How to Spot Addictive Behavior

Monday, February 11, 2019 at 3:26 pm in
mother comforting daughter

What are some of the signs that your loved one may be addicted to drugs or alcohol?

Addiction can impact anyone, regardless of who they are. Not only can it impact anyone, it’s an all-encompassing disease, effecting the body and mind. 

Each drug has its own symptoms of “under the influence behavior” and people can be in different stages of addiction, so it can be difficult to pinpoint specific behaviors or symptoms of people that are high on drugs. However, there are some basic behaviors that indicate there may be an addiction problem.

Here are some things to ask yourself if you suspect your loved one may be battling addiction.

Have they failed at attempts to stop or cut back on the abused substance?  

Are they lying to you?  Individuals in addiction usually lie to cover their whereabouts, where their money is going, and how their time is spent. First the addict lies to themselves about their addiction, then they begin to lie to others. Lying, evasion, deception, manipulation, spinning and other techniques for avoiding or distorting the truth are parts of the addictive process.

Are they isolating themselves from family and friends? While isolation usually starts with friends or family, as addiction progresses, the individual begins to isolate themselves from more people and activities. 

Have they stopped being interested in the things they used to love? As addiction progresses and more time is spent using, the individual devotes more of their time in using. It becomes a part of their routine and a compulsion. There is little to no time in their lives for the things they used to love.

Have they had run-ins with the law? Perhaps stealing, possession, DUIs, etc. Not everybody develops criminal behaviors, however it is possible.

Has their attitude and personality changed?  Many people suffering from addiction may seem more irritable or impulsive, and may have dramatic mood swings.


These are broad symptoms to look for, call us at 330-330-8777 with your questions. We’re here to help.

How to support a loved one suffering from addiction


Additional Reading:
SAMHSA (2012) Alcohol and drug addiction happens in the best of families. 
SAMHSA (2013) Family Therapy Can Help.