I can spot an addict right away. Or, at least, that's what I once thought until addiction plagued our household. Finding out that someone you care about is suffering from addiction right under your nose can be a very emotional experience. When you watch movies or television shows that depict addicts, there are physical attributes that make it quite easy. Their skin is pale, they may have lost a lot of weight, their clothes are tattered and torn, and all they're concerned about is getting that next fix.
Contrary to popular belief, spotting addiction is not always that easy. There are actually people who can live what appears to be a normal life; that suffer with their addiction behind closed doors. The best way to help yourself or those you care for is to expand on your knowledge of addiction.
Common Signs of Addiction
Though everyone reacts differently, here are some common signs of addiction you should be on the lookout for:
Important note: If you notice any of these signs in yourself, your spouse, or others you live with it is imperative to get help from a reputable source. Many individuals suffering from addiction prefer to visit an addiction treatment center, such as Reflections Rehab. There you can be provided with around the clock treatment and support as you recover from your addiction.
- Increased Use of Substance or Participation in Activity
Has your husband been drinking more scotch than usual? Do you find that his drinking went from a glass or two on the weekends to an everyday thing? This is one of the first signs that a person has developed a dependency towards the substance or activity (i.e sex, gambling, video games).
- Inability to Stop Using or Acting Negatively
Have you ever tried to quit smoking or drinking but can't seem to kick the habit on your own? This is likely a sign that your body has become accustomed to the substance or behavior and therefore, you've become addicted.
- Withdrawing from Social Activities
Isolation is a huge sign that you or your loved one could be dealing with addiction. This can happen for two main reasons. Some addicts withdraw from social activities as a means of hiding their addiction. Others opt out of social activities because they'll be away from their vice for too long. In other words, an alcoholic might not want to attend a function that won't have liquor on hand just as a smoker may not want to hang out with friends in a smoke-free environment.
- Engaging in Risky Behavior
When a person becomes addicted to a substance or activity they will stop at nothing to continue it. This may lead to the participating in risky behaviors including but not limited to stealing money, having unprotected sex, or stealing items (i.e. your teen steals painkillers from your medicine cabinet). Engaging in risky behaviors could also mean driving under the influence.
- Financial Trouble
No matter what you or your loved ones may be addicted to, it’s going to cost you money. If they always need money or can't seem to afford the bare necessities, this could be a sign that they're struggling with addiction.
If you've noticed a combination of these signs in yourself or someone you love, you need to address it and get help. There are several options you can take when getting help. Below is a brief description of the most common:
- Addiction Treatment Programs
Addiction treatment programs are facilities that offer inpatient and outpatient solutions for addiction recovery. The objective of the program is to focus first on getting you sober and helping you to prevent relapses. While each facility will vary in treatments, they commonly offer individual, group, and family counseling sessions as a means of helping to identify underlying causes and learning new methods of coping in the future.
This is the process of visiting a therapist that specializes in addiction. They are one on one session with a therapist. The goal of this treatment is to help you cope with cravings; learn how to avoid the substance, and also to teach you how to deal with relapses.
- Support Groups (Self-Help)
Self-help or support groups are another method for beating addiction. Ideally, you meet at a location within your community to talk with other addicts about your issues. The hope is that through talking and the support you receive from the group it will motivate you to kick the habit and stay on the right track.
- Alternative Approaches
There are some individuals who take more holistic approaches to treating addiction. For example, acupuncture has become a suitable method (coupled with other avenues for help) to treating addiction. It is believed that this ancient Chinese practice helps to rebalance the individual thus helping to improve the mood and kick cravings.
Addiction is a serious condition that should be addressed as soon as possible. Whether it's you, your partner, your children, or someone else you know, the sooner they receive help the better it will be for their physical and mental well-being. If you recognized any of the above signs, be sure to address the matter and choose one or several of these options for help.