Denial is not just a river in Egypt. It’s a person exhibiting all the tell-tale signs of drug use or addiction and continuing to insist that they don’t have a problem. It’s also you each time you turn a blind eye to the red flags and deny someone you know is struggling with substance abuse.
Drug use can wreak havoc on the body and mind until it becomes a deadly, full-blown substance use disorder. If you have someone important in your life that you suspect has a problem, it’s crucial for them to get the help they need. Be vigilant and look out for the top 5 warning signs of addiction.
1. Changes in Personality Traits
Addiction can cause sudden mood swings, depression, paranoia, lack of motivation, and irritability. They may isolate themselves, withdraw from normal activities, run with a different crowd, or become uncharacteristically secretive.
Changes in behavior are most noticeable immediately after drug-use, particularly with psychoactive substances. Psychoactive drugs change brain function, altering perception, cognition, and mood. However, changing moods and uncharacteristic behavior also happens when the person struggling with addiction is in withdrawal and has a craving but has no access to the drug at the time. The brain is consumed by the need for the drug, prioritizing the substance and changing the person’s behavior drastically.
2. Changes in Physical Health and Appearance
Different drugs affect people differently. However, some of the most common physical changes in those with substance use disorders are abrupt changes in weight, bloodshot eyes, unhealthy skin, and rotting teeth. You may also notice that general personal hygiene, such as dental care and regular bathing, is no longer a top priority.
Some of these changes in physical health and appearance are due to interrupted sleep patterns that those struggling with addiction often experience. Whether it’s insomnia or hypersomnia, it can cause deteriorating health as it weakens the immune system, which impacts physical appearance.
3. Financial Problems
Drugs cost money. And as the addiction grows, so does the cost of keeping up with their habit The person may go beyond their budgets, draining their savings accounts and borrowing money from family and friends repeatedly. To maintain their drug addiction, some people turn to selling their possessions as they suffer from extreme financial stress.
4. Inconsistent Sleep Patterns
Drugs physically change the brain, interfering with sleep patterns and sleep quality. Those with addictions have been observed to spend less time in REM sleep, resulting in poor quality sleep. Stimulants or energizing drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine flood the brain with dopamine, causing insomnia. During withdrawal, the person may feel excessively sleepy and tired even after long stretches of sleep.
5. Neglecting Responsibilities
As the physical dependence on drugs grows, the person will undergo a change in physiology, which may leave them functioning and feeling poorly. They may stop using their best judgment and fail to meet their personal, academic, and professional responsibilities, putting their jobs, studies, and relationships at risk.
If you know someone showing all the signs of addiction, but you don’t know what steps to take to help them get treatment, talk to a recovery professional now. At Right Way Recovery Services, we can help you help your loved one understand the need for treatment, and identify the path to recovery. We can connect you with an interventionist who is trained and certified to help you approach your loved one in a structured, controlled setting. Let’s talk. (619) 630-7844