Admitting to a drug or alcohol addiction is hard and not something that many people readily do. Instead, individuals often go to great lengths to hide their addictions from their loved ones. Unfortunately, being able to hide an addiction often keeps the person in the cycle of abuse longer.
If you believe your loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, looking for these signs can help you determine if it’s time for you to confront him or her. The sooner your loved one can get help, the better the chance he or she has at long-term recovery.
The following are six signs your loved one may be hiding an addiction:
1. They Have Unpredictable Mood Swings
Many drugs and even alcohol can cause a person to go through erratic mood swings. For example, methamphetamine and other stimulants can make a person extremely energetic, hyperactive, and chatty. However, when the drug wears off, the individual will likely be lethargic, irritable, and agitated.
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Outbursts or seemingly random mood changes from one extreme to the other may be a sign that your loved one is dealing with an addiction.
2. They Withdrawal From Friends And Family
People who are abusing drugs or alcohol will often begin to withdraw from friends and family. They may do this to hide their substance abuse or to be able to consume larger amounts of their drug of choice in private. For example, some people who are addicted to alcohol may avoid social settings where their drinking could get out of hand to avoid having other people see them intoxicated.
Someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol may also withdraw from loved ones because he or she has begun to put substances first. This can be confusing and even upsetting for the person’s loved ones, as they are typically in the dark about why a person is withdrawing.
3. They Exhibit Sudden Physical Changes
Individuals who are abusing or addiction to substances may have noticeable physical symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse. As their addiction progresses, these physical signs will likely be more easy to see by others.
Common physical changes that result from substance abuse include:
- weight loss or gain
- extreme lethargy
- pinpoint pupils
- bloodshot eyes
- sores or track marks on the skin
- neglected personal hygiene
- frequent bloody nose
- nasal congestion
Different drugs can cause different physical changes in a person. If you notice drastic physical differences in your loved one that are seemingly out of the blue, it may be a sign that he or she is dealing with addiction.
4. They Experience Financial Trouble Or Property Loss
While many people will experience financial hardship at some point in their lives, individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol often go through sudden and seemingly unexplainable financial difficulties. This is due to a person’s need to continue to obtain drugs or alcohol despite the inability to responsibly pay for them. People who are addicted to substances may choose to buy drugs or alcohol despite their upcoming bills or may sell off their personal property to be able to afford substances.
Additionally, a person struggling with addiction may steal or borrow money from loved ones. They may also steal drugs from friends or family in an attempt to get their next fix.
5. They Experience Withdrawal Symptoms
People who are addicted to substances will likely experience withdrawal symptoms when they are not using drugs or alcohol. They will likely try to hide the symptoms of withdrawal, but many withdrawal symptoms are physical and often noticeable to others.
Common withdrawal symptoms from drugs or alcohol may include:
- excessive sweating
- clammy skin
- mood swings
- changes in appetite
- nausea or vomiting
- sleep problems
- muscle aches and pains
- flu-like symptoms
The more severe the addiction, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms will be.
6. They Hide Substances Or Drug Paraphernalia
Individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol will likely keep a “stash” of their substance of choice hidden. They may hide their drugs or alcohol in their homes or in other places that are within close proximity to them. For example, a person who is addicted to alcohol may keep bottles of liquor in various places throughout the house. While a bottle of wine in the fridge is certainly normal and often not a cause for a concern, various bottles of wine hidden throughout the home is often not normal.
If you notice your loved one sneaking off frequently or suspiciously, he or she may be going to use drugs or alcohol that are hidden out of your sight. Keeping a close eye on your loved one or even looking around his or her home can help shed light on any hidden substances.
Helping Your Loved One Overcome Addiction
Many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol will try to keep their addiction hidden as long as possible. Unfortunately, this often only fuels their addiction and keeps them sick and suffering for months or even years. If you believe your loved one is hiding an addiction, confronting him or her and supporting your loved one on the journey to recovery is the most important thing you can do.
Vertava Health has a number of state-of-the-art treatment facilities throughout the U.S. that can help your loved one overcome addiction. If you would like to learn more about the signs of hidden addiction or the drug and alcohol addiction programs we offer, contact a treatment specialist today.