Five Signs a Loved One Has Drug Addiction
When you are worried about your loved one’s drug use, it can be hard to know how serious their problem is. People can misuse drugs without being addicted; however, drug misuse can be a precursor to addiction, so it is always best to be armed with the facts.
Addiction may seem scary, but it is treatable. Going into rehab can be a life-saving decision that opens the door to a productive and joyful life of sobriety.
If your loved one is showing any of these signs, we encourage you to
Five Signs of Drug Addiction
There are many indications of drug addiction and abuse. Here are five signs to look out for in a family member or loved one.
Physical changes can be the most noticeable sign of drug addiction or substance use disorder (SUD). When someone has SUD, they often devote most of their time to seeking and using a drug. They may start to neglect their hygiene habits, and sleeping, eating and exercise routines may be forgotten.
This neglect can be visible in weight changes and general overall appearance. They may just look less well put together than usual. Drug and alcohol abuse is associated with malnutrition, which can be evident in weight loss and the condition of skin, nails, and hair. Weight gain can be an issue as well. Drug abuse can also cause changes in skin color, and be responsible for the development of sores on the face and body, dilated pupils, and dental problems.
Changes in Behavior
Drug addiction can affect behavior in many ways. The effects vary depending on the kind of drug and the specific individual. Possible behavioral changes include:
- Losing interest in things that are important to them
- Losing interest in everyday activities and lacking energy
- Becoming depressed and developing a negative outlook on life
- Uncharacteristic mood swings which can be severe
Behavioral changes can be a sign of co-occurring mental health disorders, psychosis, and other serious conditions. In severe cases, these conditions may lead to paranoia, violence, suicidal thoughts, or hallucinations. If you notice this, seek medical support immediately to prevent the person from harming themselves or others.
Co-occurring disorders can develop because of addiction but may also be a driving force behind it. SAMHSA found that almost half of the people with a substance use disorder have an accompanying mental health condition.
At Cirque Lodge, we treat co-occurring disorders alongside addiction as part of our dual-diagnosis program. We offer a holistic healing experience that helps you rebuild yourself, maintain long-term sobriety, and live a joyful life.
We understand that addiction is not a choice, and rehabilitation should not be a punishment. Our residential program is an enriching experience that nurtures personal development.
Changes in Sleep Habits
Misusing drugs can cause erratic daily routines and sleep patterns. Substance users may stay awake all night, sleep at unusual hours, and fall asleep in the middle of conversations.
Stimulant drugs, such as methamphetamines and cocaine, increase wakefulness and alertness. The stimulant high is often short and followed by a sharp crash. To avoid the crash, users often use the substance repeatedly to experience one high after another. However, this results in consuming larger amounts of the drug, which prevents a user from sleeping for days afterward.
Opiates, such as heroin and some prescription painkillers, work by slowing down the brain. Opiates are sedatives that cause feelings of calm, muscle relaxation, and sleepiness. While using opioids makes us feel like we have been to sleep, it decreases the quality.
Opioid use can inhibit REM and non-REM phases of sleep, leading to decreased restfulness and tiredness. It can disrupt sleeping patterns, causing someone to sleep at unusual hours.
Changes in Performance
Drug addiction can quickly dominate people’s lives, and obtaining and using drugs can become a user’s most important priority. Things like schoolwork, employment, and even family get put on the back burner.
Drug abuse can cause users to be late to or miss workdays as they recover from high or repeated doses. Research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that drugs and alcohol cost the United States over $450 billion each year, excluding healthcare costs. Loss of productivity in the workplace is a key contributor to this cost.
Drug addiction may also cause someone to lie or steal from friends and family members to hide or sustain their habits. They can lose their job, leave education, and struggle with other aspects of daily life. The ensuing chaos of drug addiction means it is tough to rebuild while maintaining a habit, meaning that users often slip further and further out of control.
Getting into Trouble
Most drugs are illicit in the United States and can lead to criminal offenses, fines, and imprisonment. An estimated 65% of people in prison are addicted to some kind of drug or alcohol. A further 20% were under the influence of drugs at the time they committed their crime.
Drug abuse and addiction can also lead to medical problems, including overdose. Repeated drug use often leads to tolerance, meaning a user needs higher and higher doses to experience the same effects.
In 2019, nearly 71,000 people died from drug overdoses – it was a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. With the introduction of fentanyl into almost every single illicit drug in America, it is no longer seasoned heroin users at risk. Taking any form of illegal drug is akin to playing Russian roulette.
Drug Addiction Treatment
Drug addiction affects more than just the user. It damages relationships, puts a strain on family life, and affects work and education. If your loved one is struggling with drug use or addiction, you may feel tired, frustrated, and helpless.
However, there is hope. Addiction is treatable, and recovery is possible for anyone. Helping your loved one get treatment is a life-changing decision for the whole family. It is the first step in a journey to a vibrant and productive life free from addiction.
At Cirque Lodge, our individualized treatment program combines a variety of evidence-based treatment approaches to treat the entire person. We offer a holistic healing experience of personal growth and spiritual development that treats any co-occurring disorders alongside addiction.
Cirque Lodge is a family-owned, family-run treatment center. We dedicate our program to the entire family, involving you from beginning to end. We invite your family to our treatment facilities for Family Week to participate in our treatment program.
Our exclusive high-end rehab center offers the care, comfort, and support your loved one needs to focus on their recovery and overcome addiction.
Making an Intervention
If you recognize any of the above signs and symptoms of drug addiction or abuse, your loved one may be struggling with a substance use disorder. If you are in any doubt, please contact us at Cirque Lodge. Our medically trained team is available to answer any questions you may have and offer free and confidential advice.
If your loved one does need drug addiction treatment but is reluctant to accept it, you may need to stage an intervention. An intervention is a planned process where you talk to your loved one about the consequences of their addiction and ask them to accept treatment. It usually involves advice from a doctor or other licenced professional, such as a counselor or interventionist.