Keep a Watchful Eye: 3 Signs a Loved One Is Struggling with Addiction

struggling with addiction

All too often addiction claims the lives of people we love the most without even realizing they had a problem.

But to acknowledge when a loved one or friend has a drug or alcohol addiction, you need to know what to look for.

Many addicts are experts at hiding their addiction from those closest to them, so it’s important to recognize the tell-tale signs if you have your suspicions.

Ultimately, addiction is a disease which needs to be treated. If you suspect a friend or loved one to be struggling with addiction, here are 3 common signs to look out for.

Understanding Addiction

For many years, experts claimed that addiction boiled down to a genetic predisposition.

This meant that people were simply born with addictive tendencies and little else contributed to their addiction. While a large of addiction is related to genetics, it’s also so much more than that.

What’s important to know is that addiction does not discriminate and it does not solely depend on genetics either.

Anyone can become a victim of addiction, depending on their life circumstances, their upbringing, stress levels, traumatic life events and more.

Essentially, addiction stems from several psychological breakdowns over time. This is where substance abuse is used as a mask or crutch.

A typical adult and teen challenge faced in today’s society is ‘expectation.’ This is where the mask of addiction becomes difficult to recognize.

As mentioned, many addicts are experts at wearing this mask and covering up their behavior. However, there are interpretive tell-tale signs to look out for.

3 Signs Someone is Struggling With Addiction

Many functional addicts live normal day-to-day lives, secretly hiding an addiction from those closest to them.

However, if someone close to you begins to display the following behavior, they could indeed be harboring an addiction:

1. Being Secretive or Evasive

As we state before, addicts are pros at hiding their addiction from the ones they care about the most. This simply boils down to feelings of shame and guilt.

Naturally then, one of the obvious signs to look out for if you have your suspicions is consistent lying.

If you catch an addict out in a lie, it’s highly likely this one lie will connect to an entire network of lies spanning weeks, months and even years.

Evasive behavior is also common. This means an addict will not be able to give you a direct answer to where they’ve been, why they’re late etc.

They will generally be very jumpy and defensive when questioned.

2. Major Changes in Mood

This is incredibly common especially among addicts who abuse substances. Although, an alcoholic without his fix will also become increasingly moody and irritable.

Substance abuse, however, changes the physical chemistry in the brain. This can elicit different emotions and mood swings according to the amount and type of drug used.

Additionally, if you notice significant changes in sleep patterns and energy levels, this is also a warning sign of addiction.

Some drugs work to increase energy levels and patterns of behavior, such as cocaine. While other substances work to dull energy levels and induce drowsiness, such as benzodiazepines or prescription sedatives.

3. Irresponsible Behavior/ Failing to Meet Obligations

In the depth of addiction, a person may completely lose themselves to their drug of choice. What goes hand-in-hand with this? Irresponsible and irrational behavior.

Many addicts will go to vast lengths to find their next high, meaning they are willing to do things completely out-of-character. This may include selling valuables, maxing out credit cards, etc.

On top of this, they will also neglect responsibilities. When a person who is usually dependable begins to display irresponsible behavior, this is a sign to look out for.

This behavior may include failure to meet deadlines, forgetting to pick up children, skipping days at work, drunk driving and others.

The first step to recovery for an addict is admitting they have an addiction. Look out for these tell-tale signs and help them on the road to recovery!

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