Determining if a loved one is suffering from an addiction isn’t always easy. Many of the indicators of an addiction may be attributed to other causes. However, any sign of addiction needs to be further investigated to learn what is leading to physical, emotional, or behavioral changes. While it may appear easier to ignore the problem, this is never a wise move. Addiction negatively impacts every aspect of a person’s life, thus treatment needs to be sought as early as possible to help the addict recover and move forward with life. Following are four key indicators someone you love is suffering from an addiction.
An addict frequently suffers from mood swings as a result of the drug use. He or she may appear perfectly happy and then fly into a rage over something very insignificant. Addicts may appear anxious or paranoid and might suffer from a lack of motivation. Often, the lack of motivation is seen in other areas of life, such as in their personal grooming. Furthermore, a person who suddenly has an abundance of energy may be using drugs to give them an added push. Fortunately, when these or any other indicators of drug abuse are seen, an outpatient substance abuse treatment program may be of help.
A Change in Behavior
A person using drugs often fails to meet obligations or fulfill work or school responsibilities. Furthermore, he or she might cut back on recreational or social activities as a result of the drug and/or alcohol use. Any change in behavior should be investigated to determine the underlying cause, as it may be substance abuse or there may be another issue completely that need to be addressed. Simply ignoring the problem is not an option when behavior changes are observed.
An Overwhelming Desire to Use
Addicts often state they can quit using the drug of use at any time. A person who dabbles in drugs or occasionally drinks alcohol may be able to stop using, but this is not the case when a person suffers from an addiction. Loved ones find he or she continues to use the substance daily or multiple times daily and his or her focus is solely on the next use. Other things take a back seat to the need for the drug. In fact, addicts spend a great deal of time obtaining the substance, using it or recovering from its effects, and this is often what family members notice first.
A person using drugs or alcohol will often display physical symptoms. For example, loved ones may notice the person’s eyes are often red and bloodshot or they no longer care about their personal hygiene and grooming. Slurred speech and foul breath might also be signs a person is using along with a runny nose or sniffling. Watch the person and see if these symptoms continue for a period of time or if they are nothing more than a sign of a short-term illness. If they do continue, it often indicates the person is using drugs.
Treatment programs vary in many ways, thus families looking to obtain help for a loved one must consider multiple options. This helps to ensure the right program is selected for the addict. Look into outpatient programs as well as those that offer inpatient services and understand the differences between the different treatment approaches. By doing so, a family can help their loved one achieve the highest level of recovery and live life to the fullest once again.
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