Identifying an addict in your life can be easy or it can be difficult, even if the addict is yourself. Addicts can be masters of hiding their problem, from themselves and from others. It is the nature of an addict to not want to be caught. This is why assessing addiction can come with a number of challenges. However, addiction is dangerous to a person’s life and their livelihood. Whether they know it or not, their health, relationships and responsibilities will all improve if they get rid of their addiction. An addict may resist intervention, but do not ignore the signs and do nothing. Confront the addict or hire a professional interventionist to confront them if you observe the following behaviors:
- Secretive behavior. Addicts do not want to be caught, and they will put careful thought into hiding their addiction from the people in their lives. Typically, an addict cannot be spotted in a passing glance. One has to know them fairly well or know what to look for in order to identify their addictive behavior.
- Deteriorating physical health. One obvious tell of an addict is changes in their health, particularly when they are abusing a substance. Addiction to a substance will inevitably take down anyone’s health if it is allowed to persist. Even addictions with less immediate threats to the addict’s health will damage a person’s health over time.
- Mood swings. Addicts often become emotional, aggressive or defensive about their addiction when it is attacked, threatened or inhibited. If someone is acting out inappropriately over something they are drawn to, it is likely a case of addiction.
- Changes in appearance. Addiction tends to make people look different, particularly an addiction to a substance. As the person’s health becomes worse, they will often have bags under their eyes, unhealthy looking skin, bloodshot eyes and weight fluctuation.
- Lack of interest in former passions. Addicts tend to give up on what they love and replace it with their addiction. Jobs, schooling, vocations, hobbies, exercise, eating right and time with the people they love are all sacrificed to their addiction.
- Evidence of addiction artifacts. If you live with someone you suspect of being an addict and you begin finding evidence to support your theory, such as empty alcohol bottles, needles or pornographic material, your suspicion of an addiction problem is warranted.