Every parent has concerns that their children will be exposed to drugs. Every parent hopes that their children will not fall victim to drug addiction. As a parent, having a child with addiction issues is terrifying. It is a lonely and scary situation to deal with. However, the important thing to remember is to be open-minded enough to recognize if there is a problem and if so, that help is available through trust, caring addiction treatment programs.
The first thing to do as a parent, a spouse, a family member or a friend is to be on the lookout if you think your loved one may be abusing drugs and alcohol or suffering from a full blown addiction. Here are 5 signs that your loved one may be addicted to drugs:
- Change in attitude. A person suffering from a substance abuse issue will often have an extreme change in attitude. A once positive person will begin to be overtly negative towards many things. They may suffer from extreme emotional highs and lows. They will start to defy authority, talk back, get in trouble. They will be defiant. They may act depressed or disinterested.
- Change in behaviors. Someone with an addiction will certainly change their behaviors. The things they once liked to do will go unnoticed. Once active people may become lazy, brought on by the attitude change mentioned above. They may become anxious about activities they once enjoyed. Talking back to parents and teachers may become commonplace. Chores and responsibilities will be left undone. Their sleep habits will most surely change, sleeping much more or not sleeping at all.
- Change in friends. Kids abusing drugs and alcohol will typically flock to other kids abusing drugs and alcohol. Friends they have known while growing up may be cast aside for kids that display similar behaviors and attitudes. They will usually start to get in trouble with these same kids. Secretive behaviors with friends may occur or new friends that parents have never met may become primary partners in crime.
- Change in physical appearance. This may be the first sign that occurs and the most noticeable by a parent or family member if their loved one has a substance use disorder or is suffering from chemical dependency and is in need of drug treatment. Regular hygiene will be abandoned. Showering, brushing teeth and brushing hair will become less frequent. Often the addict will become less interested in their outward appearance and wear dirty clothes or repeat the same outfit every day. They may suffer from extreme weight loss or weight gain. Their eating habits may change drastically. They may suffer nose bleeds or headaches or pinned pupils or sweat irregularly.
- Change in physical activity. Often a person with a drug addiction will lose interest in physical activities. This may mean no longer playing sports or exercising that was once frequent, but it could also be much more general than that. Any and all physical activity may be displaced for lounging around or sleeping. Even every day chores or being asked to help out around the house may be met with an attitude. This change may also not just be in terms of sports or exercising but in regular activities with their friends. They may abandon outdoor activities entirely.
Drug abuse is a scary issue for parents and loved ones to deal with. If your children, your spouse or anyone you know is exhibiting these signs and symptoms, we urge you to seek help for them as soon as possible. If you or someone you know is suffering from a drug and alcohol addiction and needs treatment please call us for help. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive addiction treatment in the area. If we aren’t the best fit, we will work with you to find a treatment center that fits your needs. Please call us at (410) 773-0500 or email [email protected]. For more information on all of our alcohol and addiction treatment services and resources, please visit the web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.