How to Tell If Your Loved One is Struggling with Addiction?

Substance abuse has many signs and symptoms but can sometimes be confused with typical young adult behavior. Side effects of addiction can also indicate issues with other health issues such as depression and levels of high anxiety. Make sure to ask you loved ones if they have been offered or involved with drugs and alcohol. There may be a larger issue in addiction to addiction.

The 10 Warning Signs

• Common Health Problems
Health issues that arise from drug and alcohol abuse include nosebleeds, memory loss, constant thirst, headaches, vomiting, exhaustion, tiredness, odd sleeping habits, and constant sickness.
• A Change in Personality
It is a natural process for one’s personality to change during growth periods, especially with young adults who develop more at this time. It is important to make sure that you loved one’s behavior is not out of character and is based on maturing. If you think that your loved one is having unexplained personality changes such as overexcitement, lack of motivation, a lack of attention, hyperactivity, and losing inhibitions, they may be suffering from addiction.
• Unstable Emotions
For some, drugs and alcohol can act as a way to escape unknown psychological health issues such as depression and anxiety. The correct way to improve health problems like mood swings and anger, your loved one may need depressants and stimulants, which can be consulted and provided by a professional.
• Alcohol and Drug Abuse
There are normally physical side effects of drug and alcohol abuse such as irritated eyes, unexplained weight loss or weight gain, the smelling of clothes, oral complications such as tooth decay or gum disease, irritated skin, burn marks on the skin, bruises, cuts, and odd sores on the body.
• Changes at Home
If you notice that your prescription medication is running low, missing household cleaners, and your alcohol cabinet is all of a sudden empty, then a loved one may be suffering from addiction. Other items in the house such as air fresheners, perfume, odor neutralizers should also be monitored.
• Instability
Alcohol and drug abuse can cause a person to behave compulsively, lose their ability to focus and/or concentrate, hear voices, and perform sporadic acts due to paranoia.
• Odd Changes in Possessions
Be wary of large amounts of cash lying around, changes within living space, and items that seem out of character due to stealing.
• Relationship Changes
A common reason that young adults start abusing drugs and alcohol are new friends. Make sure to be aware of friends that are constantly involved in your loved one’s life, but have not met. Separations from long-time friends and severed ties with the family can also be signs of addiction.
• Difficulties at School
Reports and phone calls from school authorities involving tardiness, unexcused absences, and grade drops can be the result of addiction.
• Activities
Substance abuse is often the highlight of life for addicts, overpowering their previous hobbies. Changes that warrant attention include disappearances, making excuses, breaking promises, and lost interest in most or all of their favorite activities.
Sources: CDC, The Partnership for a Drug Free America

If a friend or a loved one is showing one or more of these warning signs, then they may be struggling wih addiction. Contact Sober Living Rehab today, and we can provide you with information in regards to the addiction recovery programs that we have to offer.

Still Unsure? Here are More Signs to tell if Your Loved One is Struggling with Substance Abuse:

• Do they take higher dosages of a drug for a longer period of time to get the same effects as previous times of abuse?
• Do they continue to use drugs and alcohol even in dangerous situations?
• Has your loved one shown signs of withdrawals that can only be cured by substance abuse?
• Do they continue to abuse substances even when relationships are being demolished?
• Has your loved one had a hard time managing responsibilities due to substance abuse?
• Do they reject social events due to drugs and alcohol?
• Do they continue to abuse drugs and alcohol even though they know they have other health issues? Does your loved one know they have co-occurring health complications? Do you know if your loved one is suffer from co-occurring health problems?
• Does your loved one show signs of cravings for drugs and alcohol?
• Has your loved one expressed to you their want or need to quit, but can’t?
If you have answered yes to any other questions, call Sober Living Drug Rehab and we can help you loved one find peace, happiness, and sobriety within an addiction treatment program.  

The New DSM-5 Substance Use Disorder

In May of 2013, the DSM-5 was released and is the most current version of the DSM Substance Use Disorder. In this new and updates version, the DSM combines both Substance Dependence and Substance abuse.  
In order to see if a client can be diagnosed with Substance use Disorder, they must meet 2 out of 11 points of criteria. If a client’s meets 2-3 of the criteria, they have a mild case. If the client meets 4-5, their diagnosis in moderate. If the client showed anywhere between 6 and 7 of the criteria then their Substance Use Disorder is severe (APA, 2013). The criteria listed below is similar to that of the DSM-IV.

Diagnostic Criteria:

• Despite negative personal consequences, individual continues to abuse drugs and alcohol
• The individual is unable to complete obligations related to work, school, or home life
• Individual continues to abuse substances even in hazardous conditions
• The individual still continues to abuse substances despite problems caused by drug and alcohol abuse
• Individual experiences tolerance resulting in higher dosages or amounts of substances
• Individual experiences withdrawals
• The individual shows the desire to quit but is unsuccessful
• The individual spends lots of time obtaining, using, or recovering from substance abuse
• Stopping or lessening important social, occupational, or recreational activities due to drug use
• Consistent use of drugs despite acknowledgment of persistent or recurrent psychological or physical difficulties from using drugs
• Having cravings or a strong desire to use drugs