Researchers estimate that 23.5 million American people are addicted to alcohol or drugs. These statistics also report that 11 percent of the 23.5 million seek treatment. This means that millions of people have untreated alcohol and drug dependency. Drug addiction is common, and you cannot always tell someone is addicted by looking at them. Of the 23.5 million, many of these individuals are employed and have families.
If you are concerned about your family member or loved one, below are hidden signs of drug addiction to be mindful of:
- Running out of prescriptions faster than normal is a sign that your loved ones tolerance to substances have changed. This sign applies to people who may be abusing prescribed narcotics. Prescription abuse is on the rise in the US and with that comes higher rates of dependency and overdose. If you begin noticing that someone continues to refill narcotic prescriptions or seems to run out before the refill is due, this could be a sign of drug abuse.
- Disappearing without explanation is another sign of substance dependency. Your loved one will start to prioritize obtaining their substance of choice. Once substance use has moved from abuse to dependence, drugs become the focus of your loved one’s life. This means that family functions and get-togethers will likely take a back seat to obtaining substances.
- Behavior and mood changes are a good example of signs that occur when someone is dependent on substances. When you bring up your concerns to your loved one they may come across as defensive or even angry. If you begin to notice mood changes, anger, depression or a complete difference to your loved one’s personality, this could be a sign of drug addiction.
- Mismanaging money is not always a sign of addiction. When you begin to notice your loved ones money disappearing, you may want to take notice. If rent and utility bills are unpaid, yet your loved one is able to purchase substances, this is a sign. If your loved one asks family members for money consistently and the money seems to disappear, it may be time to talk to with your loved one about possible drug addiction.
- Appetite and weight changes are a big sign that something is amiss. Certain drugs suppress the appetite which will cause swift weight loss. If you begin to see that your loved one is barely or not eating at all, this may be a sign that your loved one has a chemical dependency.
- Physical symptoms can also be a warning sign of addiction. Does your loved one appear to have a cold all the time? Does your loved one complain of body aches and fatigue? If your loved one seems to be under the weather often, especially when they wake up, this could be a sign that they are experiencing withdrawal symptoms which are indicative of addiction.
If any of these signs sound like your loved one, please talk to an expert and see if treatment is an option for them.
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