There is a fine line between a habit and an addiction, for this reason, it is sometimes difficult to recognize the signs of an addict. If you suspect someone you know may have a problem, even if they aren’t directly asking for it, they might just be calling for your help. There are many things to look out for, including behavioral, physical, and psychological changes.
A change in behaviors and moods are common signs of an addict. These changes are arguably the easiest to spot. While they may be the most telling of all signs, behavior changes can still be easily missed if they aren’t actively looked for- and even then you will need to assess whether the signs you see are of a true addict or just someone who is simply under the influence.
Behavioral signs can include:
Denial – It is very likely that when confronted about a possible addition, an addict will deny that they have a problem and become defensive.
Secretive Behavior – An addict may already be aware that they have a problem, and to avoid possible judgment or confrontation, they may use drugs or drink alcohol in private.
Neglecting Responsibilities – One of the telltale signs of an addict is that they may struggle to prioritize the most important things in their life. As a result, family, friends, school, or work may be pushed aside while drugs and/or alcohol are at the forefront of their mind. In some cases, addicts may struggle to fund their habit and could find themselves stealing or engaging in criminal activity for extra money.
Both drugs and alcohol can cause physical side effects, which are usually temporary and are present for as long as the substance is in the system. These effects can be present when under the influence, after an overdose, and even during the withdrawal stages. Different substances can cause different side effects, so the signs of an addict may vary with the substance they’re abusing.
Physical signs of addiction can include:
- Dilated or pinpoint pupils, bloodshot eyes
- Changes in weight
- Poor hygiene
- Poor coordination
- Drowsiness and slurred speech
- Violent behavior
Drugs and alcohol can have a profoundly negative effect on an addict’s mental state. Changes can be gradual, but it is not uncommon for outbursts of dramatic behavior to occur.
The psychological signs of drug addiction can include:
- Lack of motivation
- Mood swings
- Angry outbursts
- Personality changes
- Withdrawal from social situations
Help and support are paramount in the first steps when seeking help. For someone who is battling this disease alone, suicidal thoughts are not uncommon so the sooner they can get the help they need the better. At Harmony Grove, we offer an online drug assessment which can be extremely useful for someone who is in denial about their addiction, or someone who is apprehensive about taking the first steps to recovery.
Signs of an addict aren’t all the same. Someone with a meth addiction, for example, may demonstrate certain behavior, while an alcoholic may display alcohol addiction signs that are completely different. At Harmony Grove, we offer a range of programs and services that can provide support through the challenging but highly rewarding journey of recovery.
For immediate help with substance use disorders, call SAMHSA, a National Helpline that is free, confidential, and available 24/7, 365-day-a-year.