How to spot addiction in a loved one
As much as some people try to sweep it under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist, addiction can strike anyone at any time. Addictions are very harmful for both the addict and their families; it's not just the addict's problem. Even if you never thought your loved one could become an addict, they can still be affected. Here, you will learn some of the signs of addiction so you can spot it in your loved one.
*Increase or decrease in energy. This can often be a dead giveaway. When someone who never had that much energy suddenly starts zipping all over the place, then there is likely an issue. Unless the person has been exercising and eating right, they are likely using a drug that increases energy. Some of these "uppers" include Adderall, meth, cocaine, and its derivative, crack. These cause jitters and hyperactivity, and users may get the shakes or look around quite a bit (paranoia). It can be hard to spot a cocaine user; the only major physical change is droopy eyelids due to lack of sleep. However, it's easier to spot a meth or crack user because they frequently lose teeth or get open sores on their facial area. Decreases in energy are a sign of opiate use. Opiates include heroin, codeine, morphine and Oxycontin. These make the user feel fatigue because it blocks neurotransmitter activity, making them feel slowed down. Many times opiate users sleep excessively or do nothing at all because they have no energy or ambition. Most opiates (except heroin) leave no physical damage. If you suspect that your loved one has a heroin addiction, check their arms for needle marks.
*Weight loss is mostly seen in those who are addicted to stimulants. These people usually go without sleep for days on end and they don't eat, leading to weight loss. Many times, they are too busy chasing their high to buy food. If someone you know used to be heavier and suddenly loses a drastic amount of weight, then they may be an addict. The only illegal drug known to cause weight gain is marijuana- it can lead to the "munchies", which can put on the pounds.
*Sleep. If your loved one used to rise with the sun and now sleeps until noon, they may have an addiction. The increase in sleep could mean that they are up all night doing drugs, so they must sleep it off during the day. Most addicts sleep during the day and use at night, and those addicted to downers will do the opposite.
There are many physical signs common to addictions. Those who snort cocaine, heroin or pills will have nosebleeds- the drugs can ruin the nasal cavity, making it bleed at random times. Addicts sometimes let their hygiene suffer; they won't shower because their high makes them not care how they smell. Those addicted to meth or crack cocaine will show a lack of dental hygiene because the drugs rot their teeth. These are just some of the signs of an addiction; if you think your loved one has a problem, get them help as soon as possible.