How Do I Know if My Loved One Is Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol?

Worried woman

Worrying that a loved one may be struggling with addiction is an emotional roller coaster, a relentless ride between fear, confusion, and heartache.

It’s a tumultuous journey filled with sleepless nights, anxious days, and a constant knot in the stomach. The mind becomes a battleground between the desire to believe in the best and the undeniable evidence pointing toward a painful reality. Each unanswered phone call, every unexplained absence, and the subtle changes in behavior become haunting whispers suggesting there’s trouble.

Recognizing the Signs of Addiction

There are several things to look for if you believe a loved one may be developing a problem with alcohol or drugs.  Some are obvious:

  • Are they drinking or using more and for more extended periods?
  • Are they obsessed with getting and using drugs or alcohol?
  • Have they tried repeatedly to quit only to continue the drinking or drug use?

Subtle Indications of a Problem

  • Are they having trouble at work or school?
  • Is their behavior changing – do they suffer from mood swings and irritability?
  • Are they suddenly neglecting their appearance?
  • Are they constantly tired?
  • Are their eyes regularly bloodshot?
  • Are they unexpectedly losing weight?
  • Are they struggling with anxiety, depression, or sleep problems?

Approaching a Loved One About an Addiction

If you suspect someone you love is becoming addicted to drugs and or alcohol, don’t be afraid to speak to them about your concerns. Just choose your time and approach the topic carefully.

  • First – pick a time when they aren’t using and you are both at least somewhat rested.
  • Tell them you love them and that you’re worried about them.
  • Expect resistance and denials – particularly in the beginning.
  • Try to get them to talk about their drug or alcohol use. See if they can open up about why they are using it.
  • Don’t threaten or preach.
  • Encourage them to get help – and tell them you will support them in their recovery efforts.

The Recovery Journey and Family Involvement

Overcoming an addiction takes personal commitment, time, patience, and often help from outside resources. It also often involves getting help for the families of those addicted.

At Aware Recovery Care, treatment starts and stays in the home. We not only guide our clients on their path to recovery, but we also help our clients’ loved ones identify healthy boundaries and engage the entire family in the recovery process so that everyone can begin to heal.

Getting Help from Aware Recovery Care

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to opioids, other drugs, or alcohol and need help in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. And we come to you, regardless of where you live. Our unique in-home treatment model of care gives clients a significantly better chance of recovery than traditional inpatient rehab care. Please get in touch with one of our Recovery Specialists to learn more.