It’s not always easy to recognize when someone has a drug addiction, particularly with certain types of drugs. However, if you see several of the following signs in your friend or family member, it may be time to talk to them about an offer for help.
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1: Risky behavior caused by drug use
It might seem obvious to say that drug addiction means risky behavior, but there are certain activities that are definitely signs of an addiction. If your loved one engages in dangerous activities while under the influence, they’re putting their health at risk. Not only is this dangerous to them, but it also puts you and anyone else who may be around them in danger. If they drive while under the influence, they’re not only putting their lives at risk (and yours) but also the lives of everyone on the road.
2: Developing a tolerance
If your loved one needs to take more of the drug they’re using in order to get the same high, this is a clear sign of an addiction. Just like you might need more coffee or caffeine to get through the day, your friend may need more drugs in order to get an effect from them.
3: They like to use alone
Not many people like doing things by themselves – it can be boring and sometimes lonely. However, your friend or family member might choose to do drugs alone more often than you think is normal. This could be because they do not want to share the experience with anyone else, but it could also mean that the drugs are triggering negative reactions in them that they do not want others around them to see.
4: Withdrawal Symptoms
As the addiction progresses, your loved one may begin to feel withdrawal symptoms if they are unable to use their drug of choice. These can include feelings of anxiety or depression, intense cravings for the drug, nausea, and vomiting. For some drugs, it could even cause seizures. If you’ve noticed changes in your loved one’s moods, this might be why.
5: They are trying to quit but can’t
If your loved one has told you that they have tried to stop using their drug of choice before but ended up going back to it, they may have an addiction. It doesn’t mean that beating the addiction is impossible – it just means they might need professional help. You can view more about your options and learn how a rehab clinic could help.
6: They are secretive about their drug use
If your friend or family member is trying to hide the fact that they are using drugs, this could be a worrying sign. They might be buying drugs in secret, denying that they have used it when you confront them and lying about where they’ve been if you ask questions. Many people feel embarrassed about being addicts, so they will try to hide it.
7: They are stealing money or valuables
If your loved one has started stealing items of monetary value in order to obtain their drug of choice, they have a problem. This could be anything from small items that you might not miss – change from your purse or wallet, for example – to larger items like your car or computer. They might also steal money from you, which is a problem since they will need more and more of it in order to get their fix.