Recognizing the warning signs of addiction isn’t as easy as you might think. When it comes to loved loves, we like to think a change in behavior and appearance would never go unnoticed, but that’s not always the case. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the initial signs of addiction often go unnoticed more times than not.
Knowing the warning signs in advance is critical to avoid missing the initial indicators of addiction. Stairway to Freedom, a network of sober living housing in Chicago, has put together a list of some general signs of addiction as well as a few substance related addiction signs below.
General Signals of Addiction
Addiction looks different from person to person. There is no single way for signs of addiction to present themselves, but there are a few general signs to look out for if you suspect a loved one is suffering from substance abuse.
The general addiction warning signs include, but are not limited to:
- Slurred speech
- Sudden disregard for personal hygiene
- Poor coordination
- Bloodshot eyes
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Nausea and vomiting
While there are general warning signs that signal addictive behavior, various substances will produce their own set of symptoms and behavioral cues to look for.
All addictive substances can have fatal consequences, and the risk of overdose increases as time spent using increases. Take all warning signs seriously and seek action immediately.
Heroin Abuse Signs
Heroin warning signs include, but are not limited to:
- Constricted pupils for 4–5 hours
- Shallow breathing
- Unkempt, dirty appearance
- Track marks on arms or other body parts
- Weight loss
- Stomach and muscle cramps or diarrhea
Cocaine Abuse Signs
Cocaine warning signs include, but are not limited to:
- Increased energy
- Elevated mood
- Feeling invincible
- Excited speech
- Dilated pupils
Prescription Drug Abuse Signs
Prescription drug abuse warning signs include, but are not limited to:
- Impulsive behavior
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Weight loss
What to do after Noticing the Warning Signs
Identifying the problem is only the first step. Addressing an addiction with the user is a sensitive subject that will need to be addressed with careful consideration. Bombarding an addict with accusations and anger will only drive them further down the road of addiction.
Prior to approaching concerns of a present addiction, gather a group of close friends and family members to provide support. Approach the topic in a calm and caring tone, reminding the addict that you love them no matter what, and want to help them on their journey to recovery.
Suggest a plan of action to help the addict on the road to recovery. Provide options for rehab centers, and aftercare facilities to promote recovery. Create a recovery plan for yourself too, and learn how to help a recovering addict.
Build A Foundation for Ongoing Recovery
Recovery doesn’t stop after rehab, it’s a constant battle that is made easier in the right environment. Contact Stairway to Freedom to learn more about the Chicago sober living home opportunities.