Addiction is a complex disease that impacts almost every aspect of an individual’s life. It’s a common misconception that you’d easily spot addiction if your spouse, close family member, or loved one was struggling with it. The reality is that the majority of people struggling with substance use learn to be very good at concealing their disease from others.
The best way to effectively and accurately diagnose addiction is through a medical professional. However, there are symptoms and behaviors that you can look out for if you have a feeling your loved one is struggling with substance use.
Before we get into depth regarding the five common indicators, take a look at some of the common red flags below:
- Increased tolerance
- Abnormal changes in appearance
- Forgetting their actions and words
- Financial issues
- Risky behavior
- Moody and unpredictable
- Shifting from being responsible to barely getting by
- Declining mental health
Spotting Addiction: What Should I Look Out For?
When recognizing addiction in a loved one, it helps to get a better understanding of the red flags to look out for. Spotting addiction in a loved one means becoming acutely aware of their actions. Keep reading to learn more about which signs to look out for if you think someone close to you is struggling with addiction.
1. Acting secretive and defensive about behavior.
Drug and alcohol-dependent individuals often struggle with intense feelings of shame and guilt. Oftentimes, these individuals know that they are hurting themselves and others, but remain in denial about it. Being secretive about their behavior is a way for them to hide the truth because they may fear the response of their loved ones. You may notice that a loved one is acting suspicious about where they spend their time or that they’re making unexplained phone calls and cash withdrawals. These may be tell-tale signs that there’s an addiction at hand.
We all naturally experience mood swings from time to time. When mood swings become dramatic or uncharacteristic, it’s time to take a step back and see if you’re missing a piece to the puzzle. Your mood can become severely impacted by drugs and alcohol over long periods. An individual struggling with addiction may become more aggressive. In other cases, you may notice that an addicted individual’s mood fluctuates from a high energy state to a more depressive one.
3. Physical changes.
There are many physical signs that an individual struggling with addiction may begin to show. Especially, some symptoms to look out for maybe:
- Rapid weight changes – significant weight gain or loss
- Unusual cuts, bruises, and sores
- Itchy skin and skin rashes
- Neglected hygiene – wearing the same clothes, showering less often, or becoming lazy about their daily hygiene routine
4. Losing energy and motivation.
Substance abuse can become a draining process, both physically and mentally. Brain fog is a common side effect of addiction, which consequently affects an individual’s motivation. If your loved one is losing interest in activities that once brought them joy, then that may be another tell-tale sign of addiction.
5. Strange behavior regarding finances such as stealing, selling possessions, and unexplained spending.
Addiction can become a costly habit. Even if your loved one were to only spend $10 a day on alcohol, that adds up to $3,650 in a year! Other substances are even more expensive. This is partly why seeking treatment ends up behind a smart long-term investment financially.
What To Do If You Recognize Signs of Addiction in a Loved One
Seeing someone you’re close to suffering from addiction is painful to say at the least. It’s a situation that can leave both of you feeling broken and lost. That’s why taking action is crucial. Taking the right steps towards addiction recovery can save you and your loved one a lot of heart-break.
You may be worried that someone you love has a substance use disorder, but have no idea where to start. If that’s the case, we encourage you to consider having an intervention.
What’s an Intervention?
An intervention is a carefully planned process that’s done by family and friends and directed by a licensed alcohol and drug counselor or intervention professional (interventionist). During an intervention, the loved ones around an addicted individual, and the individual, get together to confront the addiction at hand. The goal is for the drug or alcohol dependent individual to agree to partake in addiction treatment.
The three key aspects of intervention are:
- To provide specific examples of destructive behaviors and their impact
- Offers a prearranged treatment plan with clear steps, goals, and guidelines
- Clearly explain what each person will do if your loved one refuses to partake in treatment
Individuals struggling with substance use may be in denial about the pain they are causing themselves or those around them. An intervention can help your loved one come to terms with their behaviors. Addiction affects far more than just the individual struggling with the disease. If your loved one knows they have support as they enter addiction treatment, they are more likely to willingly attend and take those steps towards recovery.
Seek Help With Long Island Rehabs Today
If you recognize any symptoms of addiction in your loved one, it’s time to help them today. If symptoms are left alone, they worsen over time and hurt the affected individual’s chances of recovery. Taking the right steps towards addiction recovery can help your loved one gain control in their life again.
At Long Island Rehabs, we offer an extensive range of drug and alcohol treatment resources. Each member of our facility will receive a personalized treatment plan and motivating community support throughout their entire recovery. If you’re ready to help your loved one, you can reach out to us here. We’re waiting for your call!