How To Tell If A Loved One is Hiding An Addiction: It’s Not As Easy As You Think
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How To Tell If A Loved One is Hiding An Addiction: It’s Not As Easy As You Think

Addiction is a horrible disease, and depending on the substance and frequency of use, addiction treats every individual differently. Often times, addiction begins with the recreational use of drugs or alcohol but turns into dependency as the body becomes reliant on the substance to feel normal. As an addiction progresses and increases in scope, the toll it takes on the mind and body will present itself in various ways. Truth is, sometimes it may be hard to recognize whether or not someone needs help, as signs of addiction vary from person to person. However, knowing the symptoms of addiction is crucial to saving the life of a loved one. Not every person suffering from substance abuse will show all of the following signs, but be careful if your loved one shows one or a combination of them.

Withdrawal Symptoms 

Withdrawal symptoms will likely occur when someone is not using drugs or alcohol. Even if he or she tries to hide the symptoms of withdrawal, most are physical and noticeable. Certain drugs have different withdrawal symptoms than others, and a lot depends on the length of time and amount a person has been using, however, common withdrawal symptoms according to the Mayo Clinic include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Intense cravings
  • Sweating, sometimes profuse
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Racing heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia

Withdrawal From Life and Suspicious Behavior  

People who are abusing drugs or alcohol will often begin to withdraw from friends and family because they put their substance use first. They usually hide their addiction to consume larger amounts of their drug of choice in private. You’ll also notice them not meeting obligations like school or work responsibilities, or cutting back on hobbies, exercise, social or other recreational activities. 

Individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol will act suspicious. They may hide their drugs or alcohol in their homes, cars, or in other places that are close to them. For example, a person who is addicted to prescription drugs may keep multiple prescription bottles (from different doctors) in their car. They may act anxious, nervous, or agitated when asked if you can borrow their car for an errand. You may notice loved ones sneaking off frequently to engage in activities they usually never had interest in, offer getting groceries at odd hours or visit someone you’ve never heard of from “work.” They are often secretive about their daily schedule and generally, hide their phone or keep it turned upside down when waiting for calls from dealers. 

Physical Changes, Strong Smells and Poor Hygiene

People who have a substance use disorder or addiction tend to stop maintaining their appearance or have unusual physical changes. Smoking drugs like marijuana, as well as the production of Meth, can produce strong, pungent, lingering odors. Even with dry, odorless herb vaporizers or vape pens (sometimes called “dab” pens), the smell of marijuana is still detectable, though much less than smoking the drug. Common physical changes that result from substance abuse include:

  • Weight loss or gain
  • Yellowing of skin, jaundice (alcohol disorders)
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Sores, bruises, or track marks on the skin
  • Frequent bloody nose

Mood Swings

Drugs and alcohol can cause a person to go through erratic mood swings. A friend who misuses amphetamines may be tired and lethargic one minute, and then speaking fast, with lots of energy the next. Or a co-worker who abuses opioids may be sweaty and agitated with flu-like symptoms in the morning and then calm, euphoric and relaxed that afternoon.

Financial Issues/Loss 

Those who have a substance use disorder or addiction go through sudden unexplainable financial problems. Reasons for this range from not being able to pay for their drugs/alcohol leading to stealing from friends/family – to choosing to buy substances despite their finances and bills, leaving them in debt or selling items to pay off a dealer. 

Addiction and Treatment

Many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol will try to keep their substance use hidden as long as possible. Unfortunately, this behavior only increases addiction and keeps them sick and suffering for way too long. If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction or substance use disorder, the first step toward recovery starts here at Daylight Recovery Services. The primary objective of our inpatient, detox, and outpatient rehab services is to help clients through alcohol and drug detoxification while ascertaining the issues that are stemming from the cause and creating an individual treatment plan for recovery. Therapies used in this process work around the client’s specific substance abuse circumstances. There is no cure for addiction, but it is treatable and recovery is possible – contact us today at 1-833-2DAYLIGHT.

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