We all like to think that our friends and family are living perfect lives and enjoying every minute. Indeed, they might even seem like it on the outside. Still, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t turmoil underneath. The fact is one in every seven people has an addiction in the US, so a loved one with a compulsion isn’t unlikely. Sure, if they lead a functional life they aren’t easy to spot, but there are general signs that should set alarm bells ringing. Here’s what you need to look out for if you think you know someone grappling with addiction.
Do More Than They Should
Quintessential addicts are easy to spot because they lose interest in leading a normal lifestyle. So, their appearance and their hygiene go down the drain, which is two telltale signs. However, functioning addicts have enough wherewithal to keep up appearances. Still, it’s impossible to hide the amount they consume on a daily basis. They might drink too much or partake in too many drugs; they might even glue themselves to a games console. Whatever it is, they will do it in copious amounts, much more than the average person.
Always Make Excuses
You don’t have to be an addiction counselor to spot this behavior. Once the penny drops, you have a duty to ask them about their usage. Once you confront an addict, they will come up with every excuse under the sun to make their addiction seem normal. ‘He does more than I do,’ ‘I only do it now and again,’ and ‘don’t worry, I’m not addicted’ are all standard retorts. It’s a cliché, but the first step to recovery is acceptance. Functioning addicts haven’t accepted it yet, so they tell lies to you and themselves.
The people that addicts hang around with are usually a warning sign. You see, people like to think that social substance abuse is perfectly fine. If that means drinking more than usual, it’s all good because it only happens in a social setting. Although not every abuse leads to addiction, it does muddy the waters as what starts off as social can escalate out of control. Because the person is blinkered, they believe that they are operating on the same level. The fact that some people can’t go one night out without drugs isn’t social: it’s addiction. If the friend group is on the same wavelength, the writing’s on the wall.
Feeling ill or worn down in the morning is something that most people put down to sickness. Addicts also have another reason, and that is that they are suffering from a hangover. Or, they might even suffer from withdrawal symptoms, which is far worse. If they have been partying the night before, the odds are high that they aren’t ill. And, if it happens on a regular basis, it is more than a 24-hour bug. Tiredness is another factor to consider because addiction is draining.
If you spot any of the above, it’s time to take action.