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7 Signs That Your Family Member Is Struggling with Addiction

7 Signs That Your Family Member Is Struggling with Addiction

“Does this mean that families have no role to play in the miraculous process of recovery? On the contrary…Studies have shown time and again that addicts who feel connected to a family that supports the recovery (even if that family is just one person) have a better chance of staying clean then those who believe that no one cares.” ~Beverly Conyers, Addict in the Family: Stories of Loss, Hope, and Recovery It’s not always easy to tell when a loved one is suffering from a substance abuse disorder, whether it is an addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medications. The disease of addiction can affect anyone – including those in your own family – and early detection, timely intervention, and effective treatment are the best ways to maximize the chances of a lasting recovery.

“Your support and understanding of rehabilitation options could save your child’s life.”

The fact of the matter is, if you have suspicions that someone close to you is struggling with an addiction, you are probably right. If you want to confirm those suspicions so you can get your loved one help, here are some things to look for:

Addiction Sign #1 – Changes in Physical Appearance

Addiction is a progressive disease that always takes a physical toll on the substance abuser. Some of the telltale physical signs of an addiction are:

  • Rapid weight loss or gain
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Changing grooming habits
  • Loss of pride in physical appearance
  • Dressing differently than normal
  • Needle marks on the arms or legs
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Open Sores
  • Severe Tooth Decay
  • Puffiness around the face
  • Constantly scratching

 Addiction Sign #2 –Changes in Attitude

Addiction can “hijack” a person’s brain to the point where the ONLY thing that is important to them is the abused substance. Some indications that this may be happening are:

  • Loss of interest in formally-enjoyable hobbies
  • Neglect of skills and talents
  • General apathy or disinterest in everything
  • Social withdrawal

 Addiction Sign #3 – Rapid Mood Swings or Mental/Emotional Abnormalities

A person in the throes of an active addiction has almost no control over their moods or behaviors and may swing from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other with no warning.

  • Extreme mood swings
  • Difficulty in following through or completing projects
  • Aggression
  • Violence
  • Uncharacteristic sexual appetite or behaviors
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Preoccupation with mundane or repetitive tasks

“Get your loved one the help they need. Our substance use disorder program accepts many health insurance plans, this is our residential program.”

Addiction Sign #4 – Secretive Behavior

Addiction is a disease that requires secrecy on the part of the substance abuser in order to progress. Therefore, a person caught within an active addiction will:

  • Lie or give evasive answers about their actions and whereabouts
  • Hide or steal money
  • Isolate themselves for long periods of time
  • Receive or make phone calls/texts at odd hours
  • Become extremely possessive about their phone, to the point that they step away, delete all messages, or uncharacteristically lock their phones/change passwords

Addiction Sign #5 – Changes in Energy Levels

Substance abuse can have a major effect on a person’s energy levels and sleep patterns, depending upon the intoxicant of choice. Signs to look for include:

  • Bursts of manic activity
  • “Stream-of-consciousness” talkativeness
  • Going long periods without sleep
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Passing out
  • Excessive sleeping

Addiction Sign #6 – Drug Paraphernalia

Specific drugs require different articles to ease usage. Substance abuse can be evidenced by:

  • Empty liquor bottles, beer cans, or medicine containers
  • Rolling papers
  • Small glass or metal pipes
  • Marijuana bongs
  • Lighters
  • Syringes
  • Burnt metal spoons
  • Plastic baggies
  • Razor blades
  • Small mirrors
  • Straws or small tubes
  • Steel wool

“We accept many health insurance plans. Get your life back in order, take a look at our residential program.”

Addiction Sign #7 –Mounting Consequences

Addiction is a disease that leaves a path of destruction in its wake. No matter how “careful” the substance abuser is, there will eventually start to be a negative impact on their life.

  • Difficulties at work – excessive absences, disciplinary actions, or job loss
  • Problems at school
  • Financial difficulties – missing money, late payments, repossessions, maxed-out credit cards
  • DUI or Public Intoxication charges
  • Car Wrecks
  • Injuries or illness
  • Overdose

Substance abuse disorders progress differently in every individual, but if your loved one is exhibiting several of these signs, you may have cause for concern. If this is the case, it is best that you seek the services of a professional interventionist or substance abuse counselor. If you live anywhere in the Treasure Valley, your best resource for getting the help you need is Northpoint Recovery—Idaho’s premier inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. Monitored 24 hours a day by trained medical personnel and possessing the best staff-to-patient ratio in the region, Northpoint offers a safe, therapeutic environment and an empirically-based treatment program that maximizes the chances of achieving long-lasting sobriety and return to a healthier life.