Signs of Addiction – Common Things to be On the Lookout For


We think that there are so many signs of addiction, but did you know that often, you can’t even tell when a person is struggling with a true addiction? In fact, you might be surprised to find that many times, those you would least suspect are actually struggling with a significant substance or alcohol abuse problem.

As if you needed things to get more complicated when you’re struggling with addiction, it gets harder when you find yourself wondering how to determine what you’re even looking at. Is it an addiction? Is it something else? How do you know?

Since looking at a substance or alcohol abuse problem can be tough no matter how you cut it, and we often look for signs of addiction in loved ones and not ourselves, it can be hard, because we don’t want to falsely accuse a loved one. Not only that but if you’ve ever crossed this bridge before you probably already know how your loved one can react when you bring it up to them.

So what are some of the signs of addiction that you should know, and what do you do with this information if you do notice that you or a loved one might be struggling?

Common Signs of Addiction to Look Out For

So, there are many different, common signs of addiction that experts feel you should watch out for. The trouble is that these can be pretty ambiguous, and in many cases, might point to an addiction when what you’re really seeing is a loved one struggling with other types of issues.

The thing is, they are there, and they are often linked to addiction. So, here are some of the things you should look out for:

  • Secretive behavior. Sure, this could be anything from someone planning a surprise party for you to someone that is having a secret affair. The trouble is that when it goes on for a good long while, or someone who used to be so close to you suddenly starts hiding even the smallest details of life, you might be onto something. You might notice that your loved one gets really weird if you stop by their house unannounced, or if you ask too many questions about what they do for fun.
  • Disappearing for periods of time. Most of us like to fall off the radar for a little while every now and then, but when you’re finding your loved one seems to disappear for hours and days on end, you might find that you’re looking at one of the more common signs of addiction.
  • Responsibilities seem neglected. When people struggle with an addiction, their responsibilities are often neglected. Children might not be fed or properly cared for, the same might be true for pets, and even your loved one’s home might turn into a serious messy dump. When a person is addicted to substance or alcohol, they simply don’t care about keeping things up, and this includes living responsibilities.
  • Trouble with jobs. Maybe your loved one seems to be changing jobs a lot. Or getting in trouble at a job that they’ve had for a long time. Maybe you find that you simply cannot seem to do your job the way you should be doing it. This is often a red flag that something is going on, and while it could be any number of things, it is also one of the more common signs of addiction that people look out for. Eventually, in addiction, getting a job can be almost impossible, let alone keeping one.
  • Money problems. If your loved one is always asking you for money but gets defensive when you ask where all of his money is going, you might be looking at a sign of something bigger. Often, the source of the addiction takes up much of the money that your loved one earns or manages to borrow, so you’re actually giving him money to continue his addiction, and that’s not fun. Along with money problems also often comes lack of food, gas, ability to pay bills or afford a place to live.
  • New friends. Not only might your loved one have new “friends,” but it’s likely that you’ll never meet them. That’s okay because you probably won’t want to. Not that they are bad people, but these are likely people with the same problems your loved one has, and addicted strangers are better-left strangers when it comes to bringing them into your home and your life because addiction makes people do not so great things.
  • Legal troubles. For some reason, many addictions make us feel invincible and invisible. Don’t be surprised that if your loved one is showing signs of addiction, this is one of them. Often, those who struggle with addictions are not against shoplifting and stealing to get their fix, and if they aren’t in trouble for that, it’s likely that they will be caught doing something and facing some kinds of fines and possibly even jail.
  • Decline in appearance. We all have times when we haven’t been able to shower, but for most of us, not doing anything to our appearance for days on end just isn’t a thing. If your loved one is struggling with an addiction, this is one of the ways that you might start to tell. Addiction makes us not want to keep ourselves up. Sometimes, it takes too long to get showered, dressed and ready when there is a real need to get a fix. Other times, addiction simply makes the user or drinker not want to get cleaned up.
  • Lying – a lot. The only loyalty that addiction holds is the one who is struggling with the addiction. Lying is one of the most common signs of addiction, and the thing is, the lies aren’t even that believable. It is simply a way for your loved one to get you to stop asking so many questions. Not only will your loved one lie a lot, but chances are, he won’t care when he realizes he does.
  • Strange behavior. We all see that guy at the party who has had a few too many and is obviously drunk.

    Addiction is a little like that, but not always so obvious. Sometimes, it’s the little things that will just seem to be strange to you, like talking a lot when a person isn’t a talker. Or, being jittery when your loved one is usually so calm. Strange behavior may indicate that your loved one is high or drunk but is trying to hide it.

What to Do if You Notice These Signs

This is a tricky question because the wrong timing could cause your loved one to walk away and you not to hear from them for a while, but the right timing could make all the difference in your loved one’s life. You don’t want to make him feel like an outcast, but you need to be able to set boundaries within your life so that you can continue living safely and happily.

Without being intimidating or threatening, have a talk with your loved one. Tell him that you have spotted some of the signs of addiction and that you’re not excited about it, you’re hoping it’s something different, but if it’s not, you would like to help in any way possible. Then, gently but firmly, make sure that you let your loved one know that you will not be doing anything to enable him, like paying his bills or for groceries anymore.

Let your loved one know that you want to continue a relationship with him and that you know he might not want to get help now, but when he does, if he needs your help, you will be there for that, too.

Then, when your loved one does come to you and tell you that he needs help for his addiction, give us at Elite Rehab Placement a call. We will help you find addiction treatment options that work with your loved one’s needs, and everyone’s finances.

We work with insurance companies to help you get the most out of your coverage, while minimizing the cost of a stay at an addiction rehab that will really help change your or your loved one’s life. All you have to do is call us, and we’ll help you get going on this often terrifying first step.

Spotting the signs of addiction can be really hard, and they aren’t always what they seem, but if you’re certain that your loved one is struggling, or if you are, you don’t have to wait to get the right kind of help to start living clean and sober. You simply need to give us a call today and let us walk with you at the beginning of your recovery journey.