Exploring Addict Behavior: 5 Signs of Addiction to Look For
Are you worried that one of your loved ones may be suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction?
Today, over 23 million Americans report suffering from a substance addiction. While different extremities exist, substance addiction is an illness that requires serious treatment.
For many addicts, there are prominent behaviors that characterize a substance abuse issue. While many users make an effort to conceal these behaviors, the majority are noticeable by those around them.
If you’re worried that your loved one may be suffering from a substance abuse problem, you’re going to want to read this. We’re uncovering the five most telltale signs of addict behavior and how you can help today.
If your loved one in question is displaying all or any of these signs, it’s time to confront the issue and discuss possible solutions.
1. Changes in Daily Routine
It’s vital to pay close attention to any changes in routine that may be taking place in your loved one’s daily life.
This is marked by no longer committing to a routine that was once important to them. For example, waking up in the morning, eating a balanced meal, and going to the gym.
For many addicts, this will also relate to their daily hygiene and apathy for their appearance. While it may have been usual for that individual to shower, groom, and dress in a new change of clothes each day, this may no longer be the case.
Many addicts will also begin to wear clothing that masks their change in body weight. Because many addicts experience a decrease or increase in weight, ill-fitting clothing is often worn to conceal this change.
2. Development of Apathy
For many addicts, a substance issue is also followed by a lack of motivation. In place of that motivation comes the development of apathy.
This new sense of apathy is often marked by a dramatic change in priorities and passions. For example, did your loved one used to be passionate about fitness or was once deeply involved in a charity, but now no longer cares?
If passions that were once important to them are no longer, this may be a sign that they are replacing these passions with drugs or alcohol. Without the influence of a substance, it’s unlikely these passions would simply no longer be relevant in that person’s life.
3. Isolation and Neglect
A substance abuse issue often causes the user to remove themselves from social situations and events.
Even in daily life, you may notice that your loved one is keeping to themselves and failing to engage with those around them. Not only is this because they may actively be under the influence at that time, but it also may be a result of the “down” that follows a high.
This may also present in failing to show up to important events such as work, planned activities, and friend and family functions. Because the user is driven by their addiction, these events come secondary to fueling their addiction. That individual may also choose to forgo these events in fear that their addiction will be evident or questioned.
The fear of the addiction becoming common knowledge is one of the most prominent reasons users prefer to be alone.
4. Increased Anger and Irritability
Have you noticed that your loved one is more prone to anger and instances of irritability?
When a user feels threatened or fears that their secret is being outed, anger and lashing out are natural responses. For many addicts, this angers stems from feelings of guilt and humiliation that their addiction may no longer be a secret. When their addiction or behavior is questioned by others, they are likely to unleash serious anger and even threats.
It’s also common for users to experience significant irritability when not under the influence. If that individual is in a setting or position where they cannot feed their addiction, they are likely to be on edge and ready to snap at a moment’s notice.
Once they remove themselves and feed their addiction, their temperament will become more balanced. For many users, this becomes a vicious cycle that encourages them to continue using.
5. Changes in Relationships
Last but not least, you’ll want to keep track of any changes in relationships in this person’s life. This accounts for romantic relationships, friendships, and family relations.
When an addict is suffering from a substance abuse problem, they often isolate or alter the relationships that are closest to them. You may notice that your loved one is no longer engaging with the people in their life that they were once very close to.
Likewise, that individual may begin to surround themselves with new people in their life or enter a different social circle. Oftentimes these new acquaintances are also suffering from substance abuse issues. In banding together, they feel that their judgment is minimized and their secret remains safe.
Remember, addiction doesn’t only affect the addict themselves. Friends, family and loved ones are affected by the change in the behavior of the addict. As a result, those that were once close to that individual may also make the decision to step away from that individual for the time being.
Documenting Addict Behavior
For almost every individual suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, secrecy is the key to maintaining their addiction.
With enough practice, addicts can become incredibly swift at hiding their addiction from friends and family. However, even when striving to keep their addiction a secret, there are natural addict behaviors that are difficult to conceal.
To help determine if your loved one is suffering, we’ve compiled a list outlining the five most telltale signs of addict behavior. From changes in routine to increased isolation, these behavior patterns are apparent in most addicts.
Unfortunately, of the many individuals that suffer from addiction, only 11 percent will seek treatment. It’s clear that this number is far too low and, without encouragement, the majority of addicts will choose to forgo treatment.
If your loved one is displaying these signs and symptoms, be sure to read about our treatment options. It’s never too late.