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Is My Loved One Addicted To Drugs?

With drug addiction rates for prescription and illegal drugs soaring across the country, observing a loved one’s behavioral patterns has never been more important. 

Detecting a drug problem early enough can help you take immediate action, which is crucial in averting a chronic addiction problem.  

However, determining an addiction right at the onset of substance abuse isn’t easy, especially if you don’t know what symptoms to be on the lookout for. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the main symptoms of drug addiction and ways to overcome substance use disorder before it gets out of hand. 

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The Common Signs of Drug Addiction

1. Behavioral Changes 

Drug addiction affects behavior in several ways, depending on the type of drug. You’ll start noticing a gradual change in your loved one’s behavior. And once full-blown addiction kicks in, the signs will be too clear to assume. 

Here are some behavioral changes you’ll notice if a beloved friend or family member is addicted to drugs: 

Disinterest in important things: Seeking and using a drug usually takes center stage and becomes more important than anything else. Your loved one will no longer prioritize family time or enjoy activities that were once favorites, as the main priority will be the drug in use. 

Isolation: Addiction can transform an outgoing person into an introvert. While withdrawal might not be noticeable at first, it won’t take long before your loved one becomes increasingly distant due to drug use. People struggling with substance abuse often isolate themselves when using drugs and recovering from their effects. 

Depression and increased negativity: A sudden ‘crash’ usually follows a drug-related high or euphoria. As a result, people with substance abuse disorder tend to have a negative outlook of life, more so when not intoxicated or before they get their daily ‘fix’. 

Lack of motivation: If you notice a sudden lack of motivation or disinterest in activities that require a substantial amount of effort, chances are your loved one’s attention has shifted to drugs. One of the main signs of addiction is a lack of motivation, which worsens as the addiction becomes severe. 

New Friends: People struggling with addiction usually ditch old friends that call out the increasingly worrying behavior in favor of friends that encourage the behavior. It’s probably an addiction if your loved one has mysterious new friends that are only met in local pubs, night clubs or unknown locations. 

2. A decline in Overall Performance 

Drug use usually starts as a casual habit, perhaps even a joke at times. However, the habit can quickly turn into an increasingly dominating addiction whereby obtaining and using the drugs, whether legal or illegal, becomes a user’s top priority. 

Here are some ways addiction can reduce your loved one’s overall performance levels:

Declining academic performance: If you notice a sudden yet inexplicable change in academic performance, chances are your loved one is developing an addiction or is fully addicted to drugs. The situation can further worsen into suspension or even expulsion if the addiction isn’t treated. 

Reduced work productivity: A once hardworking individual can easily become a liability once addiction kicks in. The behavior shift and inability to prioritize important tasks means your loved one is likely to underperform at work, which will become obvious as the addiction worsens. Eventually, a user might end up unemployed if the addiction isn’t treated early enough. 

Truancy: You’ll know you’re dealing with severe addiction once truancy kicks in. Reports of absenteeism, whether at school or work, will start flooding. And the worst part is your loved one will attempt to play down the claims of addiction, instead coming up with a barrage of excuses. 

Failed Relationships: People with substance use disorder also struggle to maintain personal relationships. This explains why most couples become estranged or separate over time. Your loved one will become isolated as he or she starts to lose friends and even the support of close family members. 

3. Physical Changes 

Physical changes become noticeable as the addiction progresses. And since substance use disorder is a dominating condition, your loved one will soon dedicate most of their time to seeking and using the drug. 

The endless pursuit of drugs usually comes at a price, as you’ll start noticing several physical symptoms, as explained below: 

Reduced hygiene standards: It’s hard to find a clean, well-organized drug addict, especially once the substance abuse disorder gets out of hand. Chances are your loved one is addicted to drugs if they no longer prioritizes basic hygiene routines like a change of clothes and daily showers. 

Weight Loss: As the addiction worsens, a user becomes less inclined to eat regularly or maintain proper dietary practices. This usually results in serious weight loss, which can also lead to lifestyle diseases in the long run.

4. Legal Issues

People with substance use disorder are at increased risk of committing criminal offenses when under the influence. You’ll know your loved one has a substance abuse problem if he or she has several drug-related run-ins with the law.

Here are some legal issues your loved one might get into due to drug addiction. 

  • Drunk driving 
  • Drunkenness 
  • Violence 
  • Trespassing   

When Should I Take Action?

You should take action as soon as you notice the signs of addiction. All types of addictions, whether mild or serious, require urgent professional attention before they get out of hand. 

The earlier you intervene and seek professional help for your loved one, the more likely they’re to overcome the addiction. 

Where Can My Loved One Receive Addiction Treatment? 

Get Help Today

Don't go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you're facing. Get in touch with one today.

Make a Call

Your loved one can receive addiction treatment in a licensed rehab. Fortunately, there are hundreds of licensed addiction treatment facilities sprinkled across the country. 

Before enrolling your family member or friend for treatment, it’s best to inquire about the addictions treated, services offered, and related costs beforehand. 

Contact a licensed rehab facility today to help your loved one kickstart the fight against addiction. 

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