Substance abuse and addiction are real and prevalent in today’s society. You may have a feeling that a loved one is suffering from addiction but want to know if your instincts are right.

There are warning signs of addiction in a loved one that you should be aware of if you want to make sure you get them the help they need. While it can be a challenge to tell if someone you love is suffering from addiction, it may be the difference between them getting the help they need and living a life free from it or not.


One of the most common addiction character traits is emotional instability. You may find you’re afraid to interact with the person because you never know who you’re going to get. They may be very up and down and erratic or unpredictable. Watch and monitor their emotional demeanor and look out for crying spells, depression or anxiety, and bouts of hysteria, for example. They may also be irritable and show signs of defensiveness often.


As far as psychological signs go, you may notice a decline in your loved one’s mental functioning. Abusing alcohol may cause someone to exhibit poor judgment and not be able to think clearly. Someone who was once sharp and mentally quick may begin to decline in this area. Look for changes in sleep patterns, becoming overly talkative or withdrawn, or that the person has a strong increase or decrease in confidence.


Another way to tell if your loved one is suffering from addiction is that there are physical warning signs you can see. While it’s hard to hide them, they may become more severe over time. If your loved one has a problem with addiction and substance abuse then there may be significant weight loss, dilated pupils and red eyes, or unexplained cuts and bruises. Stomach cramps are another physical sign to be on the lookout for and notice.


You also shouldn’t forget about the relational aspect of someone you love suffering from addiction. It not only impacts the person who is addicted but creates a real burden and stress on everyone who’s in contact with this person. The relationships this person once had may begin to change if they’re dealing with addiction. A few warning signs your loved one may exhibit when it comes to relationships are isolation, skipping or missing work or school, and violent arguments with others. They may also begin to distance themselves from long-held relationships that were once strong in the past.


These warning signs that your loved one is suffering from addiction should never be overlooked. It’s important that you not only notice them but that you get the person you care about the help they need right away. The sooner you intervene and that they reach out for professional assistance, the better. Together, you can work as a team to ensure your loved one finds the path to recovery and is able to live a clean and sober life in the future. 

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