How to Identify a Drug Addict

How Do I Know How To Identify A Drug Addict?

Identifying a drug addict proves harder than one might think. It might involve personality changes and mood swings. One hopes one would recognize those kinds of things. But addiction sufferers become quite skills at hiding their addictive behaviors. They see patterns in how those around them live. Next, they plan their moves around the patterns of others. In theory, this keeps them from getting caught. Which further allows them to continue consuming.

In this article, Absolute Awakenings investigates the following:

  • How hard is it to identify a drug addict?
  • What is drug addiction? What causes drug addiction?
  • Can someone with a drug addiction get help?
  • What is drug/alcohol intervention?
  • What if I want more information about how to identify a drug addict?

How Hard Is It To Identify A Drug Addict?

In 2019, nearly 50,000 people died from opioid overdoses. The total number of drug overdose deaths in 2020 rose by 30%. These numbers cause out hearts to sink. Surely no one we know falls among these numbers! Or so we think.

Each of those individual statistics represents a real person. Someone who used to breathe. Somebody who lived and walked around this planet. These people’s internal worlds suffered anguish. At least some of them had to have meaningful relationships.

One will not always find it easy to identify a drug addict. Those battling substance use disorder (SUD) often go to great lengths to hide their addictions. They may practice deceit. They might steal. They might lie or engage in other acts of dishonesty. Have realistic expectations of yourself. Do not assume you will automatically know SUD when you see it.

What Is Drug Addiction?

Perspectives on addiction vary. Nailing down a precise definition seems daunting. Nevertheless, one must remember the crux of addiction:

  • A person takes an action
  • The action leads to negative consequences
  • The person continues the action, disregarding the negative consequences

To treat addictions, mental health professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). In the DSM, someone with SUD struggles with certain symptoms within a year. These symptoms include things like:

  • Spending a lot of time to get a substance, consume it, or get better after consuming it
  • Giving up things one values to keep consuming the substance
  • Inability to stop or decrease consumption of the substance
  • Continued consumption in dangerous circumstances
  • Consuming higher doses, or for longer periods of time

What Causes Drug Addiction?

We cannot isolate a single cause of drug addiction. Like any human experience, it has several components. Each person’s journey brings its own challenges. Each of those challenges exerts a particular influence over one’s life. If you think someone you love struggles with SUD, keep an open mind.

Some factors that can contribute to drug use and SUD:

  • Biology and genetics
  • Family life and upbringing
  • Quality of physical and mental health
  • Stressful life events
  • Trauma

Can Someone With A Drug Addiction Get Help?

Absolutely. Without question. Someone suffering from SUD can get help. Absolute Awakenings offers several different treatment options. “Help” does not just mean sobriety. The most in-depth treatment approaches help the entire person. We refer to this as a a holistic approach.

Addictions do not simply spring up from nowhere. A person does not wake up to and addiction. As we said above, addictions have an array of causes. But they typically emerge from other problems. Often, those who struggle with SUD also endure a mental illness. Researchers term this comorbidity.

Absolute Awakenings does not consider sobriety a goal. Not in-and-of itself. Sobriety offers a perspective. Think of it like a mountain or a skyscraper. You don’t want to live up there. But from that vantage point, you can see where other changes need to occur.

What Is Drug/Alcohol Intervention?

Drug or alcohol intervention gives us one form of addiction help. Interventions involve the family and friends of someone with SUD. They may seem awkward. And they can even feel quite painful. But they can help break unhelpful cycles of enabling.

You may hear it said that someone must hit bottom before they begin recovery. Interventions help bring the bottom up faster. In other words, they help someone with SUD confront the consequences of their actions. The intervention compels the person to confront their choices sooner rather than later.

What If I Want More Information About How To Identify A Drug Addict?

We all want to help those we love. And we need not feel fear about having difficult conversations about identifying a drug addict. Have the hard conversation. Ask the uncomfortable questions. If you suspect that someone you love struggles with SUD, talk to them about it. Better to speak up and find out you thought wrong than to keep silent.

If you or someone you care about struggles with substance abuse disorder, get in touch with Absolute Awakenings. Call or email us now.