Seeing the Signs of Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

At times, people are surprised to learn that someone they know is in an addiction treatment program. However, there are almost always signs along the way. You might realize in hindsight that you really knew the whole time that the individual had a substance abuse problem, but you wanted to deny it or were afraid to say anything about it. Denial is common, but it doesn’t help anyone. You can keep this from happening by becoming familiar with and paying attention to the traits of addiction.

Of course, the most obvious thing to look out for is excessive drug and alcohol abuse. Some people with a problem are better at hiding it than others, though. If you see that they suffer consequences from their substance abuse yet continue to do it, they may need the help of a substance abuse treatment program. The individual might seclude themselves or change their daily routines. Changes in mood, problems at school or work, associating with a new social group, and financial difficulties are other things that even someone who doesn’t live with an addict may be able to recognize.

Don’t be afraid to bring up the subject of drug and alcohol abuse with loved ones. The potential consequences of ignoring the issue are far greater that anything that could happen as a result of mentioning it in a caring way. You may find that the person is actually relieved to be able to speak openly about what’s going on with them. If they become excessively irritated at the simple suggestion or offer of help, that may be another sign that there really is a substance abuse problem. The most important things to remember when bringing up drug and alcohol addiction are to speak only about their behaviors, don’t judge them, and only mention things that you know for a fact to be true.