Addiction can present itself in many ways, and these signs can also vary significantly between substances. For many people, these signs can be difficult to spot. However, there are a few key physical and psychological signs of addiction that may be easier to notice in someone you love. Learning these key indicators of addiction will help you recognize addiction in someone you love so you can begin helping them find the treatment they need.
Sudden Weight Loss or Gain
While it’s common for a person’s weight to fluctuate over time, sudden weight loss or weight gain can be one of the key signs of addiction. Certain substances, such as cocaine and heroin, suppress appetite. Being preoccupied with substance abuse also causes many users to forego eating in favor of drugs. In some cases, users may even choose to spend money on substances rather than food.
On the other end of the spectrum, alcoholic beverages can contain more calories than a person may believe. For example, a single can of beer has approximately 150 calories. If a person consumes five beverages, that’s 750 calories. Calories consumed through beverages often catch people by surprise and can lead to sudden and severe weight gain.
Poor hygiene is another one of the major signs of addiction. It’s common for someone struggling with addiction to lose track of their hygiene. When a person has an addiction, they often devote copious amounts of time and money toward their addiction. This can cause them to forget about showering or brushing their teeth.
Certain substances, such as methamphetamines, can lead to severe tooth decay, cavities, and stained teeth after long-term abuse. Many people refer to this poor oral hygiene as “meth mouth” due to its association with meth addiction.
In films and TV shows, track marks often characterize a subject that is suffering from substance abuse and addiction. These signs of addiction are small scars on the body, primarily on the inner arms, that are from intravenous drug use. Users who abuse substances like heroin use needles to inject the drug into their veins. This method of use leaves many scars and can even lead to collapsed veins.
Any kind of substance abuse affects the chemical balances in the brain. A person who uses an addictive substance may be using it to self-medicate for an underlying mental health disorder. When a person experiences withdrawal symptoms in between drug uses, they may act out or seem more irritable. They may seem especially sensitive if you ask them about their substance use.
Poor Performance at Work or School
Similar to health and hygiene, substance abuse can also cause a person to neglect their responsibilities and obligations. A person using a drug may fail to attend work or classes in favor of substance abuse or perform poorly if they attend while using the substances. If they drop out of school or get fired from their job, it could be one of the most significant signs of addiction.
Getting Help for Signs of Addiction
When you notice your loved one is suffering from an addiction, don’t hesitate to find an addiction treatment center in Los Angeles. At Melrose Recovery, we offer comprehensive addiction and mental health treatment programs to help your loved ones return to happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. To learn more about addiction treatment and how to recognize the signs of addiction, call us today at 866-942-4794. A better life is waiting; you just have to make the call.