This is something you wish you were wrong about, but also something that you need to be right on if its true. Does that make sense? In other words, no one wants to believe a friend or family member has an addiction. At the same time, you also do not want to see your loved one succumb to an addiction. It’s very important that if you start to see signs a friend or family member may be experiencing issues with addiction, it is your duty (as well as ours) to help them enter treatment.
A Shift in Moods and Motivations
Sounds vague, right? Of course any sudden mood shift is not indicative of addiction. However, when that behavior is accompanied by lying and dishonesty—it’s clear that something must be going on. This is often the first sign that arouses suspicion but it is too often the case we ignore that sense of something being off for a long time. That is why you should trust your instincts and keep an eye out for more unusual behavior and circumstances.
A shift in mood can be more pronounced such as volatility in behaviors, angry outbursts, disproportionate sadness, anxiety. Remember, many Substance Use Disorders are often comorbid with a mental health condition such depression, an anxiety or personality disorder.
Sudden Weight Loss or Gain
This is the next sign that can be passed off as almost normal, the truth is people don’t just randomly gain a large amount of weight or lose it. Your body strives to achieve homeostasis—or stability, in medical terms sudden gain or loss in weight is grounds for further medical inquiry and testing. This may seem like a minor point, but many statements from those who have realized their loved one had an addiction have reflected on the past and realized just how many behaviors they recognized but brushed aside as irrelevant.
Having Enlarged Pupils and Bloodshot Eyes
Certain drugs can cause your pupils to become dilated—these are typically psychotropic drugs or stimulants such as cocaine. Be aware of bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils as they are dead giveaways that your loved one is misusing drugs. Dilated pupils are not so easily explained away, there are many charts online that can show you what normal pupil dilation in response to factors such as light look like in comparison to drug use.
Poor Work or School Performance/Financial Difficulties
If your friend or family member is suddenly flunking their classes or experiencing troubles at work—even have been let go, this is yet another sign that they are failing to maintain their daily obligations for a reason that is unclear. If they were financially stable and are now having financial difficulties, this is another red flag. This one can be difficult to determine with friends as opposed to family members as we are typically not privy to their finances.
Drug use is incredibly expensive in that the substances themselves are costly, but also the user’s increasing tolerance to those drugs requires more and more. As the addiction takes hold, the desire to use more frequently also occurs in tandem, creating a vicious cycle of abuse that wrecks the person’s health, finances, and takes control of their life.
Pre-treatment Addiction Consultation in Virginia
Do you suspect your loved one is struggling with addiction? There are many more signs and symptoms we at Recovery Care Partner can recognize. We have dealt with many cases of addiction and intimately understand what to look out for. We offer guidance and support to those who believe they may have a friend or family member dealing with addiction.
Contact us today to tell us your story so that we can help your loved one enter treatment, whether that is through coaching and consulting with you, or offering our intervention services so that a more direct approach can be taken.Learn More