warning signs of addiction

Warning Signs of Addiction Families Need to Recognize

Noticing Behaviors of An Addict

An individual displays his or her addiction through a range of behaviors, mostly negative. The warning signs of addiction families need to recognize are vital in determining if your loved one is, in fact, an addict.

For family members, the changes that occur in loved ones are quickly noticed. For those lacking knowledge in the behaviors an addict displays, it can be quite challenging.

The time it takes to realize and confront your loved one about his or her addiction is crucial in beginning the recovery process. Addiction has negative long term effects that will only worsen if gone unnoticed. For family members concerned with missing the signs of drug abuse, below are the most common behaviors an addict may display.

Types of Negative Behavior

Negative behavior is the action of wrong doings. There are underlying causes of theses actions coinciding with drug abuse. Although each individual may express his or her addiction differently, there is a common theme relating to the actions of the addicted loved one. When it comes to drug use, the warning signs of addiction families should be aware of consist of the following:

  • Isolation
  • Disinterest
  • Secrecy
  • Irritability
  • Impulsivity
  • Manipulation
  • Dishonesty

When people are mentally and physically dependant on a substance they lose themselves. The fire that once lit up their lives slowly dims into a dark spiral of existence. The once vibrant and lively individual turns into a distant human being with the monster of addiction controlling his or her every move.

For people struggling with addiction, it becomes difficult to live how they once did. Over the course of their addiction, they find it increasingly overwhelming to keep up with the lives they were leading before their drug use took a turn for the worse. With these feelings at hand, the addict may start to display clear signs of discontent and irritability not only towards themselves but toward everyone around them.

In the following text, we will explore a few in depth examples of the warning signs of addiction families are initially going to notice.


Isolation and seclusion should be relatively easy to observe. One of the first warning signs of addiction family members are going to notice is distant behavior from the addict. They may begin to feel shame and guilt for becoming dependent on a substance. The addict does not think or want anyone to bring their drug use into light.

This worry pushes the addict to become more of a recluse, refusing any sort of human interaction to enter their life.


Another common sign a family should take notice of is the loved one’s disinterest in activities they once partook in. This can also apply to hobbies or participation in family traditions.

Sometimes this moment is described, by many, as their disinterest in participating in certain family activities. A common beginning is in the avoidance of family meals like dinner. Family discussion over dinner has been described by several sociologists as an integral part of relationship building. It has been connected to the happiest families and scored the highest on tests involving perceptions of relationship stability.

Disinterest can affect multiple tastes and perceptions about people, places, or things they once sought after.


In the journey of the progression of addiction, one will eventually encounter the addict’s self-denial. Hiding the effects and the habit is extremely common with nearly all types of addictions, especially when it involves a substance.

When the addiction reaches a certain level of severity, the family involved should directly confront the suffering addict. By the very nature of someone acting secretive, it means that finding out the problem will mostly be a more difficult task.

Attention to detail is vital in understanding and knowing what to look for.


Addiction is a disease that many different people fail to understand as a totalitarian disease. It is a fairly difficult disease to fight against. Which makes anger the easiest emotion to understand in the battle.

Nobel Peace laureate Daniel Kahneman, the author of the landmark book Thinking Fast and Slow, has a name for what happens when people such as addicts are having an internal battle and eventually a product of it is explosive rage and annoyance. He names it “ego depletion,” the act of the ego losing control due to the many factors going on around it.

A better way to understand ego depletion relative to addiction is to also understand the energy it takes in suffering through it.

When suffering from addiction, the addict understands that composure is part of keeping a problem secret. However, the attempt at keeping the addiction secret, which addiction in itself is overwhelming, becomes exhausting after enough time.

Warning Signs of Addiction Families Encounter and How to Treat Them

If it just so happens that the “warning signs of addiction families need to recognize” reveal to you that your loved one is an addict, do not fret. There are many routes to take that will lead your loved one to success in recovery.

In a drug-induced fog, addicts often do not realize the weight of their actions. During active addiction, they are unaware of how their actions may seem suspicious to family members and loved ones. Although they are the ones who ultimately decide to use the substance, there may be times when the addict is unable to control their desire to use and the necessary actions they must take in order to do so.

More often than not, when an addict feels attacked by family members, they will shut down and refuse help. The approach a family member must take to create the safest and effective environment to jump-start the recovery process include:

  • Firmly addressing the issue
  • Being supportive regardless of the situation
  • Not passing judgment
  • Being sure your loved one is truly addicted to a substance
  • Correctly assessing the issue using the examples of warning signs listed above or other signs that your loved one may be using drugs or alcohol
  • Keeping a calm demeanor throughout the initial recovery process

Remaining adamant about the help your loved one needs improves the intervention process. It should also be advised that when families believe that a loved one might be acting out, they should never be discouraging. When confronting the individual, it’s also important to keep the climate neutral and not come across too aggressively. These steps will ultimately lead to a long lasting recovery for the addict and a long lasting knowledge of the signs of drug addiction.

Struggling With Addiction?

Addiction is a harsh reality that families across the country are becoming more and more familiar with. It’s not uncommon to feel lost or at wits end dealing with yourself or a family member currently in active addiction. If you’re struggling to find help call  Drug Treatment Center Finder at (855) 619 – 8070 today. Trained medical staff is available 24/7 to offer advice and guidance on the different types of treatment opportunities available to you or your loved one.