Portrait of young brunette woman, annoyed and frustrated. Mental disorders bulimia, addiction. Concept of social issue.

Knowing when a person has an addiction is not always easy to do, it often is hard to identify the characteristics of addictive behavior. There are plenty of instances in which a person may be using drugs or alcohol and does not officially meet the criteria for addiction itself. Yet, for a person who is using often and unable to stop, it is clear that they may need help. One way to show them that they need help is to help them see what the most common behaviors of a person with addiction have. That may help them to see it is time to get help.

America’s Rehab Campuses offers a wide range of resources to help you do just that. Take a closer look at these characteristics to see if you may be at risk for addiction.

#1: Inability to Stop

The most common characteristic of a substance use disorder is being unable to stop using. Sometimes people say they can stop if and when they want to, but they are unable to. A person may try to stop and may even succeed for a short while, only to find themselves unable to maintain a drug-free lifestyle. Some people want to stop using, but the cravings and withdrawal symptoms they have when they try to do so can be intense.

#2: They Continue to Use with Negative Consequences

Another indicator of addictive behavior is the continued use of a substance even when they recognize that continuing to use can lead to high risks and negative outcomes. For example, they may recognize that they are facing financial turmoil, relationship problems, and health complications, but they are unable to stop using.

#3: They Are Preoccupied with Substance Use

A person with substance use disorder recognizes that they have other responsibilities, but they are unable to focus on anything but the use of these substances. This is because the brain has become so dependent on the substance that it seeks it out on a consistent basis. Often, to family, it looks like the family no longer matters because all the person is doing is seeking out the drug for continuous use.

#4: Changes in Behavior

A person who uses drugs or alcohol on a consistent basis is likely to exhibit some behavioral changes such as in their personality and habits. They may no longer want to engage in activities that they once did with family or friends. They may no longer socialize at all or may have other friends now that they are using. They are no longer interested in the things that once brought them joy.

#5: Increasing Use of Substances

Many substances, such as opioids, cocaine, and benzos, can lead to tolerance. That means that a person using them will become so used to them that they no longer feel the high they are seeking. This can lead to the need to use more of those drugs on an increasing basis. This may get to the point where they are using so much that they are at risk for an overdose.

#6: Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms

A person with an addiction and dependence may be unable to stop using due to the onset of withdrawal symptoms. This may be evident in the onset of muscle and bone pain, headaches, inability to sleep, or other physical symptoms of being ill. This is the body’s way of trying to get the person to start using those substances again. The cravings are also likely to be so strong it is hard to stop using.

How to Get Help for a Loved One Facing These Behaviors

If you see a loved one struggling with any of these behaviors, talk to them about that. Use facts to describe what you are noticing. Ask them what is happening and why. Then, offer help and support if they reach out for treatment.

America’s Rehab Campuses can help your loved one overcome many of these challenges. Through our medical detox program, it may become possible to stop using these substances and regain more control over the decisions you make in your life. Most importantly, we may be able to help your loved one overcome addiction so that they can start living a healthy life again. Reach out to us today to learn more.