Even though substance abuse programs have come quite far in the last few years, addiction rates continue to skyrocket. Recent studies have found that nearly 25 million Americans over the age of 12 are currently addicted to drugs or alcohol. Here is a look at some of the signs your loved one might be struggling with an addiction and what you can do to help them.
Unusual Changes in Their Daily Habits
Just because a loved one changes their daily habits does not necessarily mean they are an addict, but it is something you should keep an eye on. When an addiction begins to take over one’s life, they will typically change their sleeping habits or leave the house at weird times. They might also become more secretive about certain aspects of their life and act suspicious if anyone tries to pry into their business.
They Have Lost Interest in Things They Used to Love
Addictions usually develop over the course of a few stages. In the initial stages, the addict might still be able to function relatively well and continue doing the hobbies and activities they once loved. Over time, however, an addiction will become the most important part of their life. Most addicts will lose interest in sports, old friends, and any social activities that don’t involve substance abuse. When this takes place, consider enlisting professional help immediately.
Ongoing legal troubles are another common sign that something unusual is going on below the surface of one’s life. Many addicts will begin to drive under the influence or act disorderly in public. They might also be caught doing illegal activities in order to fund their addictions.
Their Relationships Are Falling Apart
Those who are closest to an addict will most likely be the first to recognize changes in their personality. High-functioning addicts might be able to maintain some semblance of a healthy relationship, but that will almost always change over time. That being said, not all addicts are going to become violent or abusive. In many cases, they simply stop caring about their spouse, siblings, parents, friends, and children.
When it comes to substance abuse, you must take immediate action. This includes speaking with medical and legal professionals who can protect your loved one’s health and future.