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In the unfortunate even that you suspect your loved one is facing drug addiction, your mind goes a million miles an hour. But in the midst of all of it, how do you know for sure? One surefire way is to get them to take a drug test, but approaching them out of nowhere to have them do that is a way to cause issues between the two of you. So, what do you need to look for?
1.) Hyper/Hypoactivity (Depending on the Drug)
Sudden bouts of energy or fatigue. Sleeping all day or constantly moving. Depending on the addiction, this could be a major sign, especially if they were never diagnosed with any kind of disorders (like ADD or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) that would cause this behavior. If possible, try to take note on the day and time of day these fits happen to see if there's a particular pattern.
2.) Weight Loss/Change in Appetite
Certain drugs can cause people to over or under eat, causing weight gain or loss. This one is also a good idea to record, especially if they have the active fits (or lack thereof).
3.) Financial Issues
Drugs are not a cheap thing to buy. If you happen to notice your relative/friend is constantly having money issues for what seems to be no good reason such as bills, then this could also be a major signal. This one tends to be the worst since at some point, they will run out of money and be unable to pay their bills and such, creating even more of a problem for them and those around them who just want to help.
4.) Abnormal Behavior
Lashing out, being secretive, isolation, and acting extreme are some of the most common points when it comes to behavior. People who use don't want their loved ones to know, so it's highly likely they will do what it takes to keep them from learning about this horrible habit — even if it means cutting everyone out of their lives.
5.) Relationship Trouble
As stated in the last point, the person addicted is usually ashamed of what they've done, and don't care what they have to do to prevent their secret from getting out. It doesn't matter who it is; mother, father, sibling, significant other, best friend... as long as they abuse a substance, it's probable they'll push people away.
6.) Blaming Others
This one's a little personal. My sister used to be addicted to methamphetamine, and through the duration of her using, she and I had a terrible relationship. We would constantly fight, call each other names, and be mean to each other. Not that I wanted to, but as far as I knew, my sister would've liked my head on a platter. She would hold me liable for her mental issues, and say that I was the reason she wasn't happy. She never gave me a legitimate reason as to why she accused me of such things. But upon learning she was using drugs, she admitted to me that she shifted blame and jumped at any chance she would get to bicker with me so she could try to feel better about her condition. So, from my experience, this one can be a real indicator, especially if they never acted like this before.
7.) Dilated Pupils, Red Eyes
The oldest sign in the book: red, glassy, enlarged pupils; or even if their eyes just look different. If this person usually suffers from allergies often, then tread carefully with this one. It's important to understand that sometimes, a sign isn't a sign. But, if they have multiple of these past indications, then it might be wise to assume this one.
Most of the time, people don't know some of the warning signs of addiction and don't get it figured out until it's too late. If you suspect your friend/relative is abusing drugs, contact the police or a rehabilitation center. You can also contact the National Institute of Mental Health (1-866-615-6464 or 1-866-415-8051) where they will be able to help you figure out what to do and who to contact. If you feel the situation is dire, call 911. There is never a wrong moment to help someone end a habit that one day may end them.