Substance use disorders can take many forms in everyday life. Sometimes those with a drug and alcohol problem never truly show any obvious problems. Their addiction is well hidden from the outside world, or so they think. Even with the ability to conceal their problems, more times than not, the truth eventually comes out. It may take more time than those with an outward facing addiction, however, there are usually still signs of alcohol addiction or drug addiction.
On the other hand, substance abuse and mental health disorders sometimes make their way into every aspect of personal, family, and work life. These problems can wreak complete havoc on the lives of everyone involved. These types of substance abusers are typically far less discrete. Although they may not be openly doing drugs or drinking to excess, it’s quite apparent nonetheless. Sometimes no effort at all is made to conceal the fact that their substance use disorder is out of control.
In any case, what really matters is how to help your loved one, and getting them into drug addiction treatment. There are many signs to look for when trying to determine if someone is addicted and could benefit from a treatment program. Here are 10 things to watch out for:
- Problems at school, loss of interest in school, poor grades
If someone was a good student and they suddenly start to have problems with their grades, this may be a cause for concern. Also, if they stop attending class altogether you may want to ask them what’s going on. Usually, as substance use increases, time for anything else beings to decrease. Things that used to be of interest or pleasurable, begin to fall to the wayside as substance abuse progresses.
- Performance at work begins to suffer.
Usually, this is one of the earlier signs that someone could be struggling. Being continuously late, a drop in the quality of their work, and appearing tired all the time, are all tell-tale signs to look out for. Some of the more serious signs to look out for are shortages on their cash count and missing merchandise.
- Changes in physical appearance
Sudden changes in physical appearance such as rapid weight loss, rapid weight gain, and poor grooming can be warning signs of addiction. Wearing inappropriate or dirty clothing or other uncharacteristic changes in grooming could be an indication there is something wrong.
- Changes in behavior
Uncharacteristic or bizarre behavior is usually apparent rather quickly to loved ones. Increased demands for privacy, speaking on unusual or inappropriate topics, and being out at unusual times can be indicators of a substance abuse problem. Any behavior that differs from how they normally act should be closely examined.
- Drastic changes in relationships
Interactions with employers, family members, or other loved ones tend to change when someone is in the throes of addiction. They may become more argumentative, aggressive, or confrontational. Alternatively, they may become detached, withdrawn, and closed-off. Extreme changes such as these may be warning signs that drug addiction treatment is needed.
- A noticeable change in energy levels
A sluggish, low energy demeanor, especially when it’s unlike them, could potentially be an indicator of a substance use disorder. When someone who is typically upbeat and productive, loses their vigor for life, it may be time to discuss treatment options with them.
- Overspending money or requesting to borrow money
Frequently asking to borrow money is a major sign of a substance abuse problem. As an addiction progresses into more serious territory, usually the person will run out of money rather quickly. One of the quickest ways to refill their wallets is to ask a friend or family member. They often have legitimate sounding excuses, with emotional leverage or the promise to pay it back right away. However, this is often just a tactic to get what they want. Also, overspending money on unnecessary items can be something to watch out for.
- Falling behind on bills
Defaulting on loans, missing car payments, and being late on utility bills can all spell trouble. If you notice this type of behavior, talk to your loved one about what may be going on. Explain that treating addiction is possible and discuss the possibility of a drug addiction treatment facility.
- Changes in appetite
Sudden changes in diet such as eating far less than normal, or eating much more than normal can be indicators of addiction. Changes in physical appearance often accompany appetite changes due to malnutrition.
- Defensiveness when asked about substance abuse
If someone gets extremely defensive when asked about substance abuse, this usually means there is a problem. Most of the time addicts and alcoholics don’t like to be confronted about their behavior. The drinking and use of substances is typically their defense mechanism for dealing with life. When someone threatens this, they go on the defensive and make sure nothing threatens their way of life.
Every case of substance use disorder is different. These examples are just some of the things to look for when trying to determine if someone you know is fighting an addiction. If you do find out that a loved one needs help there are many options available. Some free help groups include Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. However, a more intensive form of drug addiction treatment may be necessary.
Royal Life Centers has 8 addiction treatment center locations across the country. We offer a full range of services including full medical detox as well as long-term treatment plans. We incorporate multiple different treatment approaches including group therapy, behavioral therapy, activity therapy, adventure therapy, and individual therapy. If you or a loved one has a substance use disorder and needs help to begin living a drug-free life, contact Royal Life Centers today. Our admissions team is available 24/7. Call us at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837