Spotting an Addiction in a Friend or Loved One

Addiction can be common, as it is all about the inability to stop using a substance, even though it has some negative consequences. It could be something more taboo, such as opioids or alcohol, or perhaps something less taboo, such as sugar or food addiction. Either way, it is important to be able to spot the signs, especially as a mom raising children, as any addictions can be bad for the individual and have some very negative consequences to health. 

Addictions can be hard to spot sometimes, as individuals try to hide what they are doing as they might even be in denial about it themselves. However, with the help of friends and family, and getting the kind of help that is needed, such as urology testing at MedComp Sciences, change can occur and problems can be faced. But what are some of the tell-tale signs to look out for? Here are some signs to be aware of.

Physical signs

When there is an addiction, typically with an addiction of substances, then there are usually some physical signs to look out for. Of course, some of these signs like insomnia could be indications of something else, such as stress, but if there are a few of them, then it can be a warning sign to you:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Insomnia and broken sleep 
  • Sickness, nausea, digestion problems, and blood found in vomit
  • Husky voice or trembling hands
  • Flushed or red skin and visible broken capillaries 
  • Withdrawal symptoms when they haven’t had a particular substance for a while
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Other signs like track marks on arms when looking to inject drugs
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Behavioral changes

An addiction can change different areas of someone’s life, so if they are acting differently, then it can be a warning sign. Relationships can become strained through addiction, so sometimes, the first things you might notice are the behavioral changes, such as:

  • Memory loss or frequent blackouts
  • Regular arguments and fighting, including mood swings
  • Mental health problems such as depression or anxiety 
  • Using an addictive substance to calm themselves
  • Neglecting relationships that they once were fine with
  • Lack of enjoyment in previously enjoyed activities, such as hobbies or sport
  • Neglecting themselves and their personal hygiene and grooming
  • Lies, stealing and borrowing money

One of the first things that you might start to see in your friend or loved one is changes in their everyday life. They may be spending more time alone and even quitting work to be home and alone. If they avoid you when they normally wouldn’t, then that can be a big red flag. There may even be new friends that appear in their life when there is little indication of how they met. If you are concerned about a teenager, then speaking to the school can be a good idea too. They will know if they’ve been skipping school or their performance and grades have dropped, which can be an indication that something is wrong.

Knowing your loved ones well is what is really going to make the difference and help you to get them the help that they need. 


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