Signs Your Loved One Needs Help

Common Addict Behaviors to Watch Out For

We understand you don't want to jump to conclusions, but when you love someone who uses drugs or alcohol, sometimes you need to be on the lookout for certain behaviors that may mean they're addicted. Here are some of the most common to be on the watch for.

Change in Friends

A sudden and unexplainable change in friends can signal that there's something going on in your loved one's life. Whether it's a teenager who dropped his closest friend since kindergarten or your wife's suddenly new best friend, changing peer groups can signify that they're drug use has turned to addiction.

Unexplainable Mood Swings

Sometimes we can all be a little bit moody, but if your loved one goes from high to low for no apparent reason or seems to be constantly irritable, it may be a sign of drug or alcohol addiction. Drugs change the ways the brain works, as well as changes its hormone and neurotransmitter balance. This means when someone's using their drug of choice, she's on top of the world, but without it, she crashes, and everything and everyone gets on her nerves.

Uncharacteristic Behaviors

One of the most recognizable signs of addiction is uncharacteristic behaviors. This can manifest in a variety of ways, but anytime your loved one is acting out of the norm, it may be a warning sign. Here are some of the most common behavior changes seen in people addicted to drugs and alcohol.

  • Poor hygiene
  • Changes in grooming
  • Sleeping more often or odd hours
  • Lying
  • Stealing
  • Sneaking around
  • Keeping secrets
  • Angry outbursts
  • Blowing off plans

Problems at School or Work

Another major sign of addiction is having problems at school or work. People abusing drugs or alcohol are more likely to have unexplained absences and arrive late. They neglect their responsibilities, miss deadlines, and forget about important meetings and assignments. Their grades and performance noticeably drop and coworkers and peers also see the dramatic change.

Always Needing Money

If someone you love is always asking for money, but won't tell you why, it may mean something more than wanting a new pair of shoes. Drugs cost money, and when someone's addicted, it doesn't matter how much he has — it's never enough. From asking to borrow money to stealing to selling valuable items, when addicted to drugs, people will do whatever they need to get high.