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Identifying Signs of Addiction in a Loved One

Has it ever seemed to you that something wasn’t quite right with your loved one? Were you unsure what the problem was? There are many possibilities in life when things are off with a person, but if you suspect addiction, the following can help you identify signs of addiction in a loved one so that help can be attained for them.

First, it’s essential to define what addiction is. People with addiction engage in compulsive behaviors, such as alcohol and drug abuse, that can be harmful to them in many ways. Damage can come in all forms. Physical, emotional, mental, and financial. This lifestyle can cause their relationships to fall apart, even with the ones they care about the most. Addiction is a chronic state of desire for a substance or action that they must have, at the expense of all else in life. All people are susceptible; no one is exempt.

Addiction to any substance or habit can cause a person to do things that are typically out of their character and life goals. Their mindset has been altered negatively, and everything is filtered through the lens of their craving. Choices are made in their life that can be harmful, even deadly, to themselves and others.

Seeing anyone shatter right before your eyes, becoming just a shadow of what they once were, is very stressful, especially to a loved one. Realizing the signs early on is the best starting place to help in this toxic situation.

Here are some common signs of addiction:

Mood Swings/Emotional Issues

Addiction can cause the mood of a person to change dramatically and at a moment’s notice. They may be instantly outraged, desperately depressed, or quick to cry where they once could be rational and calm. Emotional control is out the window, and it can be a roller coaster of a ride.

Money Problems

Though they have a job or a source of income, they never have money for staples such as food and housing, this combined with other signs, could be proof of a deeper problem. When they continuously ask for money with little to no explanation of why and no responsibility to repay it.


An underlying atmosphere of secrecy and not wanting to be honest about their whereabouts, money spending, who they were with, and denial of wrong-doing is common. Minimizing the seriousness of the situation is also a trait of this problem.

Poor Conduct at School or Work

When under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to give their best effort in the work they do. Coordination and physical reflexes are not great because of the effects of drugs or alcohol, which can be dangerous for everyone. Their brain is not processing things correctly either, causing them to make mistakes they usually would not. Being on time and having regular attendance is also not at the top of the list.

Mind/Body Changes

Definite changes in a person’s body or their mental clarity can also be signs of addiction. Drastic changes in weight, sleeping patterns, unhealthy appearance or odor, speech slurring, confusion, drowsiness, stumbling, and a general lack of physical and mental control are some of the things to look out for.

Withdrawal Symptoms

In the case of alcohol and drug addiction, a person’s body will build up high levels of tolerance, and it is continually hungering for more of it to fulfill the same need that the lesser amount did at the beginning. When this need is not met, there will be visible signs that accompany a withdrawal episode. Some evidence includes: sweating, trembling, vomiting, and high anxiety.

Dangerous Choices/Criminal Activity

When the addiction becomes the main focus in someone’s life, they will not be considerate of putting themselves or others in situations that may be dangerous. Driving a vehicle under the influence or working physical jobs that they cannot do safely is an example. Stealing can also become a problem if they run out of their own money and cannot borrow any. All these choices can have legal consequences as well.

Priority Shifts

In normal circumstances, a loved one may have once been the life of the party and never missed an occasion to be with friends, family, and co-workers. They may have also never missed a day of work or been late for something in their life. Doing for others may have been one of their deepest concerns. Addiction can take that all away, leaving someone who’s unrecognizably selfish and wants to be isolated. Many marriages have been utterly ruined, and relationships damaged because of the heavy pull of addiction.

New Friends

When an individual has a lifestyle of addiction, they will seek out new friends they can relate to and who will help supply them with what they need. They do not want to be in situations that make them uncomfortable or bring anything to light that would cause them embarrassment or having to change what they are currently doing.

There is Hope

Drug and alcohol addictions are not nearly the only addictions on the planet, but they are very powerful, dangerous, and life-changing. They can take a person that’s on top of the world and send them crashing to the bottom, not a penny to their name or even a place to sleep at night. They can wither away in mind, body, and soul.

Thankfully these signs and symptoms can be identified, and intervention made to help your loved one detox and recover from the alcohol or drug addiction that has had them so wrapped up. The earlier they receive the professional help they need, the better. There are people that have been rescued from the depths of a deep addiction, so stay encouraged, there is hope for the one you love.