Regardless of the substance, addiction is a horrible disease that affects millions of people every year. It can strike anyone from any background and often does not become apparent until it’s too late. The signs of addiction in a loved one are often subtle. Even if you think you know your loved one well, it can be easy for their behavior to slip under your radar. If you suspect your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there are some warning signs to watch for.
Addiction doesn’t just impact the life of the person who has this disease, it also has a massive impact on everyone who loves and cares about them. It can be challenging to know how much you should get involved in helping someone get better from addiction or if they even want that help in the first place. Here are some things to look out for if you think someone you love might have a substance abuse problem.
Excessive weight gain or weight loss
One of the most noticeable signs of addiction is a sudden weight change. If a loved one who has always been slender suddenly starts putting on weight or if someone who has always been overweight suddenly starts losing weight, it could be a sign of substance abuse. In some cases, people with addictions may try to cope with their cravings by eating vast amounts of food. In other cases, they might try to self-medicate by starving themselves. Either way, it’s not normal behavior.
If your loved one has always been a creature of habit, then one of the signs of addiction you should look out for is a sudden change in that behavior. For instance, if someone who always goes to work on time suddenly starts showing up late or missing days at work entirely, that may be a sign that they’re abusing drugs or alcohol. Drug and alcohol abuse often leads to lethargy and a lack of motivation. As a result, many people fall out of their routines. They may stop going to work, socializing with their friends, or doing other things they used to enjoy.
If your loved one has always been diligent and responsible, they might still be able to perform their job, even while they’re addicted. However, they may start neglecting other areas of their life due to their addiction. For instance, they might stop doing chores around the house or stop showing up to appointments or meetings on time. If your loved one suddenly starts neglecting responsibilities that they always took seriously, it could be a sign that they’re struggling with addiction.
If someone who has always been sociable suddenly starts withdrawing from their friends and family, there may be a reason for it. Drug and alcohol abuse often leads to increased isolation, as addicts often want to keep their habits a secret from those around them. They might stop attending social events, preferring to stay to carry out their addictive behaviors. They might also stop seeing their friends and family members. They may even lose interest in hobbies and activities that usually bring them much enjoyment. If a loved one suddenly becomes increasingly isolated from their loved ones, it’s worth paying attention to.
If you notice any signs of addiction listed above, you can best reach out to your loved ones and let them know you’re concerned. You don’t want to come off as condescending or critical; you want to express that you love them and want to help them get better. It’s important to remember that the road to recovery from an addiction is a long and difficult one. Regardless of their type of addiction, you can get them help. There are treatment centers for cyber sex addiction help, gambling, drug and alcohol abuse, and many more addictions.