Addiction is a severe problem that many people struggle with every day. If you think one of your friends might be struggling with addiction, it is vital to know the signs to look for. This blog post discusses the most common signs of addiction to drugs or alcohol. If you see these signs in your friend, you must seek help.
Changes in behavior
A telling sign of addiction is a dramatic behavior change. If your friend suddenly becomes more withdrawn or aggressive, this could indicate that they are struggling with substance abuse issues. The drug they are taking may cause them to become more introverted or act out in ways they usually wouldn’t. Regarding alcoholism, your friend may become more impulsive and have difficulty controlling their emotions. Other signs of changes in behavior include an inability to concentrate, a lack of motivation, and a decrease in personal hygiene. They may also start showing up late to work, skipping out on commitments, and lying about their whereabouts. This is because the drug or alcohol has taken precedence over all else in their life.
Changes in physical appearance as well
Another sign of addiction is changing in physical appearance. If your friend has suddenly lost or gained weight, their eyes look glassy or red, or they have unexplained bruises or sores on their body, it could be a sign something serious is happening. Losing or gaining weight rapidly can signify using drugs to cope with difficult emotions. Unexplained bruising, sores and red eyes could also indicate drug use. Your friend may also neglect their hygiene and often appear messy or unkempt. Usually, these changes will be more noticeable if the person has been actively using drugs or alcohol for a while. If you notice these changes in your friend, it’s essential to ask them what is going on and offer help if needed.
A decline in physical health
Addiction often leads to a decline in physical health. Your friend may start to look tired and disheveled all the time, or they may lose interest in looking after their appearance. Eating habits can also change drastically. Someone heavily under the influence of drugs or alcohol may forget to eat, or they may have cravings for unhealthy foods. Other physical health signs include weight loss, pale skin, and a weakened immune system. If your friend suddenly becomes more prone to illness or struggles with chronic pain, it could indicate that they are struggling with addiction. If in the past, your friend was an avid exerciser but has now stopped, this could be another sign of addiction. Or, if before they were able to handle their alcohol, but now they become drunk quickly, this could also indicate a problem.
If your friend was previously a good student or excelled at their job but suddenly started slipping in terms of performance, this could be a sign of addiction. People under the influence often have difficulty focusing and may begin to miss deadlines or neglect their work. They may also struggle with memory issues and make more mistakes than usual. If your friend is struggling in school or work, you must talk to them about it and offer help if needed. People struggling with addiction often need support and understanding to get back on their feet.
Another sign that your friend is struggling with addiction is an abrupt change in social habits. If you’ve noticed them spending less time with friends and family or becoming more secretive about their activities, this could signify something is wrong. People dealing with addiction may also start attending parties more frequently or hanging out with new people who may not have the best intentions. These are all signs that your friend is engaging in risky behavior, which often leads to addiction. For example, if your friend previously had a few drinks with dinner, but now they are drinking heavily at every opportunity, this could be a sign of an addiction problem.
Another sign of addiction is financial problems. People addicted to drugs or alcohol often spend more money than they have to feed their addiction. They may have difficulty paying bills or be unable to afford necessities. If your friend has suddenly started borrowing money from other people or asking you for financial help, it could be a sign that they are struggling with an addiction problem. The cost of addiction can add up quickly, and it can become a severe issue if not addressed. It can ruin relationships, cause financial strain, and lead to other serious problems.
Taking inventory of possessions
When struggling with addiction, they will often try to cover up the fact by taking stock of all their possessions. Your friend may start asking to borrow money or items from you, or they may repeatedly lose things and blame it on someone else. They may also begin to give away possessions they once cherished, such as jewelry or items of sentimental value. This is often a sign that something is wrong, and they are trying to cover up their addiction problem. For example, if you know that your friend has a valuable watch, but lately they seem not to have it, this could indicate that their addiction is taking hold. Or, if your friend was always proud of their car, but now it always seems to have mechanical problems, this could also be a sign of addiction.
By being aware of these signs, you can help your friend get the help they need before it’s too late. If you believe someone might be struggling with addiction, you should reach out and talk to them. Letting them know that they are not alone and that you are there to support them can go a long way. Additionally, you should encourage them to seek professional help from an addiction treatment center. No matter how hard it may be, now is the time for you to step up and be there for your friend. They can take the first steps toward recovery with your support and guidance.