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10 Sure Signs Your Son or Daughter is Addicted to Drugs

By Jenny Hunt, Palm Partners Recovery Center

January 23, 2012

It may be hard to determine if your son or daughter is addicted to drugs, especially if they are hiding it from you. However, there are some sure signs of drug abuse and addiction.

1.)    Neglecting or ignoring responsibilities at school, work, or home. This is one of the first signs of drug addiction (i.e. bad grades, skipping work, neglecting chores.)

2.)    Extreme mood fluctuations. People that are addicted to drugs often don’t take care of themselves physically. They are often sick and tired and they can experience extreme mood fluctuations.  Angry outbursts, lethargic demeanor, and emotional instability are common.

3.)    Using under dangerous conditions. People that are addicted to drugs rarely think about the consequences of their using. They often take risks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Common risks taken while under the influence of drugs or alcohol include driving while intoxicated, stealing, and having unprotected sex.

4.)    Problems in relationships. Often when people become addicted to drugs and alcohol, they experience a negative impact on their existing relationships. It is difficult for an active drug addict or alcoholic to maintain relationships with people who do not use or drink. You may notice your child is hanging out with a different group of friends, gets in fights with family members, or has arguments with his or her boss or coworkers.

5.)    Unsuccessful attempts to quit. It is often impossible for a drug addict or alcoholic to quit on their own. If a person addicted to drugs or alcohol does manage to stop using or drinking on their own, they often cannot stay stopped.

6.)    Changes in social life. Often a person addicted to drugs or alcohol will avoid social events that take place at sober venues or will sneak drugs or alcohol into an otherwise sober environment. As the addiction progresses, a person addicted to drugs or alcohol will spend more and more time alone. Also, you may notice that your loved one has abandoned or quit activities that they used to enjoy.

7.)    Physical signs of drug or alcohol use.  Often one of the most noticeable signs that a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol are the physical signs of intoxication or withdrawal. You may notice that your son or daughter has bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, or impaired motor coordination. Also, changing appetites or sudden weight loss or gain can be a sign that your child is addicted to drugs. Unusual sleep patterns, tremors, and a deteriorated physical appearance are often indications of alcohol or drug addiction.

8.)    Financial problems. Alcohol and drug addiction can be an expensive habit. Often a drug addict or alcoholic will neglect their finances because the drug or alcohol will come first. Bills often go unpaid and credit cards become maxed out.

9.)    Legal consequences. Commonly, a person addicted to drugs or alcohol will experience legal consequences as a result of their use such as arrests for drunk and disorderly conduct, DUI/DWI, and drug possession.

10.) Focus on obtaining the drug no matter what. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the need to get and use the drug eclipses all rational thought. A drug addict or alcoholic may lie or steal to get the money needed obtain drugs or alcohol or hang out with people they don’t like in order to acquire them. Frequently, a person addicted to drugs or alcohol will do things they would never ordinarily do to get drugs or alcohol when they run out.

If your loved one is in need of addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.

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