How To Spot an Addict

By Subodh / May 9, 2013

When someone has become an addict, no matter what the addiction may be, there are usually warning signs and symptoms that come along with it. Not every addict will show the same types of symptoms, but it is important to take note of some of these to see if a person in your life may be suffering from an addiction.

Energy

All drugs have an impact on a person’s energy levels. Some drugs such as marijuana and opiates will bring a person’s energy levels right down, whilst other drugs such as amphetamines can boost someone’s energy to abnormal levels. If you notice someone has an almost uncontrollable amount of energy, or a sudden lack of it, that should be a clear warning sign that they may have an addiction.

Weight

Rapid weight gain or loss is another sign that you should look out for if you think someone may have a drug addiction problem. If it’s weight gain, the chances are they have a problem with marijuana. This is because one of the main side effects of this is making the user feel hungry, causing them to eat large amounts of food. The other side of the coin is rapid weight loss. This is an effect that a number of drugs have on a user. If you suspect someone you know then don’t ask them outright if they have an addiction straight away. Instead ask them what diet they are on and what exercise they are doing. If something sounds a little off then you should definitely investigate further.

addiction

Appearance and Hygiene

For someone that has become addicted to many drugs, hygiene can be lacking severely. Whether it be not showering, teeth brushing or other normal and routine maintenance on themselves, it is a way to tell that someone has been using. The overall appearance of an addict can deteriorate as well. Along with weight, there can be visible marks over their faces, such as thinner cheeks and cracked lips. If you spot any of these things there is a high chance the person that you know is abusing drugs.

Temper

Someone with an addiction is much more likely to show erratic behavior. A normally calm person can show signs of drug addiction if they have become more temperamental, especially if they have not used in a while. These withdrawal symptoms can cause someone to become possibly violent and more likely to lash out for small reasons. If you have noticed this type of behavior in a person it is very difficult to approach them. If you think that confronting them or asking if they need help is going to cause them to get violent then make sure that you get help.

Sleep

If someone is getting up earlier or later than usual compared to normal it can be one of the more obvious symptoms of drug use. Many drugs cause people to stay up until the early hours of the morning and sleep until later in the afternoon. Those drugs are known as “uppers” and with increased energy, someone will stay up very late until the effect of the drugs wear off and they are finally able to sleep. The opposite effect is true for “downers” as it causes someone to sleep much earlier than normal and possibly sleep through the entire morning as well. These are depressants and stimulants so they naturally cause the body to relax in an almost comatose-like state for extended periods of time.

These are some of the most obvious signs that a person can give off when they have become an addict. Not every addict is the same, so some of these signs may not be on full display if at all. You really have to pay attention to detail as even minor changes in an otherwise regular everyday routine can cause suspicion. Now that you are educated in these signs, please suggest ways you can help someone that you fear may have an addiction. You will play a vital role in their recovery.

This guest post was contributed by Stanley Martinson. Stanley is fascinated with all topics related to health but has recently been interested in addiction based topics. For more information read here.