Red Flags of Substance And Alcohol Abuse

Every addict has loved ones who want the best for them. Unfortunately, people sometimes stray off the straight and narrow and into the land of addiction. It is difficult to watch and even harder to admit, but the addict has to face this reality for what it is. They need help, and not necessarily from someone who is experienced in this field. Sometimes caring is enough, and there are ways to tell when help is needed when certain signs are shown.

A Difference in Social Circles

One of the first ways an addict or alcoholic changes, when starting their personal and social descent, is switching the type of people they associate with. In retrospect, it makes sense that something was going wrong. People are what people are, naturally, and seldom change social circles unless a career change makes it make sense.

When this isn’t the case, it is important to pay close attention to the new crowd an addict is hanging out with. It is easier to spot bad people than it is to spot a bad change in him or her. Here is where it is necessary to locate certified suboxone doctors because the addiction process typically gets worse from here.

Changes In Physical Attributes

A person addicted to alcohol is very likely to lose weight during their addiction years. How much and how quickly weight is lost will depend on the type of drug and how much and how often it is used. Bodies will react differently in cases like this, with each person going through differing changes as their physical makeups dictate.

If a person is addicted to stimulants, it makes them lose weight most of the time. Some people can abuse substances over the course of multiple years and not lose a pound. But most assuredly, there will be something else that deteriorates with drug usage, like rotting teeth or scabs on arms and legs, for example.

Becoming Aggressive Towards Help

If something like this is noticed, tell them. Ask them if they need anything. If they become aggressive towards that approach, do not take it personally. The drugs are what is making them do that. This is a bad judgment call on their part, but don’t get discouraged. Say what needs to be said, and let them respond the way they will.

They won’t forget the offer of help, though. Kindness stays with people, even if they don’t accept it right away. In the meantime, he or she will continue to make poor choices and judgments with the offer of help in the back of their mind.

Self Caring Is Diminishing

Look for signs of self-neglect. If they used to care about their physical appearance and the way they dress, but then slowly stopped, it could be a sign that they are slipping deeper into addiction. This is one of those things that can be dropped on the side of the road during life’s journey. Some may not see the point anymore, while others may just get lazy about hygiene. Whatever the reason, this is a warning sign that should be taken note of.

Tolerance Level Increases

An addict will be effected by their addiction at different times and on different levels. Self neglect is typically a precursor to the tolerance level rising. They may need more and more of their drug of choice to maintain an altered state of mind. Signs that this is happening include asking for money a lot, calling at odd hours and asking for money without saying it directly, or worse still, stealing and committing crimes to get the money. This is where the addiction is really starting to reach dangerous levels. It is not good when strangers, who are victims of these types of crimes, start to get involved.

A Continuation Of Risk Factors

If in the case that an addict is known well to the person trying to help, sit back and think of his past and their family tree. Is the person continuing with risk factors they were born into and that their lineage had? Single parent homes, isolation, a natural¬†lack of social skills,¬†generational abuse, and a low socio-economic status are all factors that can lead to a life of addiction. Sometimes this isn’t the case, though. Sometimes, all a person needs is an addictive personality to get hooked on something. A relationship, a job, or a hobby are just a few examples. Some people are prone to becoming addicted to whatever satisfies them and makes them feel good.

Altered Sleep Patterns

There are positive addictions, but they typically do not have negative consequences attached to them. Nothing good comes from being addicted to drugs or alcohol. The longer a person is caught in the throes of addiction, the more it will affect the physiology. A lack of sleep or drastic changes in sleep patterns are perhaps the most damaging in the long term.

This takes a toll on the mind as well as the body, and it can take years of being clean to negate the effects it had during the actual short term addiction. This may be the most important thing that should be understood: The addiction may be temporary, and the treatments may be effective, but there will still be work to be done for him or her after the drug is gone.

People say that the only constant is change, and that could not be more true than in the life of an addict. Before an addict began their downward spiral, everything was good. They were loved as a family member, and they reciprocated. 

After coming clean with the help of patience and understanding, they will see those people with a different set of eyes. They should see them as friends. Friendly advice and patience from a loved one to an addict during dark times will stick with them when they are sober. People don’t forget when the sun shines on a cloudy day.

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