If you believe someone you love is currently facing an addiction, there are several common signs you can look out for, such as changes in mood or appearance.
Addiction is a common condition that affects millions all over the world across the United States every day. Recognizing the symptoms and signs of addiction is one of the first steps to getting someone on the journey to recovery. Unfortunately, while those struggling with addiction may show signs, drug abuse and addiction can often be challenging to spot, even when the addict is someone close to you.
There are several common signs of addiction to look out for, both physical and psychological. Learning these can help you determine if someone you know is currently struggling.
Early Warning Signs of Addiction
Casual or intermittent substance use can quickly spiral into substance abuse, addiction, or a substance use disorder before the user realizes what is happening. Without treatment, this abuse can dramatically impact the person’s body and mind, which will only worsen with time. Addiction can occur rapidly. There are some early signs of drug addiction to look out for if you suspect someone you know may be abusing substances and is at risk of addiction.
Common early warning signs of addiction in children, teens, and adults can include the following:
- Performance in academic or professional life is declining
- Sudden mood swings, along with general hopelessness, aggression, or anger
- A loss of interest in once-enjoyed events and activities
- Increased engagement in riskier behaviors, such as promiscuity or driving under the influence
- Physical changes including weight loss and frequently bloodshot or glossy eyes
- Constantly borrowing money
- Withdrawing and isolation from social circles and family
Physical Addiction Signs
You don’t need to abuse drugs and alcohol to develop a physical addiction. For instance, physicians may prescribe potentially addictive drugs like opioids for the following conditions:
- Pain management following an injury or surgery
- Pain management for debilitating, chronic diseases, such as cancer
More recently, physicians have also explored prescribing opioids to treat other conditions like chronic, non-cancer pain, including osteoarthritis and back pain. Substance abuse can quickly result in physical dependence, whether legally prescribed or illegally acquired.
To help determine if someone you know is currently struggling, some common physical signs of drug dependence to keep an eye out for include the following:
- Pinpoint or enlarged pupils
- Pupils not correctly responding to light stimuli
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Bloodshot, glossy eyes
- Decreased physical coordination
- Lack of physical upkeep
- Slurred speech
- Excessive sleeping
Even though this is not a complete list, it can still be helpful. If you notice any of these symptoms or a combination of symptoms in someone you know, it may be a physical sign that they’re currently facing addiction.
Behavioral Signs of Addiction
On top of early signs to look out for and physical symptoms that you can see, there are also several behavioral signs of addiction to keep an eye out for. These signs involve someone’s external relationships with the world, while physical symptoms are a byproduct of the body’s response to drugs in the system.
Some of the most common behavioral signs of addiction to keep an eye out for can include the following:
- Obsessive thoughts and actions
- Loss of control
- Inability to stop using
- Hiding addiction and substance use
- Denial of addiction
- Secretive behavior
- Increased mood swings
These behavioral signs and symptoms of addiction may be some of the earliest you can spot since they may manifest well before any physical side effects take hold.
Psychological Addiction Signs
On top of affecting a person’s behavior and physiology, substance use and drug dependence can also directly impact a person’s psychological state, especially over time. Unfortunately, a person may not readily recognize or notice these changes when dealing with addiction.
When it comes to the psychological signs of addiction, some common symptoms to keep an eye out for can include the following:
- Personality Changes
- Mood Swings
- Emotional and mental withdrawal from others
People may notice physical changes to themselves or a general shift in their behavior over time. Some psychological signs of addiction may be much harder to spot than other side effects. This is where a friend or loved one can be vital in trying to keep an eye out for these potential changes.
How to Get Help If You Have an Addiction
If you believe that you or someone you love may have an addiction, several options are available to help. Drug counseling, group therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and other treatment options can all help those struggling with addiction better manage their disease.
We facilitate connections for New York residents seeking treatment centers in the Tri-State area. If you or someone you’re acquainted with is grappling with addiction issues in or around New York Tri-state Area, reach out to the experts at NYC Addiction Resources. They provide essential information, valuable resources, and pertinent referrals for drug rehabilitation, alcohol detoxification, and dual diagnosis rehabilitation facilities in and around the New York Tri-state Area.
Once you have safely rid your body of substances, you may still need medications and therapeutic interventions to help deal with lingering physical symptoms. For example, opioid addiction treatment programs may include medication-assisted treatment (MAT). These prescription drugs act on your brain’s opioid receptors to help ease physical withdrawal symptoms and reduce intense cravings.
MAT is used in direct combination with behavior therapy and support groups. Behavior therapy and support groups can offer addicts an avenue to discuss their problems and develop coping skills to help them manage their addiction. When used with MAT, patients can see even better results and outcomes.