If you think someone you care about has a drug or alcohol problem, it’s best to talk with them. However, you should expect some resistance while confronting them about your suspicion of their drugs or alcohol problem. In some situations, though, there can be “red flags” pointing out that something is wrong. So, if someone you know shows one or more of these signs, it may be time to look deeper and seek help from Hillcrest Recovery.
A person’s behavioral signs pertain to how they relate to the world, while physical signs arise from the body’s reaction to different stimuli, including drugs. The following are some behavioral signs to look out for in people you suspect have a drug or alcohol problem.
Mood swings. If a person seems to be in a good mood one minute and a bad mood the next, it could be due to drug use. Many drugs lead to euphoria, followed by a crash, causing the drug users to switch between feeling high and feeling anxious or depressed.
Change in sleeping patterns. Using drugs can cause you to stay awake for long periods. As a result, you may miss work or school, which leads to other problems in your life. Long periods of awakeness may be followed by sleeping excessively when not on drugs to make up for lost sleep.
Not paying attention to personal hygiene. Someone abusing drugs may not take care of themselves by skipping personal grooming habits such as showering, wearing clean clothes, or brushing their teeth.
Social Isolation. Social isolation is one of the primary signs of addiction. If you have noticed a change in your friend or family member’s social habits that you find concerning, it may be a sign of an addiction problem. As an addict begins to lose interest in other people and activities, they will likely withdraw and avoid spending time with those close to them.
Stealing. Addicts quickly realize that their drug use is taking over their lives, but rather than accepting this fact, they resort to stealing objects they can sell for money to finance their drug problem. Theft is widespread among addicts since many have lost jobs and have no other means of paying for their habit.
Friends With Addicts. If your loved one has begun associating with a new crowd that you suspect might be involved in drug use, they are highly likely to become addicted. In some cases, addicts will seek out other addicts because they do not feel judged by them.
Addictions can manifest themselves in the body as side effects, overdoses, or withdrawal symptoms. Some physical symptoms can be challenging to identify, while others may have severe effects that require prompt medical attention. On the other hand, withdrawal symptoms may occur when the body adjusts to the lack of accustomed quantities of a drug.
Physical signs of addiction can vary from person to person, depending on the drug (or drugs) involved and the amount of use over time. The following are some physical signs that someone with a drug or alcohol problem may experience:
Weight loss. This is one of the most common side effects of drug use. If someone is on drugs, they might lose weight rapidly due to dehydration or poor appetite. On the other hand, others may gain weight due to cravings for food consumed during intoxication.
Excessive Sweating. Sweating is one of our body’s natural ways to regulate and cool down its temperature. If you see a loved one sweating for no reason or sweating profusely after seemingly normal activity, this could be a sign of drug or alcohol abuse.
Bloodshot eyes: Someone who regularly uses drugs or alcohol may have bloodshot eyes, and their pupils may become smaller or larger than usual.
Puncture marks. A person on drugs may have nicks and cuts from repeated injections of intravenous drugs. They may also form the habit of wearing long sleeves even in hot weather to hide needle marks, which can also be a sign.
While the above signs may have a variety of causes unrelated to drug or alcohol use, unfortunately, they are all commonly associated with those types of substance abuse. The most important thing is to be observant of the changes in a person’s behavior and attitude. Some of these may be signs of a bigger problem at hand. It may not be easy for your loved one to admit that there is an issue, but as a family member or friend, you are in the best position to offer them the help needed; you might even pull them from the brink of disaster before it is too late.