How Do You Deal with an Addict?
Drug and alcohol addiction affects much more than the individual with substance use disorder. Knowing an addict and living with an addict can affect family members and close loved ones emotionally, psychologically, financially, and environmentally. Dealing with someone with a drug addiction is difficult and exhausting. If someone you love is struggling with addiction, the most important thing you can do is to take care of yourself and set your boundaries. Here are some ways you can help yourself and the person dealing with substance abuse:
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- Educate yourself about addiction. Search online for information on their type of addiction and addiction treatment.
- Join local support groups. Support groups are available for both the person dealing with addiction and their loved ones. Support groups such as Al Anon can help you gain insight from others in your position.
- Speak to a therapist or counselor. Individual and family therapy can provide you with resources and help on how to deal with your addicted loved one.
- Encourage them to get professional help. With compassion, ask them to attend a doctor’s visit, therapy session, support group, or rehab center.
- Offer emotional support but do not enable their addiction. Avoid giving them money or cleaning up after the consequences of their addiction.
- Know your limits and do not tolerate unacceptable behavior. If their actions are putting your physical, mental, or economic safety at risk, you need to be prepared to separate yourself and cut ties with them.
How Does it Feel to Be in a Relationship with an Addict?
Drug and alcohol addiction exists on a spectrum ranging from mild to severe. Regardless of the specific situation, there is no priority greater for the addict than there’s substance use. Destruction from addiction is far reaching and will impact all the people around them, especially those who are in a relationship with them. Addiction is a disease of the brain and can alter cognition, behavior, and personality in Deep and profound ways. you may likely see the addicted person you’re in a relationship become a completely different person and what you once knew. Addiction causes people to become manipulative and deceptive in order to fuel their drug or alcohol abuse. Individuals with substance use disorders may also become physically and emotionally abusive. You may feel that if you love them enough, that you may be able to cure them or fix them. The attic needs to want help and you should be prepared for plenty of frustration and heartache.
What are the Signs that Someone May be an Addict?
During the early stages of drug and alcohol abuse, individuals may be able to easily hide their issues. However, addiction is a progressive disease and they will not be able to hide the signs for too long. There are several behavioral, physical, and psychological signs that someone may have a substance abuse or addiction problem, including:
- Drastic changes in personality
- Changes in physical appearances, such as lack of personal hygiene
- Poor work or school performance, chronic tardiness, and receiving poor performance reviews or grades
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite or extreme weight loss
- Financial issues such as not paying bills on time
- Hanging out with a whole new crowd of people
- Bloodshot eyes comma poor skin tone comma and appearing tired or rundown
- Lying or secretiveness
- Depression, irritability, and mood swings
- Struggling with limits, such as using higher doses of
- Erratic behavior
- Defensiveness or hostility when their substance use is brought up
- Changes in sleep habits either sleeping too much or too little
Three Personality Traits that are Closely Related to Addiction
- Inability to handle stress. Part of growing up is being able to handle stress and challenging situations. Those who repeatedly attempt to avoid stressful situations or negative feelings may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to self medicate negative emotions. They are unable to cope with stress or manage their emotions in a healthy manner.
- Impulsive behavior. Those who are repeatedly taking risks without considering potential negative consequences have issues with impulsive behavior. Impulsivity can lead to the inability to control substance use and eventually addiction.
- Unaccountability. Not taking responsibility for the outcomes of their actions are hallmark characteristic of addictive behavior. If someone is unable to recognize or acknowledge how their actions have contributed to a negative outcome, they are likely on able to recognize a substance abuse problem.
Characteristics of Addictive Behavior
Drug and alcohol addiction is a disease of the brain characterized by compulsion. Some of the most common characteristics of addiction include:
- They are unable to cut back or stop using even when wanting to
- Risk taking behavior such as driving under the influence
- Lost interest in things once enjoyed
- Excessive consumption of drugs and alcohol can lead to blackouts
- Inability to deal with issues without drugs or alcohol
- Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from substance abuse
- Continued substance abuse despite negative consequences
- They are preoccupied or obsessed with substance abuse
- Changes in behavior such as mood swings
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using
- Building up a tolerance which leads to increased use
Can Drug Use Cause Personality Changes?
Yes. Addiction can affect a person’s life in many ways, including causing changes to their personality. Compulsive behavior related to addiction is one of the major causes of personality changes but it can also be due to the changes in their brain chemistry which affects mood and ability to think. Drug and alcohol abuse can alter a person’s behavior and personality so much that they seem like an entirely different person. Research shows that repeated substance abuse physically changes the brain and disrupts neurotransmitter balance. It can damage other parts of the brain impacting the ability to make rational decisions, and altering mode and personality. Repeated substance abuse can also cause mental health disorders to get worse. Addiction causes a person’s main and only priority to be substance use. This can cause people to become more selfish, start lying more, tend to aggression, and become more impulsive. They may do things completely out of character for them such as stealing from loved ones.
How Does a Person Look Under the Influence of Drugs?
Every drug has a different effect on a person and there is a wide range of signs that someone is under the influence of drugs, such as:
- Loss of inhibitions
- Loss of coordination
- Enlarged pupils, glassy or bloodshot eyes
- Increase energy and confidence
- Exhaustion, fatigue or insomnia
- Irritability and moodiness
- Changes and eating habits, either eating more or less
- Anxiety symptoms include panic attacks, sweating, dry mouth, muscle aches, dizziness, and headaches
- Tactile, auditory, or visual hallucinations
- Nausea and vomiting
- Trembling or twitches
- Complaints of blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, or stomach cramps
- Inability to stay awake
- Excessive talking which is out of character
- Slurred speech
- Slower movements
If someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and you are looking for resources for how to help them, The Detox Center of Los Angeles can help you. We offer comprehensive treatment programs that can help any level of substance abuse and give you resources on how to get your loved one the help they need. If you would like more information about drug and alcohol rehab, please do not hesitate to contact us today.