Learn How to Spot Addiction in Adults

When you or someone you love is using substances — whether drugs or alcohol — it may not be easy to decide if the problem is serious enough to be treated. That’s why it’s vital to know the signs and symptoms of addiction. Recognizing a substance use disorder is the first step to getting help.

Specific signs and symptoms

Adults who are addicted to substances are likely to have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, anger and guilt
  • Poor eating habits and/or poor nutrition
  • Avoidance of family and friends
  • Devaluation of personal relationships
  • Failure to keep promises and resolutions
  • Missing excessive time from work and other commitments
  • Work and money problems
  • Lack of ambition
  • Trouble coping with responsibility
  • Negative changes in personal habits such as sleeping, eating and hygiene
  • Passivity or irritability

Adults who are struggling with addiction may also do the following:

  • Offer alibis, excuses, justifications, or other explanations for their using behavior
  • Admit that they are using substances but, at the same time, not agree that the problem is serious enough to require treatment or care
  • Not admit to the full consequences of their behavior
  • Place the blame for the behavior on someone else or some event
  • Change the subject to avoid discussing the topic

If you’ve noticed behavioral changes in a person close to you, be aware that these signs and symptoms may not all occur at the same time, in any certain order, or with great frequency. But the fact that you’ve noticed significant changes is important. It may tell you all you need to know: that you should take action on your concern.

Treatment is available for those who need help, and also for their loved ones who are trying to cope. If you or a loved one needs help immediately, please call Rosecrance at (866) 330-8729 or visit our contact us page.

Drug-specific signs and symptoms

For detailed information about signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and heroin abuse, visit the following links.

If someone you love is exhibiting the signs of substance abuse or drug addiction, take the first step toward help, hope and lasting recovery. Call Rosecrance at (866) 330-8729.