There are many different ways that addiction can enter the life of a loved one. It could be that your loved one went through upsetting events during childhood or early adulthood, and for lack of healthier coping skills at the time, turned to substances to numb the pain. Or it can be as simple as being pressured by friends into trying a drug at a party. Whether addiction has been an underlying part of your loved one’s life for as long as you can remember, or whether their addiction is new or has reached new heights due to recent stress, it’s understandable to worry. If you suspect your loved one might be struggling with addiction and could need professional substance abuse treatment, here are some signs to look for:
1. Changes in Physical Appearance
Substance use can have a noticeable effect on the way a person looks and smells. Depending on the substance, it can have various effects on weight, skin appearance, and odors. Many people who are addicted lose a significant amount of weight. This can be caused by the drug itself, or because the addiction causes the person to focus more on when they are going to get more of a substance and focus less on getting enough food. Use of hard drugs such as methamphetamines can make skin appear rough and scarred, while alcohol abuse can lead to yellowing skin from liver damage. When a person is severely addicted, they also stop taking care of themselves, which can cause increased body odor from not bathing, unkempt hair or nails, or other signs of neglect.
2. They Seem “Wired” All the Time
A high-strung demeanor is a clear indication of a person who is using drugs. “Wired” behavior can come from either paranoia induced by the drug, or as part of the withdrawal symptoms that follow. While “high,” with the substance in their system, your loved one can appear nervous or defensive. As the drug subsides, the withdrawals can cause discomfort which manifests as agitation.
3. Changes in Social Patterns or Neglecting Responsibilities
Addiction typically manifests one way or another through social patterns and neglecting responsibilities. Even if a person is able to hide their drug use, they typically are unable to hide their changes in social interaction. Those who are addicted may isolate or become difficult to talk to while the substance has control of their lives. They also tend to lie more frequently as a defense mechanism when confronted by a loved one. Additionally, they neglect their finances to fuel their drug habits, which can leave them in debt.
What to Do If a Loved One Is Suffering from Addiction
Addiction is a chronic disease that requires professional treatment. Substance abuse clinics can offer specialized alcohol treatment or opioid treatment, as the addiction causes a chemical imbalance in the brain that requires pharmaceutical intervention and assistance. If you feel you can, speak with your loved one about your concerns, and help him or her find the right addiction treatment program. Even if you don’t feel as if you can speak directly with your loved one, you should still contact a treatment center, as they can help guide you through the referral process, and get you help for yourself.
Substance Abuse Clinic in Havertown, PA
Every chronic illness has its symptoms, and with addiction, these symptoms can manifest mentally and physically. This is why, at American Treatment Network, we offer a holistic model of care to treat the whole person—mind and body. Our medication-assisted treatment gives our patients the care and strength they need to overcome addiction.
Professional substance abuse treatment is the only way to release your loved one from the grips of drugs and alcohol addiction, and return them to being the person you know and love. If your loved one is suffering from addiction, contact us today to get help with a proven method of treating the disorder.