Signs Your Loved One Is Struggling with Addiction and How to Help

When a loved one struggles with addiction, it can be difficult for those around them to know what is going on and how best to help.

Alcohol Statistics

Alcohol and drug use is widespread in the United States. In 2019, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health or NSDUH found that 85.6% of people 18 years of age and older stated that they had taken a drink of alcohol at least once in their lives, and 69.5% of this population indicated that they drank an alcoholic beverage in the past year. Another 54.9% stated that they drank alcohol in the past month. This number includes 59.1% of men and 51.0% of women.

It seems that binge drinking and heavy drinking are typical in the United States. In 2019, a complete 25.8% of this demographic engaged in binge drinking in the past month. Another 8.3% of men and 4.5% of women stated that they took part in heavy drinking in the past month.

Drug Statistics

Many people are also experiencing a drug addiction in the United States. In 2018, 11.7% of people aged 12 years old and above ingested an illicit substance in the past month. Another 2.0% also ingested a prescription drug for which they did not have a prescription.

Alcohol and drug addictions often get worse as time goes by. That is because the addiction causes withdrawal symptoms when the person tries to stop taking the substance. The withdrawal symptoms are too unbearable for them to tolerate, returning to their alcohol or drug use. For this reason, your loved one needs help conquering their addiction to drugs or alcohol, and you can help.

Recognize the Common Signs and Symptoms of Drug Addiction.

The following are general signs of an addiction to substances:

  • They are defensive when you try to talk to them about substance use.
  • Their eyes are bloodshot, and they appear to be tired.
  • They aren’t eating as much and are losing weight.
  • They are having difficulties paying their bills.
  • They are spending a lot of money, or they are constantly asking to borrow money.
  • They appear to lack energy.
  • They are ending and beginning relationships abruptly.
  • They need more private time than usual.
  • Their grooming habits are lacking.
  • They are having difficulties at work or school.

If you believe that your loved one is facing a drug or alcohol addiction, you can help him by introducing him to Long Island Treatment Center. The treatment we offer our clients is based on scientific evidence specifically for substance use disorders. The staff has the education and experience addressing addictions that begin with mental health disorders, family dynamics, or any other cause, so we can help your loved one overcome their drug or alcohol addiction.

If your loved one is experiencing a mental health disorder, we will simultaneously treat this disorder and substance use disorder. This gives your loved one the greatest chances of overcoming the substance use disorder so that they can live their best life. Help your loved one get on the road to recovery by contacting us today.

Hiding Substance Use.

The common signs of drug or alcohol addiction are not always easy to see because your loved one may be hiding them from you. Sometimes, the characters are so apparent that your loved one can’t hide them, but other times, it takes more effort to know that someone is addicted.

Addiction is not something that people announce to their friends and family, and when they do an excellent job of hiding it, it keeps them in the addictive pattern for a more extended period. Your loved one will need you to confront him with their drug addiction, and you can do this if you notice the following signs:

Your Loved One Is Keeping the Drug Paraphernalia or the Substances from Your View.

Your loved one may be hiding drugs and alcohol in a place where they can easily access them. One thing that those with alcohol addiction do is keep various bottles in separate hiding places. For example, one bottle of wine may be in the refrigerator, which wouldn’t raise any concerns. At the same time, your loved one may have a bottle in their bedroom, a bottle in the garage, and a bottle hidden in a closet. This is a sign of a problem.

Your loved one may disappear at times while you are visiting. This may mean that they are going to one of their hiding places to use their substance of choice.

Your Loved One Appears to Be Extremely Moody.

Drugs and alcohol are known to cause people to experience extreme moods. For example, if your loved one is more talkative than usual and appears hyperactive and then seems tired and moody after the substance wears off, this is a clue that substances are the issue.

Your Loved One Experiences Withdrawal Symptoms.

If your loved one stops taking their drug of choice, they will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. Some of the symptoms include the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Excessive sweating
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle pain
  • Symptoms of the flu

A person with a very severe drug addiction will exhibit the worst withdrawal symptoms.

Do you have doubts about whether or not your friends and family members are addicted to drugs or alcohol? You can ask them to fill out our “Am I addicted?” Quiz

Your Loved One Isn’t Joining Family Gatherings or Going Out with Friends.

If your loved one is avoiding you and their friends, this may be because they are hiding drug or alcohol use from you. People also do this to freely consume large amounts of their drugs of choice without anyone knowing that this is what they are doing. They often avoid social gatherings because they don’t want you to know how much they drink and how they are when they are drunk.

The other reason that people choose to be alone rather than attend social gatherings is that drugs or alcohol are now the highest priority in their lives. This behavior can be upsetting to you if you don’t know why it is happening.

Drug or Alcohol Addiction in your Teenager.

In general, teens are moody, so moodiness alone will not necessarily indicate drug or alcohol misuse. The sign you would need to look for would be drastic changes in mood or behavior. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teens addicted to substances are often hostile, depressed, tired, or withdrawn.

If your teen suddenly adopts a new group of friends, this could mean that drugs are the reason. Your teen may also begin to have problems at school. For example, a teen addicted to substances may miss classes or stop going to school altogether. They also start to eat or sleep too much or too little. Another telltale sign is when your teen uses slang terms to describe drugs. When you suspect drug abuse, you must address the issue as soon as possible. You can enlist the help of your teen’s guidance counselor, your primary care physician, or the Long Island Treatment Center to stage an intervention.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction.

It can be harder to see an alcohol addiction in what is known as a “functional alcoholic,” but the longer that the addiction goes on, the signs will be easier for you to see. Chronic alcohol abuse has several well-known characters, and these include shakiness, memory loss, and blackouts.

A person with a severe alcohol use disorder will also experience withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and nausea, but some symptoms can be serious. One of those is a condition known as “delirium tremens.” This is characterized by seizures that can be deadly. Because these symptoms are so dangerous, your loved one must enter the Long Island Treatment Center before they can withdraw from alcohol.

Other Symptoms of an Addiction to Alcohol.

If your loved one is addicted to alcohol, they may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Your loved one uses alcohol to help him sleep, relieve a bad mood, relax or face problems.
  • Your loved one argues with you and other family members and friends and is irritable, depressed, and experiencing mood swings.
  • Your loved one is drinking alcohol even though it is causing physical, psychological, or other issues.
  • Your loved one strives to drink alone, at unusual times, or when no one else is aware.
  • Your loved one cannot control how much she drinks or how long.

If your loved one does have a substance addiction, she will do everything in her power to make sure that it remains hidden from you. This is the worst thing that can happen because it ensures that your loved one remains embroiled in an alcohol or drug addiction. You must confront your loved one so that you can help her begin to face her addiction and begin to overcome it. Your loved one needs you to help her; ask for the help that she needs. At Long Island Treatment Center, we are ready to accept her on her journey toward sobriety today.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Long Island Treatment Center