If someone close to you is struggling with addiction, you must understand the common signs of substance abuse and how addiction can negatively impact your relationship. Taking the time to learn more about this will ensure you’re prepared to intervene if necessary and protect your significant other, yourself, and your relationship.
These changes develop over time, so they’re not always easy to identify depending on the progression of the addiction. If ignored for too long, these changes may have a negative impact on your significant other, you, and your relationship with each other. If you start to notice these symptoms, it is important to seek professional treatment as soon as possible.
Signs Your Loved One Is Struggling with Addiction
At some point, you might begin to notice a change in a loved one’s behavior. To help you identify these changes early on, take a look at the following list of typical addict behavior in relationships
- Excessive substance use
- Manipulative behavior
- Lying, hiding, and irritability
- Isolation and secretive behavior
- Changes in appearance
- Sudden changes in mood or behavior
- Withdrawal from friends or family
- Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Neglecting work or school obligations
- Unusual financial activity
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
As time passes and the addiction becomes stronger, you will notice more and more changes in behavior. Once you notice one of these signs, it is important to get help from a recovery center in order to prevent further changes. An addiction treatment program can help your loved one begin the road to recovery with a strong foundation.
Excessive Substance Use
An individual who is struggling with addiction will continue to use substances while trying to keep up with their family or work obligations. Many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol end up experiencing unemployment, divorce, and legal trouble. Your relationship may be in danger as a result of addiction. It can be extremely difficult to understand how a person could choose a substance over people who love them.
The answer is that addiction is a disease. Changes in the brain that result from substance use make it nearly impossible for your loved one to stop using drugs or alcohol. A professional treatment program will give them the best chance at overcoming this disease and achieving sustainable recovery.
People who suffer from addiction may try to manipulate you into doing things you wouldn’t normally do. You may not even realize you are being manipulated at first, especially when you have known this person for a long time. It may start out as lending money for gas or food. It may then progress to lending money for bigger expenses, like medical bills or rent.
It is hard to stop enabling someone you love because you care for them and do not like to see them suffer. If you notice that someone you care for is trying to manipulate or take advantage of you, make sure to find professional care. Family therapy can help your family heal from the effects of addiction by creating a safe environment to address the problems it has caused.
Lying, Hiding, and Irritability
Of all the changes you might notice, the first typical addict behavior in relationships you’ll notice is lying. Trust is at the foundation of every relationship. Lying violates the trust you share and, in turn, harms your relationship. a loved one will likely be hesitant to lie at first because he or she knows it’s a violation of your relationship, but lying will become easier for them over time if you ignore it.
If you get to the point where you confront a loved one about their addiction, he or she may not believe you are right and resort to excuses or arguments that dismiss the idea of addiction. At this point, you may notice a loved one is irritable. This may be a reflection that a loved one doesn’t want to lie or that a loved one is experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Isolation and Secretive Behavior
If you notice a loved one has become more distant, it may be a sign he or she has withdrawn from you in order to avoid confrontation. If your loved one has started to spend time with new friends, is unavailable for long periods of time, or seems to suddenly want space, they might be struggling with addiction.
A Change in Personal Presentation
As an addiction claims the focus of a loved one, you may notice a change in their appearance and environment. A loved one may become less concerned about the cleanliness of the house, the car, or the laundry. If ignored, this change may impact their personal appearance. People experience changes like this for a variety of reasons, including family-related stress, stress at work, or financial hardships. Before making any presumptions about addiction, it is important to have a conversation with this person.
Sudden Changes in Mood or Behavior
One of the first addict behaviors you might notice is a sudden change in mood or behavior. This can include everything from being more agitated or agitated to becoming withdrawn and depressed. If you’re noticing these changes, it’s important to talk to a loved one about what’s going on.
Substance use can cause someone suffering from addiction to experience mood swings. If a loved one is normally even-tempered and you notice them becoming more short-fused, it could be a sign of a problem. If you are worried about the behavior of someone close to you, talk to them about it.
Withdrawal From Friends or Family
Another common addict behavior is withdrawal from friends and family. Addicts often isolate themselves as their addiction takes hold. This means they may stop hanging out with friends, skip family gatherings, or cancel plans at the last minute. If you’re noticing a loved one pulling away, it’s important to have a conversation about what’s going on.
Loss of Interest in Hobbies or Activities
If a loved one suddenly stops taking part in activities they once enjoyed, it may be a sign of addiction. This is because addicts often lose interest in things they used to enjoy as their addiction takes over. Addicts often withdraw from activities and people they used to enjoy. They may stop going out with friends or participating in hobbies. This is because their addiction takes up all their time and energy.
If you notice a loved one withdrawing from you or from activities they used to enjoy, it could be a sign of addictive behavior. If you notice a loved one isn’t interested in activities they used to love, it’s important to have a conversation about what’s going on. Talk to them about it and see if they are willing to open up to you.
Changes in Sleeping or Eating Habits
Another common addict behavior change would be in sleeping or eating habits. Addicts may start sleeping more or less than usual. They may also lose or gain weight unexpectedly. If you notice any changes in a loved one’s sleeping or eating habits, it’s important to talk to them about what is going on.
Unusual Financial Activity
Another sign of addict behavior is unusual financial activity. Addicts may start spending more money than usual or begin to neglect their bills. If you notice a loved one’s financial situation changing, it’s important to ask them about it.
Poor Work Performance
Addicts may also start to experience problems at work. They may call in sick more often or have difficulty meeting deadlines. If you notice a loved one’s work performance slipping, it’s important to talk to them about it.
Decreased Participation in Family and Social Activities
Addicts may start to withdraw from family and social activities. They may stop going to the gym or miss important events. If you notice a loved one withdrawing from their usual activities, it’s important to ask them why.
If you notice any of these changes in a loved one’s behavior, it’s important to talk to them about it. Addicts often deny that they have a problem, so it’s up to you to bring it up. If a loved one is unwilling to get help, you may need to consider ending the relationship.
Increased Use of Alcohol or Drugs
The first and most obvious sign of addiction is the increased use of alcohol or drugs. If a loved one is using drugs or alcohol more frequently or in a greater quantity than they used to, it is a sure sign of addictive behavior.
They may start using substances more often or in larger quantities. They may also start using it at unusual times, such as first thing in the morning or at work. If you notice a loved one’s use increasing, take action immediately.
Reach Out to Westwind Recovery® Today
It is imperative you seek professional help from a counselor who specializes in addiction. They can help you or a loved one learn more about treatment. Treatment ranges from intervention to inpatient or outpatient treatment programs to sober living support groups. Here at Westwind Recovery®, we offer comprehensive addiction treatment programs in Los Angeles. Contact us today to connect with a team member and learn more about our treatment options.
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.