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How to Recognize Drug Addiction in a Loved One?

Drug addiction is a slippery slope. All around the world, millions of people have now turned into drug addicts due to various reasons. Most people take drugs for recreational purposes and later turn into addicts. It is a known fact that any substance can be abused, some drugs are more likely to cause dependency and addiction than others. To counter addiction, it is important to identify symptoms early on. The most common symptoms of drug and alcohol addiction are : 

  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Isolation
  • Organ failure

If you think that a loved one is addicted it could hurt you. There are many ways that you can provide support to your loved one as well. Like listening to them, encouraging them to start addiction treatment, and making them join AA groups. Some ways to identify drug addiction are as follows:

  • Changes in Physical Appearance

The degradation of one's look is one of the most common physical signs or symptoms that someone is coping with a substance misuse problem. The individual will have poor hygiene, look for how they dress up differently, wear old clothes, refuse to shower, and don’t clean their rooms.

Identification of drug abuse becomes apparent with physical manifestations. Firstly, the skin would become dry and scaly. You might notice red spots or dark marks on your loved one. Secondly, you will see yellowing of teeth, dry mouth, cavities, or gum infections. Thirdly, drugs and stress will cause their hair to fall. And lastly, you will notice unusual weight loss in your loved ones. They will become frail.

  • Financial Restraint Issues

You will notice that your loved one is spending a lot of money. They may ask for money several times in a month, which will be unusual. Most addiction patterns get triggered due to financial issues in the family. Debt is the result of poor money management, and debt is the result of stress. Stress leads to spending a huge amount of money on drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol do not come cheap. Illicit drugs like Xanax or Cocaine require a good amount of money to buy illegally. 

  • Behavioral Changes

Your behavior towards life and people is a sign that you are morally aware of your responsibilities and actions. People who are addicted to drugs and alcohol find it hard to show appropriate reactions. Look for the signs of behavioral changes in a loved one and seek addiction treatment. Addiction is a common cause of personality changes in your loved ones. Some common symptoms are anger, irritation, withdrawal, impulsive behavior, lying, being secretive, paranoia, and physical tics. These symptoms have the potential to harm work, relationships, health, and money, and even get your loved ones into legal problems.

  • Cognitive Impairments

A chronic drug abuser usually suffers from learning/memory problems, poor decision-making, and poor behavioral control. You might not notice these symptoms in your loved one during the early stages, however, these indicate that the individual has been using them for quite some time. Your loved ones will act confused and will not be able to comprehend anything properly. Sometimes, they will be unable to recall things from the past.

  • Check for Withdrawal

Withdrawal is the process of eliminating or reducing the use of addictive substances or behaviors such as drugs or alcohol. Some of the most commonly observed withdrawal symptoms are: 

Nausea, vomiting, anxiety, appetite fluctuations, and unnecessary fatigue in your loved one. These are among the common red flags which indicate addiction problems. Keep an eye on your loved ones if they start to display such symptoms. It might be due to the fact that they didn't somehow acquire their dose of alcohol and drug that day, and now they are acting out. Don't argue with them, just try to reason with them politely. 

In a Nutshell… 

Alcohol and drug addiction are one of the leading causes of death and liver failure in the US. Addiction can be hard on the person responsible and also on the people around them. In such times, you must try to pull up all your strength and try to make sure that the addict understands the need to join an addiction treatment program. An addiction treatment program aims to provide treatment and ease the withdrawal symptoms. If you happen to identify any of the above-mentioned symptoms in your close circles, you shouldn’t panic and be aggressive. Instead, be calm and gentle. Try to find an approach that works. Reach out to psychiatrists and therapists for help. Recovery is difficult but it is achievable.


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