How to spot addiction

There are quite a number of signs to look out for if you suspect someone you know has an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Identifying such a condition is the first step to getting your loved one help and hopefully preventing a potentially lethal overdose. The indications of substance abuse can be separated into behavioral and physical symptoms.

The behavioral signs of an addiction are:

  • Obsessive thoughts and actions
  • Loss of control
  • Disregard of harm caused to themselves and/or others
  • Denial of addiction or hiding abuse

The physical signs of an addiction include, but are not limited to:

  • Enlarged or small pupils
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Poor physical coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Looking unkempt

If you suspect someone you know is addicted to an illicit substance, approach the situation with a calm, supportive attitude. The person in question may be embarrassed or ashamed of their addiction, so it is important to let them know you hold no judgement against them, only love and concern.