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7 Signs of Addictive Behaviors

Persons exhibiting some signs of addictive behaviors

Recognizing the signs of addictive behaviors can be a challenging yet pivotal step toward seeking help and healing. At The Right Step Houston in Texas, we understand the complexities of addiction and the impact it holds over one’s life.

Addiction is not a path walked alone, and with the right addiction treatment programs, recovery is within reach. Our compassionate approach seeks to empower those affected, illuminating the path to a healthier and more fulfilling life. To learn more about the behavioral signs of substance abuse and addiction, as well as the symptoms of addictive behaviors, contact our knowledgeable team online or call 888.296.8976.

7 Signs of Addictive Behavior in Loved Ones

In identifying addiction in loved ones, the initial indicators can often be subtle and easy to overlook. These behaviors, ranging from withdrawal from social activities to erratic mood swings, may not immediately signal an addiction issue. However, being vigilant and aware of these signs is crucial for providing support and intervention at the earliest stages.

1. They Become Secretive

Loved ones battling addiction often hide their struggles by:

  • Keeping secrets
  • Vanishing for hours without explanation
  • Concealing phone calls and texts
  • Dodging questions or getting defensive
  • Lying about their whereabouts and activities
  • Isolating themselves
  • Being defensive

Addiction thrives on denial, deception, and dishonesty.

2. They Experience Widely-Divergent Mood Swings and Energy Levels

Being around people with active addiction lets you see their emotional roller coaster. At any time, your loved one with addiction might be:

  • Very anxious, restless, and irritable
  • Confused
  • Paranoid
  • Aggressive or violent
  • Either not sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Having no appetite or being very hungry

They can also swing between being overly enthusiastic and energetic, struggling to focus, and being very listless, even to the point of passing out while doing something else.

3. Major Changes in Appearance

You may notice these changes in your loved one’s physical appearance:

  • Rapid weight gain or loss
  • Uncharacteristically poor personal hygiene
  • Changing the manner of dress
  • Needle marks or festering sores
  • Sunken, hollowed-out, or bloodshot eyes
  • Rotted teeth

Addiction takes a tremendous toll on a person’s body. Physical changes can be tangible evidence of an ongoing problem.

4. Disinterest in Formerly Enjoyable Activities

As the addiction progresses, your loved one will lose the ability to feel pleasure without the presence of the intoxicant. Getting drunk and high takes the place of:

  • Hobbies
  • Getting together with friends
  • Traveling

Your loved one will soon be focused on only one thing—getting drunk or high.

5. Failure to Meet Obligations

A once-responsible person will ignore commitments by:

  • Skipping or calling in “sick” at work or school
  • Missing family events
  • Failing to pay bills

When addiction is in full force, the involved person only cares about getting their next drink or fix. Satisfying their craving becomes the top priority.

6. Suspicious Paraphernalia

Your loved one may have a problem if you find any of the following:

  • Empty liquor bottles or beer cans
  • Syringes
  • Burnt spoons
  • Steel wool
  • Glass or metal pipes
  • Rolling papers
  • Lighters
  • Pill bottles
  • Small plastic bags

Initially, the person struggling with addiction will take great care to hide their usage. However, as the addiction progresses, they will begin to get careless.

7. Mounting Legal Problems

As addiction spirals out of control, a person may start “crossing the line” with drug-seeking behaviors, indicated by charges like:

  • Possession
  • Public intoxication
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Fraud or bad checks
  • Theft
  • Assault
  • Domestic violence

It’s crucial to remember that while anyone can face unfortunate situations, a pattern of suspicious or dysfunctional behavior often signals a substance use disorder (SUD) that can’t be hidden anymore.

Start Addiction Treatment in Idaho with Northpoint Recovery

Suppose you have noticed a loved one exhibiting several behavioral signs of addiction. In that case, there is a good chance that they have a severe problem beyond experimentation or recreational use. Contact Northpoint Recovery online or call 888.296.8976 today to learn more about spotting symptoms of addictive behavior and how we can help your loved one.