10 Signs of Drug Addiction in A Friend or Loved One

It can be very difficult to admit yourself and others that you have an addiction. Also, if you are a family member, or loved one of an addicted person, or potentially addicted person it is important to recognize if addiction is present so you can get them the help they need. The problem is if you have never been an addict yourself you may not recognize the signs of addiction. So to be a blessing to potential addicts, and their families here are ten warning signs of addiction.

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1.Addiction can Cause Changes in Physical Appearance

Drug and alcohol use will have a recognizable impact on an addicted person’s body. Physical symptoms of substance abuse include:

  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Development of unusual sores on the body
  • Bruises and/or cuts
  • Burns, particularly those on hands or face
  • Facial redness or irritated skin
  • Frequently irritated eyes
  • Development of tooth decays or gum problems
  • Strange smells on clothing

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2.Sudden Health Problems

Common health-related symptoms that can arise from substance abuse are:

  • Unexplained exhaustion/tiredness
  • Irregular sleeping patterns
  • Recurrent nosebleeds
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Cottonmouth (excessively feeling thirsty all the time)
  • Constant sickness

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3.Unexplained Personality Changes

It’s natural for personality changes to occur during formative years, life stage changes, and during times of increased stressed, but sudden unexplainable changes in behavior may indicate addiction. Some of this include:

  • Sudden lack of motivation
  • Loss of consciousness or inhibitions
  • Boisterous, loud behavior
  • Out of character withdrawal, overexcitement, or hyperactivity

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4.Spiritual Decline

Addiction is symptomatic of deeper spiritual problems. This can be seen when the user begins to:

  • Evidences less desire for spiritual activity: church attendance, bible reading, prayer
  • Avoidance spiritual mentors, authority figures
  • Consumed with current situations with no vision for the future
  • Feel walk with God is stale and no longer full of joy and power.
  • Decreasing desire for bettering the kingdom of God or encouraging fellow believers.

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5.Mental/Emotional Instability

Depressants and stimulants have a distinct impact on the emotions. That’s why drugs and alcohol can often activate:

  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulties in managing anger
  • Hear voices
  • Perform actions driven by paranoia
  • Act compulsively
  • Lose their ability to concentrate or focus

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6.Changes at School/Work

At school/work, the following are addiction red-flags:

  • Lateness
  • Unexplained absences
  • Problems and complaints reported by peers, employers, and/or teachers
  • Distinct drops in performance levels

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7.Changes at Home

Around the house, the following are addiction red-flags:

  • Locked doors
  • Unexplainable financial transactions, missing money
  • Excessive use of perfumes or air fresheners/odor-neutralizers
  • Missing prescription medications, alcoholic beverages, household cleaners and other products

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8.Unusual Activities

Substance abuse often becomes the sole focus of life for addicts, overshadowing the activities that use to bring them happiness. Changes that should cause concern are:

  • Lost interest in most or all of their favorite activities
  • Breaking promises or making excuses (uncharacteristically)
  • Disappearances

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9.Change in Possessions

Addiction often causes a person to lose sight of everything else. When looking at their living space or what they hold dear, be concerned if you notice that someone is:

  • Selling personal items for cash
  • Stealing
  • In possession of pipes or improvised drug apparatuses, or any seeming drug paraphernalia

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10.Changes in Relationships

Things to look out for where relationships are concerned:

  • New friends they don’t want you to meet
  • An abrupt breaking off long-term ties with their friends and family members

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Do you need help finding recovery for you or a loved one, the good news is that recovery is available. God loves you and wants you to be totally free from your addiction. RU Recovery Ministries offers multiple tools for addiction including our Personal Recovery Kit.

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