Is Someone Hiding Their Addiction From You?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

One of the most frightening aspects of caring for someone who abuses drugs is the knowledge that their life is constantly in danger. If only they could magically come to a realization of the self-inflicted danger and find freedom from this constant struggle. The problem is that for an addict, stopping the use of drugs and their long-term dangerous effects is not just an issue of will power. Addicts are physically, and psychologically dependent on the one substance that threatens them on a daily basis. This intense need and all the ramifications that come with it is something that an addict will not only hide from their family and friends, they may even convince themselves that a problem doesn’t exist.

The first thing to remember is that an addict does not have to hit the proverbial “rock bottom” to recover. In fact, the earlier an addict begins the process of recovery and sobriety the better. The longer the dependency the deeper the dependence and the more difficult it is to treat.

So if there is someone in your life who you believe is either already addicted or on the slippery path toward addiction and substance abuse, but you are not sure, here are some things to be on the lookout for. If you believe someone you love is struggling with addiction, the best thing to do is open communication with them and allow them to talk about it. Addiction is a leading cause of death in America, and your care for their life might actually save it.

Possible Signs of Addiction:

Appetite changes
This could be either drastic gain or loss, as some drugs cause people to want to eat more and others suppress appetite and even increase metabolism.

Eye changes
Many substances will be seen in a person’s eyes. They might be bloodshot or there could be dilation or retraction of the pupils.

Change in friends
People addicted to drugs often spend time with others with similar habits. It could be old friends returning to a person’s life or new relationships with others who are also addicted to substances.

Missing money
Financial problems are telltale addiction sign. Money or valuables may go missing from your house. There may be credit problems piling up or constant requests to borrow money.

School or work problems
Often a disinterest in keeping up with life responsibilities occurs in the attitude of an addict. This will result in multiple problems in school or work, but look for more than average amounts of time skipping out.

Regression of appearance and grooming
Along with a disinterest in responsibilities, there will be a lack of interest in how an addict looks.

Other physical signs
Needle marks, nosebleeds, chronic sniffling, poor coordination, slurred speech are all indications of drug use.

What to do?

If you believe your love one is struggling with addiction, now is the time to confront them. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. It’s not a good idea to begin this conversation while they are drunk or high; wait until they are clear headed. There is no perfect way to bring up addiction, so go in with a loving heart and remember that an addiction does not make a person bad. You are not trying to criticize or place blame; you are trying to save a life.

At First Steps Recovery, we never give up on residents. The best place to start is to call us today. We want to help you find the best solution for you and the person you care about, even if it means giving you all the information you need about the First Steps process and facilities. To find out more, call us today: 1-844-BIG-STEP (1-844-489-0836).

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