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Identifying Signs of Addiction in a Loved One

Recovery Centers of America

Authored by Recovery Centers of America

Some Tips from Our Alcohol detox Centers

Do you think one of your loved ones may be suffering from a drug or alcohol problem? Whether it’s alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medications, substance use and abuse can cause a lot of stress and damage to everyone involved.

Identifying signs of a drinking problem or drug use can be a challenge. So, answering the telltale questions isn’t always easy: When does casual drinking cross the line? Are the changes in my loved one caused by drug use?

While nothing can replace a professional’s opinion. Certainly, it is easier to identify signs of addiction if you know what you’re looking for. Therefore, the sooner you recognize a problem, the sooner you can get your loved one the help they need at one of our alcohol detox centers.

How to identify signs of addiction

Addiction affects every part of a person’s life. If you’re concerned about a loved one who may be suffering from a substance use disorder, look for the signs across all aspects of his/her life: psychological, emotional, relational, and physical.


Because drugs and alcohol can take a major toll on a person’s mental functioning. It can damage someone’s ability to think clearly and exhibit good judgement. These psychological effects of addiction can manifest in certain behaviors, which may include the following:

  • Sleep pattern changes
  • Increased confidence or loss of confidence
  • Becoming overly talkative or withdrawn
  • Talk of suicide or self-harm
  • Hallucinations


Emotional volatility is a very common sign of addiction. Erratic, unpredictable, and manic behavior often accompanies drug and alcohol use. A distinct change in your loved one’s emotional demeanor, as well as with these potential signs, may mean he or she has a substance use problem:

  • Crying spells
  • Bouts of hysteria
  • Physical or verbal abuse
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Dejection or loss of interest
  • Defensiveness


Addiction has real consequences for the person affected, but its burden touches everyone around that person, too. If your loved one is suffering from substance use, his or her relationships with others may change. Here are some relational signs your loved one may exhibit:

  • Violent arguments
  • A perception of normal interactions as provocations
  • Difficulty holding conversations
  • A distancing from long-held relationships
  • Isolation
  • Sudden marital problems
  • Constantly asking for money
  • Skipping/missing work or school


The physically damaging effects of alcohol and drug addiction are no secret, but they may be more severe than you imagined. You may notice these physical signs of addiction in your loved one if he or she has a problem:

  • Loss of coordination and stumbling
  • Decline of sexual function
  • Stomach cramps
  • Over or under active
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive sniffing or runny nose
  • Unexplained cuts and bruises
  • Dilated pupils and red eyes

If you notice these signs in your loved one, he or she may be suffering from addiction but there is something you can do.

In the end, the sooner you can recognize the signs of an alcohol or drug problem, the more likely your loved one will achieve a positive outcome. Fortunately, there are also ways to help.

If you believe your loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse, we can help. Call 1-800-RECOVERY today to learn more about our alcohol detox centers.

Authored by

Recovery Centers of America

Recovery Centers of America



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