When a loved one begins to act funny, you may not know what’s causing it. There could be a number of reasons behind the unusual behavior, such as stress, pain in the body, depression, or anxiety. Any of these could put a strain on someone affecting their behaviors, choices, and relationships. The same is true with drug use and addiction.
However, it’s important to know that the development of addiction is gradual. A person isn’t going to show a change in their behaviors overnight – if drug use is the cause. You may notice the following behaviors develop and get worse over time, if a person is regularly using substances and/or experiencing an addiction.
Addiction is an illness in which a person loses their control over the substance they’re using. In other words, they no longer have the ability to stop using, even if they wanted to. You might not notice when your loved one loses their control over their substance use. However, you might notice that they are no longer meeting their responsibilities. You might see that they are shrugging them off in order to spend time with drug using friends. You might also see that your loved one has lost a certain sense of responsibility in general.
Withdrawing and Isolating
As drug use continues, a person might begin to focus more of their day on using drugs. Even when they’re not actually using, they might fantasize about their next high. They might plan their day around getting high. Those who use drugs once or more throughout the day might begin to pull away from family and friends.
Neglecting Their Favorite Pastimes
Along these same lines, a person who is regularly using drugs might also no longer want to do what used to bring them joy. They may not go running or spend time in nature or they might even neglect spending time with their children. A person who is becoming physically and psychologically dependent upon drugs tends to make that a priority over hobbies, pastimes, and other leisure activities.
Making Poor Choices
Another pattern you might notice in a loved one is the poor choices they are making for themselves. Perhaps they’re coming home late and calling out sick more often. Perhaps they’re forgetting to pay the rent or neglecting to pick up their paycheck in order to pay the rent. Or worse, perhaps you’re seeing your loved one getting involved in illegal activity – not to mention the drug use itself may be illegal. Addiction can be an illness of self-destruction. Making poor choices might be a sign of addiction.
Another noticeable change is the way that your loved one dresses, wears makeup, and/or styles their hair. You might see a change in their appearance that points to the friends they’re spending time with or the new drug-centered lifestyle they may be developing.
If you suspect substance abuse in a loved one, don’t rely solely upon the information in this article. Contact a mental health professional for guidance on what to do if you believe that someone you love is abusing drugs or alcohol.