Spotting Signs of Addiction and How to Handle It

Addiction can cause impairment in one’s life. It can control the addict’s life with them feeling like it’s out of their control. It can be a tricky thing to recognize since most addicts are really good at hiding it, either out of shame, embarrassment, or simply because don’t want other people interfering with their addiction.


They know that people who care will try to keep them away from substances that’s keeping them addicted to instead of doing it out in the open, they hide it the best way they can. You might not even notice it until it’s already too late and the person is already deeply hooked to the drug.


Overcoming addiction is a hard battle. These signs of addiction will help you spot someone with a problem, and hopefully, you’re able to get help right away before the consequences get worse.

8 Signs of Addiction

1. Loss of interest in activities and isolation.

The addict will spend less time doing the things they used to love and might even neglect their daily routine. Instead, they would rather spend their time with others who also abuse the substance. They become less social and more secretive about how they spend their time.

2. Decreased performance at school or at work

Substance abuse can result in a drop in performance in school or at work. It’ll be easier to spot this especially if someone is normally excellent at what they do but become gradually worse at it as time goes by.


They may start to neglect their obligations since they’re too preoccupied in feeding their addiction. They’re not so concerned about their poor performance and might even have conflict with their peers/coworkers.

3. Financial problems

Drugs can be expensive, and it may lead to impulsive behaviors such as overspending and borrowing from other people. This accompanied by the poor performance at work can lead the addict to have financial problems. For them, the most important thing is to get more of the drug. Nevermind the financial consequences as long as they get their regular fix.

4. Forgetfulness

The physical changes caused by the drug can lead to forgetfulness. They may sleep less causing them to perform poorly in normal everyday life. Since the person is too focused on finding ways to sustain their addiction, they may forget to remember even the simplest things and will have a hard time making decisions. In worse cases, the person might even have blackouts or memory loss.

5. Withdrawal

A person who is addicted will eventually develop a tolerance to the drug. As a result, they will require higher quantities of it just to enjoy the same high. If they don’t have it, they may feel irritable or function suboptimally.

6. Relationship problems

The addicts behavior of hiding financial problems, partaking in risky activities, and neglecting responsibilities can lead to the downfall in his/her relationship with family, peers, and their partner. This along with the mood swings caused by drugs can lead to a lot of conflict in families and couples. They may even opt to hang out with people who encourage their habits.

7. Physical changes

Addiction is often accompanied with physical changes that can easily be spotted. The most obvious and common sign is weight loss or weight gain. Certain drugs can alter one’s eating habits with the addict eating more indulgently or having a lesser need for food, depending on the drug they’re abusing.


Other physical changes you might notice in an addict include:


  • A husky voice or a persistent cough
  • Dilated pupils
  • Flushed skin
  • Runny nose
  • Tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Flushing or puffiness in the face
  • Poor coordination
  • Poor hygiene

8. Drug paraphernalia

The obvious sign that someone is using drugs is drug paraphernalia. If you spot any of these items in the addict’s belongings, they could be using drugs:


  • Pipes
  • Bongs
  • Miniature spoons
  • Chillums
  • Injection needles
  • Cigarette papers


If you find stashes of their substance in different parts of the house or in unlikely places, you can be sure that the user is addicted and is hiding it.


If you spot your loved one exhibiting a number of these signs, there’s a good chance that they might be suffering from addiction, in which case, you need to intervene with the help of your family and get professional treatment for the addicted person.


Did we miss any symptoms on our list? Share them in the comments below.