and allow it to continue. As much as it hurts to be separated from your loved one, do not become this person. Do not give in to their desire to use freely; instead, host an intervention and attempt to be a catalyst for change.
Noticeable Changes in Health are a Warning Sign
Be on the lookout for health changes, including constant illness, frequent injuries, and chronic fatigue. Also, look for unhealthy changes in appearance, including discoloration on nails, skin, teeth, and hair. These changes are most significant when the addiction is for opioids, methamphetamines, or cocaine.
Lack of sleep is another warning sign. If there has been significant changes in sleep patterns or obligations are frequently being missed, an addiction may be present. Of course, lack of sleep results in a grumpy mood, but so does long term addiction. You may notice a change in your loved one’s mental and emotional state. Important signs to watch for are sudden changes in mood, aggressive behaviors, irritability, depression, or suicidal thoughts and tendencies or apathy.
The Consequences of Addiction
You can’t save your loved one unless your loved one has admitted to addiction and wants help. That being said, you should try to offer help. Addicts don’t notice that their addiction is ruining lives. Addiction has major impacts. It can cause job loss, home eviction, arrests, and death. Addicts, unfortunately, are going to downplay the situation.
For your sake and theirs, please seek professional assistance. Choose therapy for yourself too because only a therapist can teach you necessary coping skills. Your loved one may be the one who is an addict, but you need guidance too.