How To Identify A Drug Addict

How To Identify A Drug Addict

Curious About How To Identify A Drug Addict?

You have a reason for wanting to know how to identify a drug addict. You’ve noticed a change in your son. Your sister seems different somehow. Maybe Mom has become sullen or withdrawn. Are there signs of a drug problem?

Or, perhaps you observe sudden changes in yourself? Instead of someone you love, you wonder about your own lift. How do you know you have a drug problem?

In this article, you will learn:

  • What do we mean by “addiction?”
  • What causes addiction?
  • What are visible signs of a drug problem?
  • What can we do about addiction?

What Do We Mean By “Addiction?”

When we think about how to identify a drug addict, certain images come to mind. A shivering person stooped over a needle and a spoon. A celebrity trying to redeem themselves from public humiliation. Our mind might conjure visuals of “meth mouth.” Addiction can, and often does, resemble these examples. But not always.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as, “a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.” Now, let us translate that into everyday language. An addict continues to do something repeatedly, even though it hurts them.

Wait A Second…Addiction Is A Disease?

A dark stigma surrounds addiction. Despite mounds of research, this stigma fuels a negative narrative around addiction and treatment. We dishonor our loved ones when we assume that they want addiction. We disgrace them when we write them off as choosing addiction.

If you do not believe that addiction manifests as a disease, that’s ok. You do not need to. The genuine nature of addiction lies beyond the scope of this article. We don’t intend to persuade you. However, please put judgments aside for the moment. Ask yourself one question.

Whether or not you think addiction is a disease, don’t you want your loved one to get help for it?

What Causes Addiction?

Addiction can run in families. Evidence suggests that biology and DNA influence addiction. Beyond biology, family dynamics play an important role in addictive behavior. Interpersonal relationships in a family may prove one of the most significant factors in the onset of addiction. If one has a parent who struggles with substance use disorder, chances increase for one to develop SUD oneself.

Often, those who suffer from addiction have other problems. They may have undiagnosed, and subsequently untreated, mental illnesses. Researchers call this “comorbidity.” Comorbidity means that the addiction and the mental illness happen at the same time. They share a relationship as well. The mental illness may contribute to the addiction, and vice versa.

Other potential contributing factors exist as well. The work of people like Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and Dr. Gabor Maté highlights the link between addiction and trauma. Trauma, especially from early childhood, can precede addictive behaviors.

But…What About Responsibility?

Can’t we learn how to identify a drug addict by looking at a person’s choices? Human beings do make choices, after all. People who struggle with substance use disorder remain human beings. Therefore, they choose. And their choices bear out consequences. Humans do possess a will to impact their present circumstances.

And yet, we must remember that human choice does not occur against a blank slate. We might fancy ourselves as primarily logical beings. But this theory does not hold water in life. Most of our decisions find their roots in our emotions and psyches.

To the point, yes. Those suffering from substance use disorder made choices that led the path to addiction. If we accept that, then we must accept the inverse as well. That is, SUD sufferers can make choices that lead out of addiction.

What Are Visible Signs Of A Drug Problem?

Don’t worry. When trying to determine how to identify a drug addict, look for symptoms of addiction to appear. Science indicates that drugs change the shape and structure of the brain. The brain regulates our thoughts, moods, and behaviors. Hence, if drugs change the brain, drugs change the things that the brain controls.

The Mayo Clinic provides helpful insight into external signs of a drug problem:

  • Poor performance in work or school
  • Drastic changes in appearance
  • Erratic shifts in mood
  • Sudden acts of deceit, like lying or hiding
  • Financial problems

What Are Visible Signs Of A Drug Problem?

Don’t worry. When trying to determine how to identify a drug addict, look for symptoms of addiction to appear. Science indicates that drugs change the shape and structure of the brain. The brain regulates our thoughts, moods, and behaviors. Hence, if drugs change the brain, drugs change the things that the brain controls.

The Mayo Clinic provides helpful insight into external signs of a drug problem:

  • Poor performance in work or school
  • Drastic changes in appearance
  • Erratic shifts in mood
  • Sudden acts of deceit, like lying or hiding
  • Financial problems

What If I Need To Know More About How To Identify A Drug Addict?

If you need to know more about how to identify a drug addict, contact Absolute Awakenings straight away. Out therapists and counselors know about your circumstances. Addiction has personally affected us. We’ve watched loved ones in anguish. We’ve lost people to addiction.

Don’t resign yourself to languishing alone. Reach out to us. Let us provide you with the information you need. If you see signs of a drug problem in your life, speak up. How do you know you have a drug problem? If it’s hurting you to keep consuming it. Don’t delay any longer.

Call Absolute Awakenings now. Not ready to talk? Complete the contact form to send us a quick email.