Recognizing the Signs of Addiction in Your Loved One
Healthy Living

Recognizing the Signs of Addiction in Your Loved One

Although many websites tout the top ten addictive drugs and warn about their effects, hundreds of illegal substances exist, and many people abuse prescription drugs. Cocaine, heroin, meth, and alcohol abuse top most lists, rounded out by prescription drugs like Ketamine, Loperamide, and Xanax, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Despite the diversity of these drugs, when abused, they all result in the same symptoms of addiction. Read on to learn how to spot when someone you know has potentially developed an addiction to alcohol or other drugs.

Emotional and Physical Signs of Addiction

Most people who use drugs don’t realize when they move from use to abuse. Friends and family usually notice a few changes in the behavior and physical health of the person. According to Very Well Health, Here’s what to look for:

  • Becomes intoxicated regularly
  • Undergoes mood changes
  • Behaves defensively or secretively
  • Seems anxious or depressed
  • Eroding relationships with friends and family
  • Steals money
  • Skips school or work
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Sudden loss or gain of weight
  • Staggering, shuffling, or stumbling
  • Sudden, unusual rash or acne
  • Physical signs of IV drug use, such as needle marks, bruises, or other marks
  • Unusual body odor
  • Ignoring personal hygiene/significant deterioration of personal appearance.

If you notice three or more of these signs, talk to your loved one frankly about it. Even if they have not developed an addiction, these signs of eroding health signal a need for help.

When Your Loved One Develops an Addiction

When an individual has developed an addiction, treatment can help them recover. Every state offers quality options for alcohol and drug addiction treatment, so you can find drug rehab in Murfreesboro, TN, or Los Angeles, CA. Towns and cities throughout the country offer treatment centers, also called rehab facilities.

The length of stay in these facilities typically varies from 28 days to three months. Some centers offer options that last six months. During this treatment, the patient typically participates in one-on-one and group therapy sessions. They may attend support group meetings in person or on Zoom. Common support groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Lifering, Smart Recovery, and Freethinkers AA.

After Attending Rehab

After release from a treatment center, your loved one may want to reside in a sober living environment to help re-establish themselves before living alone. Many major cities offer sober living centers, homes that assign a room to two individuals. These homes typically have six to ten individuals living in them at a time.

A counselor may also reside on the premises. Sober living homes usually welcome either men or women. Coed homes prove rare. While in a sober living center, each individual typically attends their preferred support group meetings, but the home may schedule a house meeting each day or once per week, too.

Reestablishing a Normal Life

Some addicts attending their first meeting say that they cannot imagine the normal life that “old-timers” with many years of sobriety describe. After rehab and a few months or a year in a sober living environment, many people re-establish a normal life as a sober person. They return to their careers, family life, and hobbies.

Your loved one may change their friends though, since some individuals befriended those with whom they used or drank. Your now-sober loved one may ask to go on sober vacations, cruises, etc. Remaining supportive throughout their recovery process can help their recovery and help you both reestablish your relationship.


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