Family and friends are a source of unconditional love and support. They are fundamental to a person’s health, safety, and social well-being. However, sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances and despite having caring families and supportive friends, people fall into questionable activities and develop bad habits. Such activities include drug addiction and substance abuse, which may develop into serious diseases.
There are various addictions, and with genetic and environmental factors contributing, anyone can become an addict. Moreover, a person’s age and family upbringing also play a vital role in their drug abuse habits. While all these factors may seem overwhelming to avoid, addiction is not impossible to prevent. Besides, if your loved ones have developed an addiction, professional therapies and rehabilitation can bring them back to a healthier life.
Unfortunately, most addicts are not forthcoming and accepting. Instead, they are secretive about their addictions. So, families and friends must be able to identify the patterns confirming their loved ones are becoming addicts. Below, we have discussed some signs that can help people identify the first signs that their loved ones are suffering from addiction.
How To Identify Signs Of Addiction
To help your loved ones, you must be vigilant enough to identify the signs that determine they need help. If you can identify behavioral or physical changes early, you can talk to them personally or stage an intervention. In most cases, occasional substance abusers stop taking drugs if caught early. However, if the addiction has long been going on, they may need professional help. You can ask them to join a rehab center or addiction and mental health facility, like the Delphi Health Group.
Addiction is not easy to hide, and it affects all aspects of a person’s life. Therefore, addicts are bound to give themselves away in one way or another. So, look for changes across all aspects of their life, including the following:
Let’s explain some of the signs and symptoms of someone suffering from addiction.
Some psychological symptoms of addiction are:
1. Abnormal Sleeping Patterns
Most addicts suffer from sleep problems, including insomnia and insufficient sleep, due to substance abuse. Chemical dependence leads to hormonal imbalance, altering the hormones responsible for regular sleep cycles, and you will notice significant changes in an addict’s sleep schedule. They will either stay awake for longer periods or sleep excessively.
2. Irregular Eating Patterns
Besides abnormal sleeping patterns, addicts also suffer from irregular eating patterns. They will either eat excessively or not at all. Most drugs repress hunger, making addicts forget to eat their regular meals. If they continue ditching their meals, they can develop several eating disorders and other health issues. Moreover, you will also notice them losing or gaining weight. So, if you see a loved one skipping meals frequently or overeating, keep a closer eye on them.
Some emotional signs of addiction are:
3. Irritability and Defensiveness
Usually, addicts become defensive when confronted about their abnormal behaviors. For example, they will get aggressive or annoyed when asked about the most trivial things, like why they were late. Since most addicts feel guilty about substance abuse, they hide their addiction. They use defensiveness and try to distract the enquirer from the original topic by stirring up a heated conversation.
4. Loss of Interest
Addicts are normal humans who have interests, hobbies, and passions before falling prey to drugs and substance abuse. However, chemical dependence alters the mind’s reward system, making addicts lose interest in activities they once cherished. For instance, they may start neglecting their responsibilities at work that they once enjoyed. They may also pull back from a hobby like painting or cycling. So, if you notice such obvious signs, it may be time to sit and talk to them.
Some relational symptoms of addiction are:
5. Excessive Isolation
Most drug addicts become reserved and private when they fall prey to addiction. The primary reason is that most cultures do not treat addiction as a disease. Therefore, addicts feel the social stigma and the natural guilt of doing something wrong (usually illegal, too). As a result, they shut out everyone and isolate themselves. If you notice your loved ones spending excessive time alone in their room, or being secretive or sneaky about leaving the house, talk to them.
6. Erratic Behavior
Reckless and erratic behaviors are common in substance abusers. They can spiral out of control at any time. Usually, addicts feel invulnerable, euphoric, or paranoid due to drug intake. As a result, they can put themselves in dangerous situations and cause harm to their loved ones. This type of behavior is also a significant reason for their isolated behaviors.
Some physical signs of addiction are:
7. Bloodshot Eyes or Dilated Pupils
Physical symptoms are easier to notice in addicts. For example, most drug addicts have bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, and frequent nosebleeds. If you notice these symptoms regularly, maybe your loved ones take drugs and need help.
8. Excessive Sniffing and Unexplained Bruises
Usually, you will find your loved ones with unexplained bruises and cuts, especially on their arms. They will also keep tugging at their sleeve unconsciously. Moreover, addicts also have a habit of sniffing unnecessarily, or they may have runny noses at all times. If these symptoms become frequent, you must be alarmed and talk to them.
The Final Word
You can find out if your loved ones suffer from addiction by paying attention to their routine activities and behaviors. It is essential to identify these signs and symptoms to get them the help they need. So, pay attention and help your friends and family.