Addiction can be a powerful force in the life of an addict and their loved ones. In many cases, family and friends may not be aware anything is wrong until things get out of hand. The following outlines the most common signs someone is struggling with addiction and what you can do as a loved one to get help and proper treatment.
When a responsible, law-abiding person either gradually or suddenly drifts into a life of theft, dishonesty, and crime, it is likely because of addiction or other outside factors. The lack of judgment can also extend to behaviors like risky sexual activity and drunk driving. An affected person may continue the behavior even after brushes with the law and time spent in jail.
One of the hallmarks of addiction is big spending. It requires a large amount of cash each day to keep a drug or alcohol dependence going. An addicted person will often resort to spending beyond their means, which requires them to continuously borrow money from others or turn to a life of crime. Many addicts end up selling everything they own just to stay afloat. If you notice this kind of risky spending behavior, be sure to analyze where it might be stemming from.
Neglect of Responsibilities
When an addiction gets a strong hold, a person will neglect their personal responsibilities in order to use their drug of choice. This includes not going to work, not attending family functions, not paying bills, and not taking care of children. The addiction is the only priority in the person's life, and they will appear indifferent to everything else.
Being an addict usually means a new group of friends. This manifests as a rowdier crowd that hangs out only to drink alcohol or use drugs. As a person slowly lets go of their former life, the more time they will spend with the unhealthy friends. If the person is married, they may find an affair partner who is also an addict.
Addiction can also mean isolation. An introverted personality may not enjoy going to bars or hanging out with loud people and prefer to drink or get high alone. This person may feel ashamed or anxious about their addiction and keep the behavior a secret from loved ones. Isolation is also a sign of depression and indicates the person needs a professional evaluation.
It does not take long for a habit to become an addiction. If a person is engaging in any of the above behaviors, family and friends should consider an intervention. While it is a painful, confrontational step, it may save the person's life.