If you’re worried about a friend or relative, or even possibly about yourself, when it comes to drug or alcohol usage, wondering whether it has reached addictive levels, then it’s important to know what to look for.

Addicts, whether they’re aware of it or not, display certain personality traits, including behavioural changes, mood swings, as well as on a more physical level, with personal grooming taking a back seat.

The first signs are always easily cast off as something else, maybe a difficult period in someone’s life, trouble at work, or a relationship break up, but if they go on for longer, and are accompanied by other red flag warning signs, then it’s time to become a little worried and encourage help.

Obviously you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped, and admitting you have a problem is notoriously difficult when you have an addiction, however that is the first step to recovery, and rehab is a fantastic way to gain control back. Advanced Health, for example, offers high quality rehabilitation programmes for addicts, helping to gain a handle back on life and turn it all around.

Wherever you reside, you’ll find a center not too far away from you, and if you’re looking for a recovery center in the US, you could dry the NJ alcohol rehab center, if alcohol has become a problem for you or a friend/family member. Help is at hand, and whatever your addiction or problem, you will find facilities welcoming you with open arms, back to full health.

We are possibly jumping the gun a little because before you admit the need for help, you need to be able to recognise the warning signs of addiction. Of course, everyone is different, so there may be slight changes in these general signs for every different person, however on the whole, this is what you need to look for in someone who has a potential alcohol addiction.

-        Shifty behaviour, wanting to avoid interaction unless they’ve had a drink

-        Repeatedly neglecting day to day responsibilities to drink, or due to being hung-over

-        Drinking despite being in a situation where it is dangerous to do so, e.g. whilst operating machinery

-        Getting into problems with the law due to drinking

-        Using alcohol as a way to chill out and relax all the time

-      Continuing to drink to excess, even though it is clearly causing problems in close relationships and at work.

Of course, addiction doesn’t have to be about alcohol, and we have to mention drug addiction too. The warning signs are very similar, so we won’t repeat them, however there are a few subtle differences to look for, especially on a more physical level.

-        The person has built up a drug tolerance, so it no longer affects them and they have to take more to get an effect

-        Taking drugs to avoid withdrawal symptoms

-        Feeling powerless, a slave to drugs and no control

-        Feeling like life revolves around taking drugs

-        Activities that used to be enjoyed are abandoned, lost interest

-        Changes in appetite, sleep pattern, bloodshot eyes, pupils dilated or smaller than normal

-        Lost interest in physical appearance and personal cleanliness

-        An unusual scent on the body or breath

-        Slurring of speech, impaired co-ordination

-        Needing extra money, but not explaining why, in order to buy drugs

-        Secretive behaviour, easily become defensive

-        A sudden change in friends, abandoning usual groups

-        Appearing to be anxious, hyperactive, agitated, and/or paranoid

We mentioned that the warning signs of addiction can be different for every person, but on the whole, these are the signs you need to look out for. Of course, just because you notice one or two of these signs in someone, it doesn’t automatically mean they have a problem, but several of them compounded together should raise alarm bells.

The best advice to give a person displaying these signs is that help is at hand.

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