Are you worried that your loved one might have an addiction to alcohol or drugs?
Maybe you want to confront them about your suspicions, but you fear that if you do, it could damage your relationship with them.
This is an all too familiar relationship that many people face. Coming to terms with your loved one having a chemical dependency can be an extremely emotional and terrifying situation.
However, the most important thing to realize is that if your loved one is suffering from an addiction, there is help available. But, you first need to look out for the signs.
Read on to learn five signs your loved one is suffering from chemical dependency.
1. Change in Attitude
You know the moods and personality of your loved one probably better than anyone else.
If you notice a change in their general attitude, this may be a sign they’re suffering from addiction.
Oftentimes, a once positive person will become moody and agitated. Or, they may act depressed or no longer show interest in things they used to care about.
Also, especially if they’re younger, there’s a good chance they’ll start defying authority and purposefully getting in trouble.
2. Change in Behavior
When someone is chemically dependent, their dependence becomes their priority. It often encompasses them to the point that they no longer have time to engage in activities they once loved.
Not only that, they have likely lost interest in previous hobbies, as they feel feeding their addiction is all that matters anymore.
For example, someone who was once active and loved the outdoors may become lazy. Someone who used to be incredibly social may become withdrawn. Or, someone may trade in old friends for new ones who also use the same substances.
3. Increased Secrecy
Is your loved one constantly changing their stories about where they’ve been? Or are they hesitant to talk about their plans? Or are details about their life just not adding up?
If so, this could be a sign they’ve developed a chemical dependency. Because they’re engaging in illegal activity, addicts often feel the need to be super secretive about their life.
4. Withdrawal Effects
Depending on what type of substance they’re abusing, the physical effects of addiction are going to manifest in different ways.
However, there are some general physical changes that are common during withdrawal with nearly every type of substance. These include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Trembling limbs
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
Depending on the substance and the level of addiction, withdrawal symptoms can be more than just uncomfortable. For some, they can be fatal. Therefore, if you suspect your loved one is experiencing withdrawal symptoms, it’s vital that you make sure they get medical attention.
5. Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences
Maybe your loved one has made it apparent they’re using already or maybe you have already confronted them about your suspicions.
Their behavior after they’ve been “outed” can often help clue you into whether they’re truly dependent.
Oftentimes, someone who’s addicted will become angry or resentful when confronted. They will continue to use despite negative consequences such as loss of friendships, getting fired from work, or increasing financial issues.
What to Do Next for a Loved One with a Chemical Dependency
If all or some of the above seem all too familiar, it’s time to take action.
However, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Check out this article to find out where you can take a chemically dependent loved one for help.