Addiction is a result of tolerance and dependence. Tolerance is the stage at which an individual has to use higher doses than expected to achieve the effects they desire. The high dosages typically lead to dependency, a state where they have to use the drug or alcohol for their bodies to function normally. At this stage, an individual may suffer various withdrawal effects, including sweating or shaking, if they don’t use the substance. Addiction becomes very hard to hide at this stage, and you may start seeing suggestive physical, emotional, and behavioral signs from the abuser. Here are some pointers to consider.
1. Physical Changes
Substance use disorder affects all aspects of a person’s life. As such, you may notice several physical changes. But, you may want to be more careful when dealing with a teenager since some behavioral changes, such as rebellion, moodiness, and changes in interests, may be a product of their growth stage. However, these may mean something else in an adult. Some of the pointers to pay attention to include:
• Flushed skin
• Husky voice
• Vomiting blood
• Shaky hands
• Marks caused by injection drug use
• Chronic gastrointestinal complications
• Dilated pupils
• Alarming weight gain or loss
2. Look for Lifestyle Changes
Alcohol and drug addiction may cause your loved ones to show significant changes in their daily lives. For instance, you may notice that a once-bright student no longer performs well in class but isn’t bothered with the change. Similarly, excessive substance use may also cause your colleague to be extremely violent at home and the office.
Again, you may want to pay attention to their relationships. A friend who is drawing away from family and acquaintances and quickly forming relationships with strangers may be showing some hidden agenda. Also, be curious to know why your loved one no longer has a social life or spends most of their time privately.
3. Changes in the Victim’s Behaviors
An addict doesn’t stop using the substance even after knowing the dangers of its exposure. They will always find a way to receive the dosage, even if it means sneaking out. Noticing changes in your loved one’s behaviors are the initial pointers that you shouldn’t assume and the right time to seek help. Here are some behaviors to check:
• Frequent fights with family, friends, coworkers, or supervisors
• Memory loss
• Frequent mood swings
• Depending on the addictive substance to relax, sleep, or cheer up
• Withdrawing from family, friends, and activities that were once their favorite
• Not minding hygiene, clothing, or grooming
• Unexplained accidents and injuries
• Stealing or borrowing money with no clear intentions
4. Try Finding Drug Paraphernalia
You may want to start searching for clues if you suspect that your teenager, friend, or adult family member struggles with addiction. It may feel like denying your adolescent their right to privacy. Still, you need to remember that their safety is more important, and you, as a parent or caregiver, are responsible for their wellbeing. With that in mind, try searching their rooms for any pointers to drug and alcohol use.
While you want to save your adult family member in this situation, finding evidence may be more challenging in their cases. That’s because you may not want to anger them or cross the privacy path with an adult. As a result, consider searching for any drug paraphernalia in family living spaces. Some of the things to look out for include:
• Miniature spoons
• Bongs or water pipes
• Injection needles
Noticing an addiction from someone close to you may be challenging, especially if you aren’t keen. However, these signs will help you see the behaviors and determine if your loved one requires help. Once you know the truth, it’s time to be tender since the situation isn’t any better with the addicts. Engage them with a professional at The Palm Beach Insitute for various tests as they start their journey to recovery. They need more love, acceptance, and attention to help them cope.