7 Ways That You Can Detect An Addict
Unfortunately, addiction has become a more and more common issue in our society. I’m sure there isn’t one of us out there who haven’t been affected by the issue of addiction or know someone who has. However, addicts have been said to be masters at hiding their addictions and it is an absolutely awful thing to assume someone is an addict if they are not. For example, shaky hands is typically a symptom of addiction. However, people with anxiety or blood sugar issues also suffer from the same symptom.
Becoming aware of the signs and behaviors that are typically associated with addiction issues can help determine whether there is an issue. If you are concerned that someone you know or love may have a substance abuse problem, below are 7 key signs that someone may have an addiction issue.
1. Frequent Illness for Vague Reasons
No matter if a person is addicted to any type of drug or alcohol, the most common sign is the shaking of hands or having mild mini-tremors in the limbs. Please note, that as mentioned above, this symptom alone does NOT mean someone has an issue. There are many, many other reasons that a person could have these symptoms. However, when combined with a variety of the additional symptoms below, it is the most obvious initial indicator of a substance abuse issue.
Shaking hands is one of the first signs of withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. Basically, alcohol and drugs change the way the nervous system works by reducing activity in the brain. The brain becomes accustomed to a repressed brain activity and when someone stops drinking or doing a drug, the brain becomes hyperactive, which leads to shaking or mild tremors.
2. Unexpected Decrease in Grades or Work Performance
When someone is abusing drugs or alcohol, it slowly becomes their main focus in life. For example, someone who used to take joy and pride in their job will be counting down the hours until they can leave the office to abuse drugs or alcohol. It will be noticeable by not only you that someone’s work or school performance is slacking. Typically they will show up late and start missing deadlines. An addict will typically make excuses for their tardiness or missed deadlines. However, a sub-symptom is that they won’t use thinly veiled excuses, but will rather lean toward making over-the-top reasons that they were late.
3. Physical Symptoms
Physical symptoms are inevitable no matter what substance a person is abusing. Symptoms such as red or glassy eyes, sweating in normal temperatures (especially around the hairline and chest area), and unexplained bruising are all signs of an issue with addiction.
4. Decreased social life
As addiction progresses, social life will feel like more and more of a burden to an addict. The thought of going out with friends will fall short of enjoying their addiction alone or with a new group of friends who share similar addicts.
5. Neglecting Appearance
The neglect of appearance is something that is a strong indicator that there is something wrong. Again, this could be something as simple as going through a break-up. However, when combined with other factors, it can be an indicator of an addiction. People with an addiction typically will be tired in the mornings from overuse the night before. They will likely appear unkempt. Women who once styled their hair may begin showing up with a ruffled ponytail. Men who once appeared polished may show up with wrinkled shirts or stained clothes.
6. Sudden, Often Dramatic, Emotional Changes
People who are dealing with substance abuse have highly altered chemical and nervous systems. Because of that, they will experience emotion almost as if they are in an altered state. Things, like making inappropriate comments, lashing out, or experiencing a sense of sadness at the drop of a hat, are often one of the symptoms of a substance abuse issue.
7. Loss of interest in Things They Used to Enjoy
Addiction takes over every element of a person’s life, becoming the first priority. An addict will begin to lose interest in things that once made them happy. Typical behavior entails dropping out of sports groups, leaving networking events, missing important occasions in their social circles.