Spotting The Signs: Early Indicators of Drug And Alcohol Addiction

Surya Yadav

It can be hard to watch someone fall into an addiction. Knowing the signs can help you determine if they’re starting to become addicted and offer help before it gets any worse. While they might not accept the help at first, if you know they’re suffering from addiction, you can do more to support them and help them until they are ready to get help. Some of the most common signs that someone may be starting to suffer from an addiction include the following. 

Changes in Their Behavior

Drastic or abrupt changes in behavior can be a sign of drug and alcohol addiction. This could include starting to lock their doors, disappearing at times, staying out later, or having trouble with money. It could also include difficulty sleeping or sleeping too long, being more secretive, or losing interest in things they previously loved. While one behavioral change might just be an indicator that they’re changing as a person, if their behavior significantly changes or there are other changes, too, it might be time to talk to them about addiction. 

Changes in Hygiene

Someone who is starting to suffer from addiction may have changes in their hygiene, such as being messier than usual or not taking care of themselves the way they did previously. They could have burn marks on their fingers or track marks on their arms or legs, and they may also smell like smoke. Their clothes may smell unusual, too. They may try to hide some of these issues by using too much perfume or wearing long sleeves, even if it’s warm outside. 

Physical Health Issues

Physical health symptoms can appear when someone starts to suffer from an addiction. Physical signs can include skin abrasions, sweating more often, or sores around the mouth. They can also include being unusually tired, being sick more often, or gaining and losing weight drastically. While these signs can have other causes, if they occur together or are reoccurring over time, they can be a sign that the person is doing drugs and may be addicted. 

Changing Mood or Personality

Changes in someone’s mood or personality are often a sign that something is wrong. Addiction may be the cause, but there could be other issues, too, so it’s a good idea to talk to them and find out what’s happening. Changes might include becoming more withdrawn or depressed, becoming angry and uncooperative frequently, or being deceitful and secretive. They can also include suddenly losing their inhibitions, being hyperactive, or being unable to focus on anything. 

What to Do If You Notice Any Changes

Any changes detected should prompt a conversation at first. They may not be forthcoming and admit they have an addiction from the start, but a conversation is key to getting started talking about it and learning what you can do to help. You may be able to offer support as they seek treatment for the addiction or get more information on what they’re going through so you can learn how to help them without enabling them. 

It’s hard to see a loved one suffer from addiction, but when you do notice the signs mentioned here, it’s important to pay attention. Talking to them about drug detox options and what they can do to get help can enable them to get the assistance needed to start their recovery. 

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