Warning Signs of Addiction

There are many red flags that should raise an alarm when considering whether or not substance use has risen to the level of addiction. Some of these behaviors might simply be indicative of a bad day, but when they occur in the aggregate, they may present cause for concern. When that happens, it may be time to ask your loved one if they are using alcohol or drugs.

It is not unusual for teenager to display a dramatic change in personality. During the adolescent years, teens are apt to discover their individuality and try new personality elements on for size. However, when adults have a dramatic and unexpected alteration to their personality, it may indicate something sinister occurring behind the scenes — and that may mean addiction. If someone you love has had a dramatic shift in their personality, it may be time to further investigate the situation. Take note of inexplicable changes in their personality that seem arbitrary and sourceless.

Certain physical symptoms can suggest that substance abuse is taking place, as well. These might include alteration in sleeping schedules, short term memory problems, headaches, and excessive thirst. Frequently, an addicted individual will display certain outward indicators of substance abuse, such as revealing odors on clothing, strange bruises on the body, or bloodshot eyes. Furthermore, since stimulants and depressants both have an effect on an individual’s demeanor, sudden mood swings or depression can indicate addiction, as well.

Mental instability

may be an indicator of drug use.

Substance Abuse

causes chemical imbalances in the brain forging an inability to experience pleasurable reward.

Red Flags

of an addiction can be observed in the home.

When observing the individual’s living space and possessions, be on the look out for improvised drug apparatuses and missing items of high value. Additional causes for alarm would be prescription medication, missing alcoholic beverages, locked doors, and an abnormal amount of household cleaning products.

When an individual is battling drug or alcohol addiction, substance abuse can become the most important part of her or his life. The desire for drugs and alcohol oftentimes overpowers the desire to participate in previous hobbies or commitments. Changes to look for include unexplained disappearances, making excuses, loss of interest in favorite activities, and breaking promises. People who show these warning signs may be suffering from a drug or alcohol problem. If you believe that someone you care for may require help, call Beachfront Recovery Centers today.

Is Your Loved One Suffering from Substance Abuse?

No Control

Even though they may want to, the person is unable to stop using.

Excessive Use

The person must take more and more in order to achieve the desired effect.

More Amounts

The person takes larger doses for a greater period of time.

Time Spent

Does the person spend most of their time using, acquiring, or recovering from use of the drug?


The person cannot commit to work, school, or familial responsibilities due to substance abuse.

No Passion

Does the person hobbies and social activities suffer due to drug use?

Additional Questions

Despite knowing that they have a psychological issue that might be exacerbated by substance abuse, does the person continue to use anyway?

Does the person manifest the symptoms of withdrawal?

Has the person failed to complete their obligations to work, school, or home because they have been preoccupied with substance abuse?

Does the person continue drug use regardless of the personal danger it may represent?

Drug Abuse and Alcoholism

Drug and alcohol abuse affect people of every economic status, age, and background. If you answered yes to some of these questions, the person you love may be struggling with substance abuse or alcoholism.

Substance Use Disorder: DSM-5

In order to be diagnosed of a substance use disorder, the individual must show signs of the above characteristics. A mild substance use disorder is indicated in individuals who meets some of the criteria, while meeting most of the criteria indicates a moderate substance abuse disorder. Meeting all the criteria indicates a severe substance abuse disorder.
The DSM-5 is the most current DSM version that was released in May 2013. In the current version of the DSM, substance use disorder is a singular diagnosis that entails both substance use and substance dependence.

    Criteria for Diagnosis

    Regardless of negative consequences, the person continues to use drugs
    Constant craving or desire to use drugs
    Cannot fulfill obligations to home, work, or school due to substance abuse
    Most time is spent either searching for drugs, using drugs, or recovering from drugs
    Continued use despite health and personal problems
    Amount of substance used increases over time
    When drugs are consumed, withdrawal symptoms begin