The Warning Signs of Addiction

Indications That a Loved One May be Struggling

One of the worst things that a parent, child, or significant other can find out is that their loved one is struggling with a substance abuse problem. If you suspect that a loved one may be experimenting with drugs or alcohol, or feel as though they are on a dangerous and destructive path, there are several signs to look out for that may indicate the truth.

Oftentimes, individuals who are in the midst of developing an addiction habit can be professionals at hiding their problems. At first, it can be easy to dismiss odd behavior but when a familiar pattern develops in their behavior, it can be a telltale sign that drug and alcohol abuse is present. 

Physical and Behavioral Symptoms

When an individual is hiding a substance abuse or addiction problem, they will exhibit various physical and behavioral symptoms. Their appearance will begin to look unkept and deteriorate in nature as a result of a lack of nutrition combined with drug or alcohol abuse. Their attitudes, personality, and behavior will start to change and they will become agitated, irritated, and act irrationally. These are all common signs that an individual may be struggling with a substance abuse issue.

Some signs that there may be a substance abuse problem present are:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Weight loss
  • Irregular sleeping patterns
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Poor hygiene 
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Becoming secretive
  • Hanging out with new friends
  • Experiencing financial problems
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Becoming paranoid

If a loved one is experiencing changes in mood, personality, and behavior, it may be the result of a substance abuse problem. If you suspect that a loved on is experimenting with drugs or alcohol, it’s important that you sit down and speak to them about the dangers and repercussions of their actions. 

Family History and Genetics

Research has shown that there is a strong correlation between genetics and addiction. Genetics play a large role in the likelihood of one developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol. If you come from a family that has a history of substance abuse, you are at a higher risk of developing an addiction or substance abuse problem later on in life. While there is a large chance that you will not develop a problem with drugs or alcohol, the chances are higher than for someone who does not have a family history of substance abuse. 

If you were introduced to substances of abuse at a young age then you are also more likely to develop a substance abuse problem as early exposure to substances of abuse has proven to have effects on the individual in the future. 

It’s important that if you feel as though your loved one or friend may be struggling with addiction or substance abuse, that you look out for the common warning signs. Early detection of addiction can help tackle the problem before it gets worse. The sooner the individual gets into treatment, the sooner they can begin to live their life to the fullest once again. 


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.