Drug addictions can change the way that people look, and at times, the change in appearance can alert the family to the addiction that might be lingering beneath the surface. There are times, however, when addictions cause radical changes in the way people behave, and those amendments cause the family’s warning system to go on red alert. These are just five behavior changes that have been associated with addictions to illicit drugs, and anyone demonstrating these signs might need help in order to recover.
Increased Need for Privacy
Addictive behaviors are often carried out in secret. People with addictions might need to steal or lie in order to obtain their drugs, for example, or they might like to hide their drug-taking behavior from authority figures. As a result, it’s common for people with addictions to develop a pervasive need to be alone, and they may spend hours locked in their rooms, offices or even the family bathroom as they work to keep their addictions alive.
Most addictive drugs work on the brain’s pleasure centers, and as a result, people who take these drugs can feel a boost of euphoria each time they take drugs. Unfortunately, according to a study in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, addictions can damage the portions of the brain that deal with reward and pleasure. An amended brain like this may be unable to find pleasure without drugs. As a result, people with addictions may swing between deep depression and periods of joy, with the moment of drug taking standing between the two states. Anyone who comes home upset and emerges from alone time with a better mood may have an addiction.
Lack of Anger Management Skills
Almost anyone can get cranky from time to time, especially when life doesn’t go quite as planned. However, people with addictions can sometimes develop changes in the portions of the brain that reign in impulsivity, and these changes can make people explode with rage on a regular basis. For example, in a study in the journal Psychological Reports, people with addictions had much higher scores on anger tests, and they had low scores of anger control. People like this might yell, scream or even lash out with physical violence, and addiction is to blame.
Addictions are expensive to maintain, and while not everyone who has an addiction is forced to resort to a life of crime to keep an addiction alive, it’s not uncommon for people to:
- Steal money from family members
- Steal pills from friends
- Boost clothing from stores, and return it for the money
- Break into cars or houses
People with addictions have a physical need for the drugs they take, so this risky behavior seems justified, and they may also have a lack of impulse control. The ideas seem sound, even though they’re clearly not.
Lack of Interest
As an addiction grows in importance in the person’s mind, it also becomes the person’s sole focus in life. People like this may not socialize with friends, visit family members, or even attend to school and work responsibilities. All spare moments are devoted to the use and abuse of drugs, and as a result, people just have less time to spend on the other activities that can make a life whole.
If someone you know is exhibiting these signs of addiction, it’s vital for you to get help. At The Oaks at La Paloma, we can provide you with the therapy and counseling your loved one will need in order to get better. Please call us to discuss.