It's not always easy to recognize alcoholism and drug addiction. For some people the slide toward bottom happens very quickly and it's easily detected. Someone in the grip of addiction is typically so consumed with alcohol or drugs that little else matters. Personal appearance, responsibilities, normal activities, relationships, sleep and eating patterns all deteriorate. Others are high-functioning and can hide their alcoholism and drug addiction for long periods of time before it begins to interfere with their life.
Recognizing Alcoholism and Drug Addiction: Patterns
Someone who is struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction will typically have certain patterns of usage. For example, the must-have nightly cocktails, always having alcohol available in the house or at social functions, mood swings that could indicate someone is high or coming down off of a high, unusual sleeping patterns, isolating, leaving the house at odd hours, frequent visits to the doctor complaining of symptoms that require pain medication - these are patterns to watch.
If alcohol or drug usage is not interfering with an individual's ability to manage life or relationships, then it's not yet at a problem level. Some people can use alcohol and drugs for recreational purposes while others get hooked immediately. The best indication is the manageability of a person's life.
Recognizing Alcoholism and Drug Addiction: Appearance
Generally a person's appearance and their surroundings are indicative of what's going on inside of them. If someone is consumed in their alcoholism and drug addiction, it can't help but affect what's going on around them. Their personal relationships, extracurricular activities, school or work attendance and performance will all suffer. Usually family members will be the first to recognize the signs of alcoholism and drug addiction.
Recognizing Alcoholism and Drug Addiction: What to Do
If you recognize these behaviors in yourself or a loved one, seek professional advice. Drug rehab centers typically have professionals answering the phones who are former addicts and alcoholics - they can detect the severity of alcoholism and drug addiction through the patterns you describe and advise you on the best level of care. There are inpatient and outpatient programs depending upon how much alcohol and drug usage is interfering with your life or that of a loved one. It doesn't cost anything to make a few phone calls and find out how to arrest alcoholism and drug addiction before it's too late.