There is something so powerful that it has the ability to take millions of lives each year, leave people homeless and destitute, and rip families apart at the seams. Addiction is a powerful disease with debilitating and life-long effects. You may have noticed some suspicious changes in a loved one and are concerned. Some symptoms of addiction may be subtle, while others can be very obvious. If your loved one is exhibiting any of the symptoms below, they may be struggling with an addiction.
A physical dependency to a drug does not always mean that an addiction is present but it can mean that the user is not far off from becoming addicted to the substance. Physical dependence often occurs with chronic medication use. The person taking the medication will often develop a tolerance over time and will need more of the medication to achieve the desired results. According to Freedom Treatment Centers, after long-term use of meth, heroin, vicodin, oxycodone, alcohol, and other addictive substances, the body becomes increasingly dependent on drug and alcohol use. This physical dependence causes severe symptoms of withdrawal when users attempt to stop using addictive substances on their own.
You may notice an increase in irritability, anger, depression, poor concentration, or paranoia in someone struggling with addiction. Alta Mira Recovery adds that problems in relationships, legal and financial problems, neglect of responsibilities, social withdrawal, risky behaviors, strange mood swings, and more are the most common behavioral signs of drug abuse. These changes can occur from the psychological effects that drugs and alcohol can have or may be due to the addicted person going through withdrawal.
The physical signs of drug abuse can vary. You may have noticed that personal hygiene is suddenly being neglected or that there are drastic changes in weight. Changes such as this in combination with odd smells, tremors, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes may be an indication of a serious problem. Even more serious physical changes will occur in the presence of an overdose or withdrawal. These situations can involve nausea, vomiting, headaches, insomnia, fatigue, or breathing difficulties.
The primary step in helping a loved one with an addiction is providing your love and support through this difficult time in their life. It may take a DUI arrest which, according to this DUI lawyer, could result in jail time, community service and heavy fines in order to wake your loved one to the reality of their situation and want to change. If they are willing and ready to face their addiction, help them find a treatment center that will place them back on the right track mentally, physically, and spiritually. Some churches have recognized the prevalence of addiction in their congregation and communities and have established spirituality-based addiction support groups.
Addiction is a mental disease that not only affects the addict but everyone around them. It can steal the loved one you once knew so well from you and transform them into someone you hardly recognize. The best way to support someone suffering from addiction is to support them emotionally and spiritually as they face their biggest demons.
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