Some signs of addiction are apparent. But if your loved one is trying to hide their addiction, you might not see these things until that addiction has progressed. Knowing the early warning signs can help you ask loving yet firm questions now so you can get your family member the help they need.
1. Unexplained Injuries
Those who are using drugs and alcohol often experience reduced coordination. As a result, they’ll have injuries. From gashes to open sores, these could take many shapes. Not only are you more likely to injure yourself. Those wounds are also likely to go untreated. So loved ones should be on the lookout for lesser-known signs of addiction like this.
2. Moving Money Around
Addictions cost significant money to maintain. So you may have to get creative to pay the bill. On top of that, when someone is addicted, the drugs come first. For example, they won’t pay the electric bill until after they have the drugs. Your addiction radar should go on high alert if you see their loved one engaged in money schemes such as:
- Cashing out retirement
- Maxing credit
- Stealing, begging or pawning
- Using payday loans
And as you’re investigating, don’t forget the addiction could be something other than drugs. For example, shopping, gambling, a person, and porn could all cause money movement Analysts estimate that addiction costs the US $740 billion each year. That’s a lot of money moving.
3. A Disappearing Act
If your loved one is suddenly disappearing with no forthcoming explanation, you may need to explore whether they’re showing lesser-known signs of addiction. Don’t accuse. But do inquire lovingly.
4. Spending a Lot of Time on the Road
A person who has an addiction may suddenly travel 300 miles, even in the middle of the night. If they’re high-functioning, they might have a cover story. They’ll talk about a specific site or city they want to visit. But you might find that they’ve never before expressed interest in that place. This generally happens because their local suppliers have experienced a shortage. As a result, they must go further to get what their body and mind tell them they need. If they live in a small town where people know each other, they might also do this to get rid of drug paraphernalia or liquor bottles so people won’t find out.
5. Missing Pills and Bottles
Are you or a family member might have a prescription for painkillers, sleep aids, or ADHD drugs. Then you notice that pills or the whole bottle are suddenly missing. Or you, who does not have an addiction, may have had a bottle of expensive tequila you’ve been saving. That bottle is now gone. You might not know who took it. But by following the clues in this article, you may be able to figure it out. People with addiction actively learn where people around them keep drugs and alcohol so that they can access them.
How to Help Your Loved One Showing Lesser-Known Signs of Addiction
Approach this person with compassion. But do not enable their behavior or put yourself or children at risk for their sake. If you’ve done the detective work and determined that they do have an addiction, the best gift you can give them is encouraging them to take that first step toward recovery. At The Ranch PA, we offer clients a full-range of individualized-programs in a safe and supportive environment. Programs include things like:
Is your loved one showing these lesser-known signs of addiction? It all starts with one step onto the recovery path. Call us at 717.969.9126 to speak with a caring professional.