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Identify If Someone Around You Is Suffering from an Addiction


When someone is struggling with an addiction to something such as a drug, nicotine, or alcohol, he or she is not capable of controlling his or her use of that substance. He or she will continue to use it, even if there are risks associated with the substance. In some cases, he or she isn’t even aware that there is a risk of using that substance.

Substance Dependence

Substance dependence causes powerful cravings that the addict is unable to control. While the signs and symptoms of this dependence can vary, there are some things you can look for if you believe that someone close to you may be suffering from addiction.

When someone close to you has expressed a serious desire to give up his or her vice and has tried but has not been able to, that is a sign that he or she is struggling with an addiction that he or she cannot control. The person who is close to you might also demonstrate withdrawal symptoms. Some of the symptoms you can watch for include cravings, moodiness, bad temper, poor focus, bouts of depressive behaviour, anger, resentment, frustration, and bitterness.

A person who is suffering from addiction, such as alcohol addiction, will always ensure that he or she has a good supply of it available to him or her. Even when he or she doesn’t have the money for the alcohol, household expenses may be sacrificed to allow him or her to buy alcohol. Someone who is addicted to alcohol may also refuse invitations to attend events where there will be no alcohol available or show up to events already intoxicated.

Many of those who are addicted to a substance are in denial regarding their addictions. They are either not aware of or refuse to admit to having problems. Even as they are participating in fewer of their favourite activities and pushing their friends and families away, they see everything as being the fault of someone else and are unable to accept the blame for their actions.

Your Options

If you feel as though someone you care about is addicted to a substance, there are things you can do to help him or her. Make sure that your loved one knows that you support him or her and his or her choices, but that you aren’t going to enable him or her to continue with his or her addiction. There are also support groups that you can join and encourage your loved one to join as well. It isn’t easy for someone who is battling an addiction to hear someone else accuse them of being addicted. When you approach your loved one with your concerns, be aware of using “I” statements and avoid placing blame on your loved one. If your loved one is aware of his or her addiction, he or she likely already feels guilt and negative emotions regarding it, and you don’t want to make those worse. On the other hand, if he or she is still in denial, an accusation of addiction can bring out anger and resentment towards you. If you aren’t sure how to approach your loved one, you can reach out to a support group for more advice on how to do so.