When it comes to determining whether your loved one has a problem with alcohol or other drugs, there are physical, behavioral, and psychological warning signs of drug abuse to look out for. And, it may also depend on what substance or substances your loved one is abusing as to which signs they might begin to demonstrate. Here are 12 ways to know your loved one has a problem with alcohol or other drugs.
1.) Personality shift
If your loved one displays a sudden and unexplained shift in their personality, where they just don’t seem like their usual self, this can be an indication that they are struggling with substance abuse issues. Alcohol and other drugs can have a profound effect on brain chemistry and therefore may alter your loved one’s behavior and overall personality.
Your loved has suddenly become irritable, has angry outbursts or laughs or cries for seemingly no reason at all.
If your loved one is secretive about their comings and goings, who they’re spending their time with, and how they’re spending their money (see#4), this can be a solid indication that they are abusing drugs, including alcohol.
4.) Always asking for money
Or you notice that your money, valuables, prescriptions or prescription drugs are going missing, your loved one might be stealing from you. This can be hard to accept, especially if this person has never displayed behavior like this in the past. It’s important to realize that substance abuse and addiction can have such a powerful hold over someone so as to cause them to things they never would do otherwise.
5.) Extreme and rapid weight loss/gain
Depending on what substance or substances your loved one is abusing, they will no doubt at some point lose scads of weight or put on a lot of weight.
6.) Fidgety, scratching a lot (opiates)
Opiates such as prescription painkillers and heroin cause itchiness as a side effect. So, if your loved one is scratching or fidgeting a lot, they could be abusing this class of drugs.
7.) Sniffling a lot, getting lots of colds/ nosebleeds (cocaine possibly meth)
This comes from insufflating drugs. In other words, if your loved one is snorting or sniffing drugs in a powder form – usually cocaine or crystal meth – then they might develop certain problems with their nose and sinuses.
8.) Drinks a lot and lies about it or diminishes how much they’re drinking
A tell-tale sign that your loved one is struggling with a drinking problem is if they are untruthful about their drinking habits.
9.) Drinks alone
Another red flag that your loved one is abusing alcohol is that they are drinking alone and hiding their alcoholic containers – around the house, in the car, etc.
Just as with drinking, if your loved one is lying and deceptive about things – even the “small stuff” – this is a strong indication that they have a drug problem.
11.) Deterioration in personal grooming or physical appearance
Usually as things progress with matters of substance abuse, the person who struggles will start “letting themselves go” by not taking care of even their most basic personal hygiene and needs, such as brushing their teeth and showering.
12.) Impaired coordination,
If you notice that your loved one seems to have a lot of injuries or accidents, or bruises that they don’t seem to know how they got, this, too, can be a strong indication that they are abusing alcohol or other drugs.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.