Addiction is a disease that whole families suffer from. On the surface, it may seem that it’s a one-person problem. But, when we dig deeper, we can uncover an ugly truth. It’s not just the addict that is miserable – everyone that cares about them is too. The only way to end this vicious disease and help your loved one is to uncover it early. Did something make you think that your loved one might be in trouble? Here are eight signs your loved one is struggling with addiction that you should look for and know for sure.
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1# They run away from professional and domestic obligations
When a person’s life is consumed by drug or alcohol addiction, their priorities shift. Their worldview evolves drastically, and the values they formerly held become less significant to them. Someone who has always been trustworthy on the work may suddenly begin missing deadlines, shifts, and meetings and become less reliable overall. The same principle applies to domestic duties. If you’re significant other used to love to clean the house, declutter and organize and now they just leave a pile of stuff on the floor – it might be time to consider some rehab centers and tell them about it.
Caption: Neglecting daily responsibilities is one of the first signs your loved one is struggling with addiction.
2# Not loving things they used to love
In the same vein as the last point, if a loved one of yours has lost interest in their usual activities, this might indicate a substance abuse problem. Addiction is, unfortunately, a condition that consumes someone’s whole life. Getting your next fix becomes your priority. As a result, there’s not much time left for a person to pursue their interests. Inquiring about any concerning behavior you may have seen in a loved one is essential. It could be an indicator of a severe addiction problem.
3# Forgetting to take care of personal hygiene
Whatever chemical a person is dependent on eventually becomes their whole focus as addiction takes over their lives. Your loved one may have started to disregard their hygiene, and they’ve ignored their obligations and lost interest in their hobbies. Those are clear signs your loved one is struggling with addiction.
4# Volatility of emotion
Alcohol and drugs have a chemical effect on the body. They change normal levels of hormones, such as:
These are all responsible for mood regulation. Therefore, constant mood swings and emotional roller coasters are to be expected when they are out of balance. Addiction to these drugs may devastate a person’s life, leading them to act irrationally. They may act irrationally paranoid or aggressive out of the blue for no apparent reason. Substance abuse and dependency manifest themselves in these rapid changes.
5# Anger and conflicts can be signs your loved one is struggling with addiction
An increase in disagreements and conflicts between you and your loved one may indicate drug or alcohol misuse and erratic mood swings. This symptom is mainly present in cases of alcohol addiction since alcohol severely affects parts of the brain responsible for aggression. When an alcoholic or drug addict stops drinking or using for an extended period, physical withdrawal symptoms set in. Depending upon the degree of dependency, withdrawal symptoms will vary. When going through withdrawal, it’s normal for them to become irritable and easily angered.
Caption: Alcohol is the number one trigger for domestic violence around the globe.
6# Swinging BMI
Body mass index fluctuations are a typical indicator of drug or alcohol abuse. Because drug abuse is known to significantly reduce a person’s appetite, this is the case. That implies that a secondary diagnosis of an eating problem is often given to those who have already been diagnosed with addiction. Addiction may be a factor if you see a significant, unexpected change in your loved one’s weight.
7# Shifts in sleeping behavior
A person’s energy level may go up or down depending on the chemical they are abusing. Both excessive sleepiness and hyperactivity, or the opposite, are symptoms of addiction. Naturally, there might be a variety of causes for subtle changes in your family member’s energy level or sleep schedule. If there are significant, unexplained changes, substance misuse may be a problem.
Sleep is an important ally
Lack of sleep can be a sign, but also a thing that pushes a person further into addiction. Sleep is vital for the normal function of many hormones, especially dopamine (a major supplement in most drug addictions). Addiction causes a lack of sleep, and lack of sleep causes more profound addiction. That’s why experts at Little Creek Recovery advise that the person undergoing addiction recovery shouldn’t skip on their sleeping schedule.
8# Sneaky behavior and being defensive
Your loved one may have an addiction issue if you’ve caught them lying or concealing secrets. Of course, sneaky behavior can be due to various reasons. But the key thing to look for is being defensive. When someone becomes defensive because they suspect you may disapprove of their behavior, it’s a warning sign of addiction. If you were to ask them where they were, they could become angry with you for prying into their lives.
If your husband suddenly starts forbidding you to open a specific closet, you’ll probably find bottles of alcohol there, and they’ll get angry if you call them out on it. So, when you see defensiveness in someone’s actions, they are probably covering up a more serious issue.
Caption: When your loved one stops listening to you and starts being defensive, it might be a sign of a bigger problem.
Uncovering these signs that your loved one is struggling with addiction is difficult. What happens after it will be even more difficult. But please don’t turn a blind eye to these signs because you subconsciously know it will be a long and arduous journey. The only way you can help your loved one (and yourself) is to keep your eyes wide open and take action when you see something’s not quite right.
Meta: Are you afraid that someone you love is in trouble? Look for these 8 signs your loved one is struggling with addiction.