Substance addiction can come in several different forms, stemming from recreational usage or even from a medical prescription. It can be difficult to distinguish between harmless usage and a growing addiction, either in your loved ones or yourself. As far as the physical signs go, here are some behaviors to look out for in those that are close to you.
1. Changes in Physical Appearance
You may be aware of a loved one’s occasional usage of a drug or alcohol, but watch for physical signs exhibited in more inappropriate circumstances. If you notice large pupils, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech during strange times like a family outing, this could be an important warning sign.
2. Running Out of Prescription Too Soon
If you or someone you know uses up their prescription sooner than the doctor ordered, this could indicate a growing dependency. If there is a desire to continue to receive monthly prescriptions even though the pain has lessened, this is also an indication of potential addiction.
3. Shirking Obligations
Obligations like school and work become less important when the brain is running off of an addiction. Watch for changes in responsibility and behavior; if someone is continually showing up late or skipping work completely, they may be struggling with a developing problem.
4. Change in Finances
If you see a significant change in finances, such as an uncharacteristic lack of funds or even stealing money, this is a big indicator of a consistent habit. If someone is being overly secretive of their finances, it could be that they’re trying to hide where their money is going.
5. Personality and Mood Swings
Any unusual mood swings (especially if they occur more frequently) point to a growing dependence on an addictive substance. Overall drastic personality changes also point to an addiction, so trust your instincts and observations when analyzing your loved ones.
6. Socializing with New Crowd
A sudden change in socializing habits is often connected with teen drug abuse, but it also applies to adults. If a person has dropped a group of friends for a new one, and especially if the new group of friends has questionable habits, this could be an indicator of a slippery future.
What to Do Now?
It’s difficult to recognize some of the signs when you’re looking at a loved one, but as the support system you’ll need to be aware of what’s going on. On the other hand, if you’re worried about yourself and whether or not you’re growing a substance dependency, you can and should be a little more honest with yourself by answering some questions:
• Have you built up a tolerance to whatever substance you’re using “casually,” causing you to use more and more to feel the same effects?
• Do you use the substance to fill a void of some kind, whether the void is represented by sadness, anxiety, or anger?
• Have you begun to use the substance just to feel normal?
• Have you begun to question whether or not you should be using at all anymore, and yet you continue to?
There is hope for you, and you don’t have to wait for all hell to break loose before you get help. There are plenty of teams over medical research in Cleveland, OH and other cities that are working daily to find the best solutions for tackling addiction early. You can find some form of help in every community, whether it be support groups, medical programs, or rehabilitation centers. If you or someone you know seems to be starting a descent into drug addiction, tackle the problem before it’s too late.
Chris Miller is a professional writer, blogger, and English grammar enthusiast. Chris enjoys learning about new health products, procedures, and ideas. For more information about medical research studies done on drug usage and addiction, visit Rapid Medical Research website.
Mal Duane is a Best Selling Author and Personal Life and Recovery Coach who has overcome life challenges using the steps in the Alpha Chick Process. Her personal mission is to help women excel in all areas of their lives from business to personal relationships. Mal has been featured with Fox 25 Boston Morning Show, CBS Radio, Aspire Magazine, Healthy Living and Metrowest Daily News. She has also been a featured guest on over one hundred Blogtalk Radio shows discussing recovery and personal transformation.
Mal’s book, Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power, is a best selling book and is available on Amazon.com.