What are signs of drug and alcohol addiction?

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When you have a family member or a close friend who keeps getting themselves into trouble or having lots of problems you sometimes wonder if they have fallen into substance abuse. So, what are signs of drug and alcohol adddiction, well, there are a few signs which you can recognize or that should at least give you a high index of suspicion if someone you know is using drugs or abusing alcohol.

Addiction is loosely defined as the state of being enslaved to a habit that ends up in consequences that affect your psychological and/or physical well being. So when you are wondering “What are signs of whether a friend or family member  is addicted to drugs or alcohol?”, this is the pattern you should follow.

Some physical signs that you can watch out for if you are suspecting drug or alcohol addiction:

  • Bloodshot eyes, tinier or larger pupils than usual.
  • Sudden weight changes either loss or gain.
  • Unusual breaths or odors.
  • Trembling, stammering or impaired coordination.

The psychological signs include such changes as:

  • Sudden drop in attention, performance.
  • Sudden financial troubles, changes in daily routines.
  • Getting into trouble that are out of character of loved ones such as fights & illegal activities.
  • Changes in personality, widely swinging labile mood
  • Manic or depressive states uncharacteristic of the person.
  • Paranoia and or unexplained sudden anxiety can be another indicator.

Others include failure to meet personal, occupational or social expectations that a loved one has set for themselves despite being on the right tract.

Continued use of alcohol despite it having detrimental effects on the health either physical or psychological effects is a strong indication of addiction. Check if your loved one is becoming drug tolerant. Are they using more and more of the substance to get to the same level of ‘high’ than they usually are used to?

Another indicator is that someone has to use the said drug to overcome signs of withdrawal. If they wake up in the morning with a hangover and the only way they can get rid of it is by taking alcohol or the said drug.

Another very important indicator is when they loose control of their drinking or drug use. They sometimes end up using more of the drug that they had intended to and or feel powerless to stop. Their life tends to revolve around the substance they are abusing in that they spend most of their time either trying to acquire the said substances, using it or trying to recover from its effects.

Another pointer is when your loved one abandons the kind of activities that they used to be very much into. They stop doing the activities that they used to enjoy and spend more of this time indulging in substance abuse. This also includes skipping important social, personal or occupational functions so as to spend time indulging in the drug or alcohol abuse or to spend time with friends who abuse the drug.

Finding out if a loved one has been shackled by drug or alcohol addiction can be a daunting task, especially since many addicts do not want their addictions pointed out. They tend to mask their troubles and the deleterious effects sometimes to very good effect. It is important that we as friends and family keep a vigilant eye so as to rescue them before they reach a point of no return.