Seeing the Signs of Addiction in a Loved One
Even when you’re aware that substance abuse is a problem for a loved one, recognizing an addiction isn’t always easy. It’s also tricky because the symptoms of drug and alcohol addiction can be unique to the substance as well as the individual. Overall, however, these three signs of addiction can help you spot a problem before it develops further.
1. Unexplained Physical Changes
To a friend or family member, the physical changes that addiction causes may be some of the easiest to spot. While a person may be able to hide depression or liver damage, they can’t hide rapid weight loss or open wounds on the skin. Ultimately, the physical changes will have a lot to do with the substance that an individual abuses. Whatever the substance, however, physical changes are likely.
Often, people abusing drugs or alcohol will notice significant and unexplained weight loss or weight gain. You might also notice that individuals struggling with addiction have marks on their skin from injections or scratching.
2. Changes to Sleeping Patterns
Addiction can also drastically impact a person’s sleep cycle. Some drugs, including stimulants, can falsely increase energy in the short term. Over time, however, that sleep debt will accumulate and lead to difficulty sleeping.
Sedatives, on the other hand, can cause a distinct lack of energy. It can lead to nodding, or the inability to stay awake and function properly. These drugs may also lead to poor, restless sleep. This only continues the cycle of sleep problems for most people with addiction.
If you notice that a loved one is sleeping at unusual hours, or can’t stay awake for their normal routine, it could be a sign of a drug or alcohol addiction.
3. Shifts in Mood, Personality or Behavior
Addiction can also greatly impact a person’s behavior. Drug and alcohol abuse alters the chemicals in the brain to impair their decisions and ability to think rationally. Someone who used to be outgoing and friendly, or who socialized at every opportunity, might suddenly become withdrawn and quiet. The opposite is also possible, with quiet adults suddenly becoming the life of the party.
Mood and behavioral changes to look out for:
- Confusion and frustration
- Easily angered or frightened
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Periods of prolonged sadness
It is painful to watch someone you love going through signs of addiction. It is critical to remember that these negative changes don’t reflect who you’re loved one really is.
The biggest takeaway from this is that unexplained change can be a sign of a bigger problem. Addiction has the potential to change the way a person feels, thinks and interacts with the world. It can also lead to depression, anxiety or paranoia. All of these factors that impact everyday life in countless ways.
What to Do When You Spot These Signs of Addiction
If you spot these signs of addiction or any others, it might be time to take action. Sometimes, an intervention could be necessary to help your loved one get proper treatment. Then, you can begin the search for an appropriate recovery program.
At Memphis Recovery, you can expect a wide range of treatment methods that promote lasting and comprehensive recovery. Some of these treatments include:
- Family therapy– rebuild strained relationships due to addiction
- Group therapy– discuss common issues amongst peers
- Dual diagnosis trauma therapy– addressing trauma and addiction
- Art and music therapy– learn healthy hobbies and habits
- Individualized recovery plans- help for your unique situation
While these aren’t the only signs of addiction to consider, they can help you spot a drug or alcohol dependence in a loved one. Fortunately, Memphis Recovery Centers in Memphis, Tennessee, can offer a path to recovery. Call 866.304.8254 and start working toward sobriety today.