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Substance use disorder, also known as drug or alcohol addiction, is a mental health condition characterized by compulsive substance abuse. Though it is possible to overcome addiction, many people struggling with addiction require professional help from a treatment facility in order to stop abusing drugs. The firt step is recognizing you have an addiction; here are some signs your loved one has an addiction.
Because of the wide variety of risks that come with substance abuse, getting anyone who shows signs of an alcohol or drug problem into addiction treatment as soon as possible is imperative. Thus, staying alert to any signs your loved one has an addiction can also be incredibly important, since family members who confront loved ones about these signs can play a profound role in convincing a person struggling with addiction to get treatment.
Thus, the rest of this article will explore various symptoms and signs of addiction that you may be able to notice in a loved one who has a drug problem, as well as introduce you to our rehabilitation program at Reco Intensive.
Some of the most obvious signs of addiction may be the physical signs of addiction. For example, some drugs may cause physical signs like constricted pupils or dilated pupils. You may also notice weight loss, because some drugs can cause loss of appetite, nausea, or increased activity.
Weight loss may also occur because your loved one is replacing food with substance abuse, or weight gain may occur because some drugs can cause increased appetite or sedation that can suppress activity.
Some physical signs of addiction also have to do with the person’s method of drug abuse. For example, if your loved one has been injecting drugs intravenously, you may observe track marks, most commonly on their arms, but sometimes on other body parts as well if a person is trying to be more discreet. You might also notice someone who has been snorting drugs may have a runny nose or sinus problems, while smoking can cause upper respiratory problems.
Another one of the physical signs of drug abuse that you may pick up on is the presence of drug paraphernalia. In the case of alcohol abuse, these signs could take the form of empty alcohol containers. Rolling papers and pipes can be used to smoke drugs, and mirrors, straws, or rolled-up dollar bills can be used in the process of snorting drugs. In the case of those abusing prescription medications, you may notice the presence of pill bottles or baggies or pills, and spoons and needles can be used in the process of injecting drugs.
The damaging effects of drug and alcohol addiction also mean that your loved one may be more prone to physical illness of all kinds due to their drug addiction. For instance, people with substance abuse problems may get sick more often due to being worn down, or may eventually suffer serious illnesses due to extensive organ damage.
Alcoholism and drug dependence can also result in a physical phenomenon called tolerance, in which someone who has been engaging in excessive drug use begins to need higher and higher doses of drugs or alcohol to get high or drunk. Thus, in a loved one that you know has been abusing drugs or alcohol, you can be on the watch that casual drug use is progressing to addiction if you notice their substance use escalate.
Those who are deep enough into drug addiction to develop a chemical dependency may also demonstrate physical withdrawal symptoms when they abruptly stop using drugs or alcohol. Common withdrawal symptoms you may notice in your loved one include shakiness, anxiety, excessive sweating, exhaustion, desperation to resume drug use, and flu-like symptoms. Even those people with a substance use disorder who do not develop a chemical dependence may develop psychological withdrawal symptoms.
Depending on the substance abused, substance abuse can also cause a variety of psychological symptoms and behavioral changes. Some drugs, such as stimulant drugs, can cause a noticeable increase in energy levels, and they can also cause anxiety, mania, paranoia, elevated mood, grandiosity, and changes in sleep patterns (sleeping too little while high and then crashing into exhaustion).
On the other hand, depressant drug abuse can cause lethargy, an unusually relaxed mood, euphoria, and sedation, as well as changes in sleep patterns (for instance, the person may get too high and fall asleep at an inappropriate time).
Some social signs of drug addiction that you may notice are a child missing school or hanging out with a new group of friends of fellow users, or an adult failing to keep up at work. They may lose interest in the usual activities of their daily life and once-beloved hobbies because they are so consumed by their need to engage in more and more drug use.
You may notice your loved one disappearing for long periods of time with little explanation to obtain drugs or to get high. They may steal money to buy drugs, even from a loved one, or may seem to be suffering from intense mood swings. These mood swings may be due to shifts from being on a drug to experiencing drug withdrawal symptoms.
When one family member is struggling with drug addiction or alcohol abuse, the whole family can suffer. But all family members can also play a role in the loved one’s recovery. Though it can be difficult to confront a loved one who is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, that confrontation may be life-changing for them. In fact, it may be the first step in their journey to overcome addiction with the help of the appropriate addiction treatment facilities.
If you have noticed any of these signs your loved one is struggling with addiction, or if you have been struggling with addiction yourself, we hope you’ll consider Reco Intensive for your family’s addiction treatment.
Our treatment center is located in Delray Beach, Florida, and offers comprehensive outpatient addiction treatment to any person struggling with drug use or with psychological addiction. Our dedicated team is eager to involve the whole family of the person in addiction treatment in every step of the treatment process, including via family therapy.
To learn more about how our drug treatment center can help the person you love, feel free to call our treatment center at 844.955.3042. Or, you can contact us online here. There’s no time like right now to start the treatment process and get back on the road to a brighter future.
Discover a better life and call our recovery helpline today.