12 Nov What are the signs of addiction
HOW DO YOU RECOGNISE ADDICTION IN YOUR CHILDREN OR PARTNERS?
It is very difficult to see someone we love self-destructing with their addiction. We often feel helpless as we watch them make poor choices and we often enable them even though we think we are doing the right thing.
So how do you know if a loved one has an addiction issue if they can’t tell you themselves?
In the book “Loving Our Addicted Daughters Back to Life” by Linda Dahl, she shares the story of her daughter’s addiction, and how her family made it through their crisis. One thing she realized after the fact was that she saw signs of addiction in her daughter, but didn’t really recognize them for what they were.
To help others who suspect their loved ones — especially teens or young adults — that may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, or at risk for addiction, We have put together this checklist of addiction signs and symptoms.
If you recognize more than a few of them in your son or daughter, you may need to take action and get help for your family member.
PHYSICAL SIGNS OF ADDICTION
- Smoking (Does this surprise you? Research consistently links smoking to depression, and depressed young people are more likely to turn to alcohol or other drugs.)
- Red, watery eyes, or heavy use of eye drops
- Shaking hands, feet, or head; lack of coordination, clumsiness, stumbling, or lack of balance
- Puffy face
- Hacking Cough
- Runny nose (not from a cold or allergies)
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Dilated pupils
- Alcohol on the breath, smoke on the breath, bad breath
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sores that don’t heal
- Spots around the mouth
- Needle or track marks
- Excessive talking (motor mouth), hyperactivity, clenched teeth, slurred speech
- Marked increase or decrease in appetite, sudden weight loss or gain
- Burns or soot on fingers or lips
- Messy, careless appearance
- Avoidance of family dinners
- Sleep problems (too little or too much)
- Passing out, seizures
BEHAVIORAL SIGNS OF ADDICTION
- Lower grades, skipping classes, lack of participation; loss of interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies, and sports; complaints from teachers
- Many (or more) arguments with family or friends
- Emotional meltdowns characterized by irrational and inexplicable mood swings, such as being friendly, then angry — sometimes violently so; ADHD, rebelliousness, inability to control impulses, paranoid thoughts, panic attacks
- Depression, anxiety, conduct disorders
- Stealing money; unexplained need for money; disappearance of valuables
- Lying, including asking others to cover for them
- Sudden use of air fresheners, incense
- Car accidents
- Marked withdrawal from family and friends
- Different friends, usually older, and avoids introducing them to you
- Paraphernalia such as pipes, razor blades, vials, baggies, straws, rolling papers, rolled-up money, pill or alcohol bottles hidden in their room, purse or car
- Overheard conversations that raise suspicions
- General lack of responsibility: failure to do school work or chores, flimsy excuses for missed curfews or obligations
- Chronic defensiveness
- Trouble with the law for any reason
- Someone (siblings, neighbours, school officials) trying to tell you they are using drugs or drinking too much
- Thinking that drinking and/or using drugs isn’t that harmful
If you or a family member are experiencing issues with addiction of any kind, please reach out. We would love to chat to you.
We are here to support not judge.
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