Addiction is a serious problem that can have long-term and far-reaching consequences in all aspects of a person’s life. Whether you are looking for help for yourself or a loved one, it is critical to recognise the warning signs of addiction so that you can intervene before the problem escalates. Undoubtedly, casual substance use can potentially lead to a substance use disorder or addiction, which most people are unaware of while is even occurring.
While there are several general early warning signs for substance use, each substance affects the body differently and thus manifests in different ways. Here are some signs to look out for if you suspect someone you know has a drug or alcohol problem.
Changes in mood or behaviour
Keep an eye out for sudden changes in mood or behaviour, especially if they seem out of character for the person in question. This can manifest as irritability, aggression, lethargy, isolation or depression. If you notice a loved one withdrawing from social activities or neglecting their appearance, this could be cause for concern.
Physical changes are another common indicator that something is wrong. Signs of a drug user, in particular, may be visible on their skin as rashes, sores, or needle marks. If someone you care about is exhibiting these physical changes, it may be time to confront them about their drug use. Similarly, alcohol use will often lead to changes in weight, appearance, and hygiene. If you notice your loved one is looking unkempt or has lost a significant amount of weight, this could be a sign that they are struggling with addiction.
Performance at work has been negatively affected
If your loved one’s performance at work or school has deteriorated, this could be another sign that they are struggling with addiction. If they are frequently missing deadlines, calling in sick or slacking off on their responsibilities, it may be time to have a talk with them. It’s possible that they’re using drugs or alcohol on the job to deal with the stress of their job or that they’re neglecting their responsibilities because of substance abuse.