How to Pinpoint the Signs of Addiction

How to Pinpoint the Signs of Addiction

Addiction to substances is a problem impacting millions of Americans and their families. Approximately 51.8 percent of Americans over the age of 12, an estimated 131 million people, are consuming alcohol. Of those, 23.1 million need treatment, but only 2.6 million will get it. When it comes to other substances, the World Health Organization reports that 35 million have a drug use disorder.

Experts like those at outpatient centers such as know that detecting the signs of addiction can be difficult. Accepting that this is the problem is as difficult, and sometimes harder. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, the threat to your life is very real. Learn more about how to pinpoint the signs of addiction, and what to do about it.

Recent Life Changes

If you are wondering if someone is addicted, look at their recent life history. Recent life stressors are a common indicator that someone can use substances, or begin drinking more than usual. Their life may have some problems, but they might have a friend or family member who is suffering from something a well.

You’ll begin to notice other life changes with them. They may stay home from work more, or lose their job altogether. School absences may begin to pile up. 

There could be other life stressors such as a legal problem, or a financial concern. A relationship problem, family crisis, or a loss is also a recent life change that could send someone to substances, or back to them. Every area of their life is likely to become impacted.

Home Life Suffers

In addition to relationship problems, someone with an addiction will begin to have problems at home. These problems will be basic housekeeping problems. Laundry piles up for weeks, groceries are few and far between, and even eating is not a priority. They may be gone a lot without any real explanation.

There is a lot of secrecy as well with addicts and drinkers, and it’s often because they just don’t want to confront this. For many, being an addict also means illegal behavior and this is another reason that secrecy runs rampant with them.

Physical Symptoms

It can be easy to detect when someone is drunk or high from a substance like marijuana. But it is not always that easy to detect a high from other substances like opioids. Physical symptoms from methamphetamines, cocaine, and other substances are more noticeable than those from opioids, and will vary by the substance. There are other physical symptoms to look for that are often generalized to those that are abusing substances.

Physical symptoms like extreme weight loss or gain, track marks, sleeplessness, excess sweating, and even bad hygiene. You may also notice some symptoms of dehydration, and even bruising when there shouldn’t be any. They may also be overly tired, or not tired enough. If they are wearing the same clothes over and over again, and this is out of character for them, take note.

Help Your Loved One Get Help

If you notice the signs of addiction in your family or friendship circle, the most important thing to do is give them love. Centers can help you help your loved one get help. Call a center in your area today to discuss your concerns.