How to Tell If a Loved One Is Chemically Dependent

July 21, 2023 Tara Treatment Center l Franklin, Indiana

Signs of Addiction l Tara Treatment Center l Franklin, Indiana

Substance addiction doesn't happen overnight. It's a disease that develops gradually as the addiction consumes more and more of a person's life. In fact, there are many distinctive behaviors and thought patterns that serve as warning signs on the road to chemical dependence.

The problem is that we might not always notice them. Although the symptoms of addiction often accumulate slowly, they may go unnoticed if we aren't vigilant about detecting them. This can lead to situations where addiction seems to progress at a dizzying pace, when in reality, there were many opportunities for early intervention if we had only known what to look for.

Conventional wisdom says an addict must hit their "bottom" before they can begin to recover, but it is possible to stem the tide of addiction before this point. The signs and symptoms listed below can help you detect the beginnings of addiction in yourself or a loved one, which can help with receiving earlier intervention and treatment.

30 Signs and Symptoms of Chemical Dependency

1. Increase in the amount of alcohol or other drugs used.

2. Arrested for MIP (Minor in Possession) or DUI (Driving Under the Influence).

3. Dramatic changes in mood when drinking or using.

4. Denial that there is a problem.

5. Dishonesty with friends about drinking or using.

6. Failed attempts to quit or cut down on alcohol or other drug use.

7. Association with known heavy users.

8. Frequent excuses for alcohol or other drug use.

9. Protecting supply of alcohol or other drugs.

10. Low self-image.

11. Hangovers or bad trips.

12. School or program suspension because of alcohol or other drug use.

13. Frequent mood changes.

14. Concern expressed by family.

15. Stealing money for alcohol or other drugs.

16. Using alcohol or other drugs while alone.

17. Loss of control while drinking or using.

18. Health problems.

19. Suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

20. Dropped by girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse because of alcohol or other drug use.

21. Violent behavior when drunk or high.

22. Preoccupation with alcohol or other drugs.

23. Increase in frequency of alcohol or other drug use.

24. Increase in tolerance to alcohol or other drugs.

25. Memory loss.

26. Using alcohol or other drugs in the morning.

27. Loss of friends.

28. Frequent broken promises.

29. Defensive when confronted about alcohol or drug use.

30. Fired from jobs.

If your loved one is known to use alcohol or other drugs and also exhibits several of these symptoms, there's a good chance he or she may be chemically dependent. If this is the case, they should seek treatment for their addiction as soon as possible. Early intervention can minimize the damage caused by addiction and jump-start the person's journey toward a substance-free life.


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