How do you catch a drug addiction before it has gone too far? Often by the time an intervention is staged, a person’s addiction to drugs has escalated so far that it is having a profound impact on their life, as well as the lives of those around them. By this point, the symptoms of their addiction are often clear for all to see. But early on, drug addiction can be easily hidden from an unassuming acquaintance, friend, or even family member. Whether you are concerned someone you love right now, or you do not think that you need to be, here are a few of the most common warning signs to look out for.
Drug use can affect a person’s personality, so look for any unexplained changes in their general demeanor. Frequent mood changes are also a telltale sign, especially if the altered moods are extremes.
Change in Appearance
Drugs can also affect a person physically. Dilated pupils and dramatic weight gain or loss are two of the most common side effects. You might also notice a change in their hygiene or the way they keep up their personal grooming.
Effects on Relationships
Addiction will normally have a knock-on effect on the addict’s relationships with others. They might be hanging out with a completely different crowd – probably also addicts – or they might have trouble keeping up appointments with their current friends. Sometimes drugs can lead to fights and arguments between the addict and their loved ones, and often the addict does not care about the consequences of their actions.
Another good sign is a change in a person’s regular schedule. For example, they may start eating and sleeping at irregular hours.
Drop-in Work Performance
As addiction becomes more serious, it can bleed into their professional life. Often addicts will show decreased performance at work or school, and they might go through a series of jobs in a small period of time.
As a lot of their money will be going towards feeding their addiction, it is common for an addict to struggle for money. They might even resort to theft when the addiction escalates. So check your wallet for missing money, or take notice when they are constantly asking for loans.
To hide their addiction, a drug addict might start to lie about seemingly everyday things. For this reason, it is best to confront them only when you have a few facts. But try to be questioning and understanding, rather than accusatory.
Can’t Stop/Won’t Stop
The most certain warning sign that someone is in the early stages of an addiction, is that they are unable to stop, or else they simply refuse to stop. This is usually the point at which a casual habit starts to become a more serious addiction.