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Recognizing Alcohol and Drug Abuse in a Loved One

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When a loved one struggles with substance abuse, it can be difficult to know what to do. Getting help is crucial, but it’s also important to be sure of the signs. By recognizing the signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse in a loved one, you can offer the right resources to allow them to get their lives back on track.

Lots of Secrecy and Evasion

One of the biggest signs that a loved one is struggling with substance abuse is an increase in secrecy and evasion. They might, for instance, stop telling the truth about how they spend their time or who they are socializing with. Many people who struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol may protect their phones and computers, ensuring that no friends or family members can see text messages or emails. They may withdraw from social settings, preferring to leave the house or spend time on their own in favor of their typical pastimes.

Rapid Mood Swings and Emotional Sensitivity

Alcohol and drug abuse can also be responsible for rapid mood swings. Although changing moods are not a sole indicator of addiction, the two are certainly linked. Addiction can create a whole range of emotions such as shame, guilt, and depression, making it difficult for people to hide these feelings. Loved ones might also display increased sensitivity to comments or reactions from colleagues and friends.

Sudden Changes in Weight or Appearance

Increasing reliance on drugs or alcohol can often cause substantial appearance changes. A man who normally is trim, for instance, might begin to carry some extra weight, as well as a consistently red face. A woman may begin to lose weight quickly and stop dressing in the same manner she used to. Being aware of physical and appearance changes can make it easier to identify when a loved one is struggling with addiction.

Financial Problems

Substance abuse can cause an array of financial problems, so it’s not unusual for addiction to become a monetary concern. You may notice that your loved one is no longer spending money in the same way, or they might be downgrading some aspects of their lifestyle in order to afford drugs or alcohol. In addition, it’s challenging to hold down a job while battling a substance abuse addiction.

Memory Loss

Abusing drugs or alcohol can make individuals forget entire chunks of time. If your loved one is constantly forgetting things or blaming memory loss for mistakes, then it may point to substance abuse. Recognizing alcohol and drug abuse in a loved one is the first step to getting them help. Call 866-957-4960 to contact Stepping Stone Center for Recovery, where individuals can get the necessary treatment to battle addiction and embrace a healthy, fulfilling and sober life.


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