You may have an instinct or suspicion that your loved one is abusing alcohol or drugs. Addiction to substances certainly comes with symptoms that can be noticeable when you know what to look for.
Those who are addicted typically attempt to cover up what they are doing, mostly due to shame and fear. Look for the following common signs before confronting your friend or family member.
Symptoms of Addiction to Pay Attention To
- Look closely at their eyes. Pupils that are larger or smaller than usual are a sign of
multiple different kinds of drug use. For instance, cocaine and marijuana dilate the pupils, while
opiates, such as heroin, constrict the pupils.
- A change in appetite and sleep patterns can be reflective of drug use. Monitor the pattern over a 2-4 week period.
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain over a brief period of time, such as a month, in conjunction with at least one other symptom.
- Unusual odor on breath, body or clothes could be an indication of drug use. Again, especially if the smell continues for weeks.
- Disinterest in favorite activities and consistent change in mood.
- Asking for money or selling of possessions. Valuable items or stored away money may turn up missing.
Looking for one or more of these symptoms will help you feel more confident when confronting your loved one about drug or alcohol abuse. It is the first step to reaching out and offering help to your addicted love one. Being in denial about the signs that are clearly there will only delay the help that is needed to possibly save a life. Addiction is a chronic disease, that is prone to relapses.
A cure does not happen in a few days. Drug use over time alters the brain resulting in the brain’s compulsion to use drugs through severe cravings. Most people need to detox their body and then continue with treatment in order to completely recover and resuming normal life activities. Trust your instinct and watch for the common signs of substance abuse.