The reasons why some people become addicted to drugs or alcohol and others do not are still a mystery in some ways. Knowing the signs can help identify if a problem is emerging. Learning to identify when addiction takes over a loved one’s life can be important in the fight against drug and alcohol use.

Substance Addiction Indicators


When a loved one struggles with addiction, some likely signs will pop up in unexpected ways. Behavioral and psychological changes are big factors which can indicate addiction. Without even realizing, a person way be witnessing the onset of substance addiction unless he or she knows the signs. Addiction is identified as a ‘compulsive need for and use of habit-forming substances which can build tolerance which leads to dependence and eventually addiction. Withdrawal symptoms may also be present.  Some of the following signs include:

  • Maladaptive or counterproductive behavior that impacts a person’s everyday life
  • Persistent behavior which occurs frequently enough to continually engage the person

Warning Signs of Addiction


Some symptoms or side effects of addiction may be more subtle and easier to hide. Other signs are much more obvious, especially as addiction advances and person with addiction grows less self-conscious. Warnings signs of addiction can include:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Changes in appetite
  • Hygiene gets worse
  • Shifts in sleeping patterns
  • Changes in friends or hobbies
  • Financial problems
  • Frequently getting into trouble
  • Appearing lethargic
  • Lacking motivation
  • Secretive or lying
  • Sudden onset of mood swings

Multiple warning signs can occur simultaneously and repeatedly in order to identify that someone has addiction. A loved one may have a rough day but this is not indicative of addiction. Addictive behavior is indicated by a series of signs which continue over a period of days, weeks or even months.

Common Factors Which Lead to Addiction


One way to identify if a loved one has an addiction is to consider certain factors that are commonly known to contribute to addictive behavior. Some of the following factors may include:

  • Traumatic experiences including abuse or neglect
  • Family history of addiction
  • Mental health challenges
  • Increased use of substances

Someone living with the risk factors for addiction may be at higher risk but it does not necessarily mean he or she will become addicted to substances.  Knowing the risk factors can help mitigate onset of addiction or provide better resources of support for individuals who struggle. The best thing to do is take steps towards finding support for a loved one struggling with addiction. Knowing a person is not alone in the struggle can help, as can finding proper resources to seek help.



Cypress Lakes brings integrative therapies to life during treatment. Our vision brings together holistic and therapeutic treatment to create an individualized approach to treatment for addiction. Call us to find out more information.