Whether you’re a parent, a co-worker or a close friend of someone that might be struggling, there are a number of different signs to look out for to determine if someone is suffering from addiction. By looking at these signs of addiction and confronting your loved one, you may be saving their life.
1. Appetite loss or gain
One of the most obvious signs of drug addiction can be by appearance. It is common that drug use causes a sudden increase or decrease in weight. If your loved one begins to completely lose their appetite or maybe has an unusual gain in appetite, this could be due to drug use. Keep an eye out for any apparent weight loss/gain that don’t align with regular behavior patterns.
2. Change of friends
If you notice that there is an apparent change of friends, particularly from a group of friends that you know to be safe, to a group of friends you might be unsure of, this could be a sign that your loved one might be associating with people that are drug users. Of course it isn’t fair to make assumptions, although it might be worth bringing this up in conversation with the person in question to see how they respond.
This is a huge red flag as a sign of addiction. A severe addict often spends all of their money on drugs and may hardly ever have a safe amount of money put in savings. Once out of money, it’s common to see theft take place, whether it be for necessities from the grocery store they can no longer afford, or from high-value items to be pawned off or sold for drugs.
4. Memory loss
Memory loss is another obvious sign of drug addiction. There are quite a few drugs that can cause memory loss. If you find yourself having to often repeat things to someone, then you might want to take note of this and determine if this behavior is abnormal for this person.
It is common for some drug addicts to remove themselves from their circle of friends and become so deeply obsessed with drugs/alcohol that they isolate and avoid contact with other people unless it’s for drugs. If you notice someone close to you begin to show signs of isolation, it’s best to confront them on this behavior.
6. Unusual mood swings
Drug addiction can cause mood swings. Although mood swings might take place simply by nature, this is also a red flag and something to note as to if someone near to you is reacting to a substance. Withdrawal to drugs can also cause extra irritability and lashing out which is usually uncommon in the behavior of the addict.
7. Changes in sleep patterns
Some addicts might end up staying up all night often due to amphetamine abuse. If you notice someone up all night, all the time, keep a close eye and see if this is something new that doesn’t normally represent this person. In addition, certain drugs can cause people to sleep all day and express more tiredness than commonly seen.
8. Slurred or slowed speech
This is a big sign to look out for as most people typically do not slur or have abnormally slowed speech unless under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Many substances inhibit the ability to speak normally so if you notice someone talking much slower than they normally do, or are slurring their words, then you should definitely take note of this and see if there are any other apparent behaviors that might resemble a person under the influence.
Remember, just because someone displays one of the signs above does not immediately qualify them as a drug addict. It’s most important to closely monitor whoever you might be concerned about and see if any of their current behaviors do not align with their regular behaviors. The most important part is to confront them about what is going on. Early recovery from drug and alcohol abuse is the best form of treatment.