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How to Tell If Someone You Love Is Suffering From Addiction

How To Tell If Someone You Love Is Suffering From Addiction

When it comes to addiction, there are a lot of misconceptions. In reality, addiction is a chronic disease that affects the brain and body. And while addiction may have an element of choice in its onset or continuation, once someone has become addicted, they often feel powerless over their drug use.

If you suspect that someone you love is suffering from addiction, whether it’s alcohol abuse or another type, here are some signs to look out for.

Physical Signs

While many initial signs of addiction can be emotional and psychological, several physical changes may happen to the body. These include:

  • Changes in eating habits, including noticeable weight loss. A loss of appetite is one of the more obvious signs of addiction, but some users may also begin to eat more or eat food that they wouldn’t normally eat, like junk food.
  • Loss of interest in personal hygiene and appearance. Whether it’s not showering or simply wearing the same clothes over and over again, people who are addicted to something can stop caring about their physical appearance.

Changes in Behavior

Behavioral changes are one of the more noticeable signs of addiction, and addicts often develop a pattern of behaviors that can indicate a problem. While some changes in behavior might be considered normal or happen to everyone at certain points, it’s important to take note if someone you love is exhibiting these types of activities regularly:

  • Lying or secretive behavior. Many people resort to lying to cover up their addiction, often by making excuses for things they’re doing or saying things that aren’t appropriate. It might include constantly changing stories about where they were or who they were with, skirting around questions, or being evasive about their actions.
  • Frequent mood swings are also common with addiction, particularly when users are in the midst of the withdrawal process. While they may alternate between anger and depression fairly quickly, addicts often experience intense highs characterized by hyperactivity or unusual levels of energy followed by enormous lows that can result in lethargy and disinterest in their surroundings.
  • Neglecting responsibilities. This could include missing work, school, or other important events because they were hungover or still experiencing effects from using drugs or alcohol. An addict might also become forgetful about things like paying bills on time or leaving the house unlocked when they leave.
  • Sadness, apathy, and hopelessness. It’s not unusual for people who are addicted to feel this way from time to time, but addicts often view their drug use as the only thing that makes them happy or satisfied – even if they don’t want to admit it. They may also begin to expect things from other people, but they may become spiteful or angry when they don’t get what they want.
  • Suddenly spending a lot of money. Addicts often find ways to get their hands on more drugs, even if it means going into debt or using all of their savings. They might also quit hobbies and activities that used to please them, like going out with friends or participating in sports, because they don’t have the money.
  • Suddenly withdrawing from certain people, activities, and places. Drug addicts have a limited amount of social support, so when they feel as if people are judging them for their use or are not being supportive enough, they may decide to pull away from people who were previously important to them.
  • Breaking the law. Some addicts may break the law to support their addiction. However, it could also be that an addict is using drugs again after trying to quit and feels too ashamed of what they’re doing to tell anyone about it.

In 2015, there were about 21,000 teens that used heroin and about 5,000 that were current users. There were also about 6,000 kids with a heroin use disorder in 2014. These facts show why it’s important to understand the symptoms of addiction so that you can help someone who may be struggling before it’s too late. If you or someone you know needs help with drug abuse, call us to find the treatment center that best fits your needs.

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