5 Ways To Spot An Addict

"Good" and "bad" feelings

"A lot happens in one day, both negative and positive. If we do not take time to appreciate both, perhaps we will miss something that will help us grow."
IP No. 8, Just For Today

Most of us seem to unconsciously judge what happens in our lives each day as good or bad, success or failure. We tend to feel happy about the "good" and angry, frustrated, or guilty about the "bad." Good and bad feelings, though, often have little to do with what's truly good or bad for us. We may learn more from our failures than our successes, especially if failure has come from taking a risk.

Attaching value judgments to our emotional reactions ties us to our old ways of thinking. We can change the way we think about the incidents of everyday life, viewing them as opportunities for growth, not as good or bad. When we do this, we learn something from each day. Our daily Tenth Step is an excellent tool for evaluating the day's events and learning from both success and failure.

Just for today: I am offered an opportunity to apply the principles of recovery so that I shall learn and grow. When I learn from life's events, I succeed.


Not too long ago I received an email from Clare Flynn who offered me one of her articles, 5 Ways To Spot An Addict to be published here. You can also use this tiny url, http://tinyurl.com/66lz5g just in case the one above url was wrapped. So, here goes;

If you suspect a friend, colleague or loved-one is addicted, you might be afraid of approaching the person, how can you tell if someone might be addicted?

Confronting someone based purely on a gut instinct could lead to a big mistake and a real mess if you are wrong, but if you care about this person you desperately want to help.

What can you do?

Top 5 Warning Signs

Here are 5 warning signs that point to addiction:

1. Social withdrawal

Addicts will often withdraw from their normal social circles, becoming distant from friends, family and work colleagues.

As the addiction is prioritized relationships, studies and careers suffer.

Of course people can become distant for many reasons, work stress, worries, illness, but a sign might be evasiveness when approached about it.

2. Personality changes

As someone becomes addicted their personality can change.

Once happy and bubbly personalities can lose energy, have less get up and go, and become less outgoing.

Look for signs of lethargy, and moodiness.

Many addicts become depressed, especially when addicted to opiates which affect your serotonin receptors.

3. Physical Withdrawal symptoms

At the outset you might spot that they are tired all the time, jumpy or just not looking healthy.

Depending on the dependency, the person could suffer from sleeplessness, anxiety, or even apparent illnesses like nausea and diarrhea.

Of course they could just be feeling sick, so look for other signs rather than jump to conclusions.

4. Financial impact

The combination of falling behind at work and funding the addiction can cause a great deal of financial weight on top of the physical symptoms.

Money that should be paying bills, food, and so on is instead going to their new priority.

Are they borrowing more? Do their spending habits seem to have changed? Have they stopped doing activities they used to pay to take part in or attend?

5. Trouble with the law

While not every addict will have a scrape with the law, trying to ease the financial burden through petty crime, and the illegal nature of the addiction or drug source could lead to an increased risk of being arrested.

Also the psychological changes could mean the person gets into fights, accidents or associating with the less upstanding members of society.


Each symptom in isolation could be just a coincidence but the more factors that seem to fit the more you should be thinking about seeking advice. Just make sure you tread cautiously. The earlier you can detect the signs the faster you can find help, and the less damage there will be for everyone concerned.


My take:

Here is a true story. One of my client who can't read or don't want to accept the warning signs to addiction ends up marrying an addict husband who treated her like football. I really can't blame her, maybe she like it rough.

But please take heed of these warning. For one, you can seek help for your loved one or at least you don't end up marrying an addict without you knowing it until it's too late. I'm an addict and I've been there and done that. I know how life can be a bloody mess living with an addict, especially with an addict who think he/she is always right and the rest are wrong!

That's all for now, my friends. See you when I see you. Take care...

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5 Comments thus far...

Shadow said...

i read somewhere early on in my recovery: if you THINK you may have a problem, you probably do.

i found that to be very true. and just as hard to admit as taking the first step of doing something constructive about it...

lotsa love from.... me!

rado said...

honestly, i really want to be you. good post! good think! good luck..

Chelle said...

These are good tips - there are also times it is impossible to "spot an addict" - they go to great lengths to cover it up and hide it - even people who live with them can't tell. This makes it ever harder for getting help because no one notices the problem or understands it exists.

k said...

Thanks for the info. It might come handy anytime. Is irritability a symptom, too?

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Lars said...

definitely a good principle to help begin change and to help get things better... i strongly believe that the best teacher in life is experience... good or bad...

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