It’s hard to admit you have an addiction or to voice your concerns to a friend or family member you suspect has an addiction. But addiction is an extremely serious condition affecting mental, physical, and emotional health and should be addressed immediately. One of the difficulties of identifying addiction early is that it doesn’t always present itself openly. It can occur through a gradual, subtle process until it’s suddenly too late. However, there are physical and behavioral signs you can look for to determine if addiction is present.
Changes in Appearance
Addicts focus most of their attention on satisfying their addiction, which often causes them to neglect their appearance. They might look malnourished, such as having significantly paler skin, skin blemishes, or bloodshot eyes. Another red flag is if they’ve lost a lot of weight very rapidly. They also might have stopped washing regularly—sometimes for days or weeks at a time—or keep wearing the same clothes.
Addiction affects the way people think and act. It can be a radical change under the influence of a substance—a gentle person might suddenly become aggressive—or a shift in their overall behavior. They may act secretive or suspicious and try to hide their addiction, especially if they think they’ve been “caught.” Other significant signs of addiction are withdrawal from social circles like family and close friends, and loss of interest in activities or hobbies they normally enjoy.
Risky & Neglectful Behavior
Because addicts are driven to satisfy their addiction, they can become willing to engage in behavior that puts themselves and others at risk in order to fulfill their craving. This change often reflects itself in their financial situation. They might stop buying necessities like groceries or paying their bills so they can buy more of what they’re hooked on, or resort to stealing to get it. Addicts might also neglect common responsibilities, like showing up at work or school or taking care of their children.
When You See the Signs, Take Action
It’s normal for addicts to attempt to hide their addiction, including refusing to admit it to themselves. But when you recognize telltale signs like those mentioned above, the time to act on it is “now.” You owe it to the ones you care about, and you owe it to yourself.
Admitting addiction doesn’t make the actual road to recovery any easier, but it’s a critical first step to take. Ridgeview Ranch’s highly trained and compassionate staff will do all they can to see that you complete the journey and regain a sober and healthy life. Contact us today at 877-526-7706 or use our convenient contact form to take the next steps.