Recognizing Red Flags: The Common Signs of Addiction

Recognizing Red Flags

Around 20 million Americans deal with substance abuse and addiction.

If you suspect you have a loved one who is dealing with addiction, it’s important to get them the help they need. Substance abuse can quickly lead someone down a dark path that gets harder and harder to come back from.

The first step is getting them into addiction treatment so that they can start the recovery process. Before you can do that, however, you need to be sure that there’s a serious issue at hand. 

Today, we’ll look at some of the common signs of addiction that hint at a substance abuse issue with your loved one. Keep reading and you’ll be able to pick up on the behavioral traits and physical symptoms of an addict. 

Physical Signs of Addiction

Depending on the substances your loved one is using and how deep they are in their addiction, the physical toll may or may not be obvious. 

One of the telltale signs that someone has been abusing drugs is that they’ll have dilated pupils and bloodshot eyes. Prolonged drug use can result in rapid weight gain or loss and a generally unkempt appearance.

If they look pale and undernourished, you can be reasonably sure that they’re abusing a substance. They may also develop slurred speech and unusual body odors as they descend into addiction. This is generally due to a lack of sleep and personal hygiene.

Behavioral Signs of Addiction

Physical signs are one thing – a sign of a lack of self-care – but it’s the behavioral signs of addiction that really damage relationships.

Has your loved one stopped going to work or school? Are they missing important engagements with family or friends? Have they had wild mood swings or come off as defensive and irritable?

When someone is addicted to a substance, whether it’s alcohol or drugs, their whole existence becomes about getting a fix. The people they love become roadblocks to that moment of satisfaction. It can be difficult for family and friends to truly understand why someone acting the way they are.

When this phase of addiction sets in, it can be hard to reason with your loved one. There’s a good chance they’ll deny that there’s a problem and come up with a variety of excuses for the way they act.

If you’re noticing these behavioral symptoms in combination with some of the physical ones, it’s time to get them some help. It’s time to have that intervention and urge them to enter addiction treatment. Before you have that conversation, it’s important to learn about substance abuse treatment.

Getting Your Loved One Into Addiction Rehab

There’s nothing easy about addiction recovery, which is why it can be so difficult to convince someone to seek treatment. Detoxing and going through addiction treatment programs requires utter dedication in order to work.

Once you’ve recognized these telltale signs of addiction, you can bring up the idea of rehab. It’s one of the trickiest conversations to have, but if you approach it with love and concern, you may just get through to them so they can turn their life around.

If you found this post helpful, come back for more on family and relationships.