There is a special bond between you and your loved ones that runs deeper than words can ever express. From the day you were born, that bond was forged through love, trust and those shared experience through good times and bad times.
It goes without saying that you know your loved ones on an almost telepathic level. It also goes without saying that if you loved one is struggling with a drug problem, those extraordinary and deep connections can become frayed and you can be at your wits end trying to find ways to help them through the darkness.
The Signs of Drug Abuse Are Subtle…
If someone you love in the fight of their life with substances, you may be beating yourself up trying to rewind in your mind where things went wrong. You may be saying to yourself or out loud:
where did things go wrong?
why didn’t I see this coming?
…if I only could have been there earlier, this would have never happened…
Truth is, the signs of substance abuse can often be subtle and you won’t put two and two together until your loved one is already deep into addiction. There are many signs that can point to drug use in your loved one, and it is important to understand as many of these signs as possible.
Seven Signs That A Loved One Has A Duug Problem
1. Look Skin Deep
The physical symptoms of drug addiction are universal and easily recognizable. While addicts are masters at keeping up appearances of normalcy, their bodies will show the signs that drug abuse is present. Some common physical signs of addiction include:
- Red/bloodshot or glassy/watery eyes
- Itching skin or picking at skin
- Unusual weight loss or gain
- Dry mouth or nose
- Persistent stuffy nose or cough
- Extreme fatigue
- Changes in sleeping habits or schedule
- Deterioration of personal hygiene
- Twitching and/or shaking
- Nausea and/or vomiting
2. Secrets Make Them Sick…
For anyone that is addicted to drugs, the last thing they want to do is tell people about it. If you loved one has a drug problem, they will go to any length to hide their addiction from you, your family and the world.
This can include avoiding clear answers to your questions if you know something is up, hiding things or keeping secrets, or they may act in unusual ways. Your loved one may be combative, confrontational and may have a story or reason for all they do that doesn’t quite add up.
3. Lies, Lies, Lies
How do people keep their secret hidden? They invent lies to keep the charade going.
People that struggle with addiction will lie in order to avoid facing reality and protects them from admitting their addiction to the world. Lying requires a lot of energy, planning and effort. In a column on the website lifehacker, Adam Duchis explains:
When you lie you have to consider what you’re trying to hide, figure out a believable version of the opposite, give a convincing performance to sell that lie, and then remember it for the rest of eternity so you never get caught.
Eventually, these lies will catch up to an addict because simply they run out of convincing stories to spin and they have run out of energy to continue telling lies.
4. Mood Swings
Certain drugs can cause great chemical imbalances in the brain, and an obvious result is a wide swing in mood. One minute your loved one is thoughtful, loving and care-free and on a dime they can be consumed with rage then feel euphoria without even recalling what they have done or said to you or others. There is no rhyme or reason to these mood changes and its unpredictability can cause havoc in families of addicts.
5. Loss of Interest
As your loved one continues their use of drugs and alcohol, it will take up more and more of their time. As a result, they will abandon the hobbies and other pastimes they used to enjoy before their addiction took hold.
If you notice that your loved one no longer wants to spend time with their family and friends, or they stop taking part in activities they normally would have, substance abuse may be the cause.
Addiction is not only time-consuming, it also takes a lot of income to keep it going. Addicts will do ANYTHING to get their next fix, and that often includes stealing things of value from the ones they love.
If items start disappearing around the house that are of value and have solid cash value, chances are your loved one is trying to get the cash they need in order to get and stay high.
7. Not Meeting Obligations
Addiction overtakes a person’s ability to think rationally. Once drug and alcohol use becomes an addict’s primary way of life, day to day obligations such as school, work and family get shoved to the background and become neglected. If your loved one no longer seems to care about their day to day obligations, it is a strong indicator that drug use is at the root.
Help Your Loved Ones Help Themselves
Drug addiction is nasty. It slowly robs the addict of their ability to love and live and can tear families apart. If your loved one is struggling with addiction, you need to do everything that you can to get them the help they need to break its grip. The love, support and encouragement that you give your loved one will make all the difference in the world.