When a person drinks excessively, there are visible signs. The person will tend to slur words. Their eyes may be bloodshot and seem to be in a sort of daze. Their breath might smell alcohol, and they will attempt to hide it with a mint or other means. Their work area may be messy and disorganized. They will seem very happy and show an “all is well” facade, sometimes contradicting their facial traits. In later stages, the person will show slight to severe shaking hands and a high level of anxiety in speech and mannerisms.
Not all alcoholics are identical. Some have become very good at hiding their addiction. But anyone abusing alcohol will inevitably make mistakes trying to hide it from others. You need to be aware that the alcoholic will not see the changes happening to them.
Alcoholism creeps up, and one day they find out they can’t stop, and their life is spiralling out of control. The person tries to hide their problem out of embarrassment or pride. Each additional failure to stop their consumption accumulates more shame and despair. Their predicament generates anger, blame, and hostilities towards others. In their own way, they push people away not to harm them.
Detecting drug abuse or addiction is a bit different. Many physical and behavioural signs indicate drug use. Each drug has its unique manifestations, but some general indications that a person is using drugs. Some of these are a sudden change in behaviour, mood swings, irritability and grumpiness. And then suddenly is happy and bright or withdrawal from family members and family activities.
A person will lose interest in personal grooming, hobbies, sports, and other favourite activities. Change in sleeping pattern; up at night and sleeps during the day. Other more physical signs would be red and dilated or pined pupils, sniffling or runny nose, dull skin complexion. Depending on the drug, there might be sores on the face and cavities, nails getting brittle or chewed up.
Those are just a few of the addiction signs one can look for in a person. The main point is that the person’s attitude toward you, others, and life will change. It can be somewhat more hostile or antagonist or withdrawn and depressed. They can show signs of withdrawal, give excuses as to why they cannot be at some social gathering when normally they would.
You can expect certain things to disappear mysteriously when things get out of hand. When questioned about it, they will blatantly deny any involvement and will attack you for even suggesting they might know anything about it.
A real example was a young man addicted to crack cocaine who stole his parent’s wedding rings to pawn them off for drugs. He was sure he could get the money back to reclaim the jewelry. But whenever he got some money, it kept going to drugs. He lost the rings, and when confronted about it, he lashed out at his mother for even suggesting he might know anything about it.
It is one thing for a person to have a bad day and another to have weird and continuous daily troubles. The most effective way to uncover addiction signs is to request a urine test (for drugs) or a breathalyzer (for alcohol). These tests are available at any pharmacy.
If the person refuses or finds ways not to do it, it is a sign that they are attempting to hide what they are doing. When a person refuses a test, tell them that it can be another time. Wait a day and request it again. If they decline again, you should sit them down and have a good talk with them. Make it safe for them to tell the truth about what is happening. Help them be honest, and this will be the first step to getting professional help.
If you need professional help in the matter, you can hire the help of a professional interventionist. If all is out in the open and the person wants help, we can help you find a proper drug rehabilitation center.