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  • Jonathan Edgeley

How to Recognise the Signs of Addiction in a Loved One

Addiction is a widespread problem that affects millions of individuals and their families. Recognising the signs of addiction in a loved one is the first step towards helping them get the support they need. Addiction can take many forms, including substance abuse and behavioral addictions, such as gambling or gaming. This blog aims to shed light on the common signs of addiction and provide guidance on how to approach the issue with care and empathy. If you suspect that a loved one is struggling with addiction, it's crucial to take action and offer them the support they need. At the end of this article, we will introduce Eleven Recovery's ECO-Care program as a potential solution for those seeking sobriety.


Understanding Addiction


Before we delve into recognizing the signs of addiction, it's essential to understand what addiction is. Addiction is a complex disease that affects both the brain and behavior. It often begins with the voluntary act of using substances or engaging in activities, but over time, it can lead to changes in the brain's structure and function, making it difficult for the individual to control their cravings and behavior. Addiction is a chronic condition that can have serious consequences for one's physical and mental health, relationships, and overall well-being.

Recognizing the Signs of Addiction


Changes in Behavior

One of the most apparent signs of addiction is a significant change in behavior. If your loved one was once outgoing and social but has become withdrawn and secretive, this could be an indicator. They might also display erratic behavior, mood swings, or unexplained changes in daily routines.


Neglecting Responsibilities

Addiction often leads individuals to neglect their responsibilities at home, work, or school. You may notice that your loved one has started missing deadlines, skipping work or school, or avoiding household chores.


Financial Problems

Substance abuse and certain behavioral addictions can be expensive habits. If you notice that your loved one is struggling financially, borrowing money frequently, or experiencing unexplained financial difficulties, it could be a sign of addiction.


Physical Signs

Physical signs of addiction vary depending on the substance or behavior involved. For substance abuse, look for physical symptoms such as bloodshot eyes, changes in weight, dilated or constricted pupils, and poor personal hygiene. Behavioral addictions may lead to physical issues like carpal tunnel syndrome from excessive gaming or gambling-related stress.


Tolerance and Withdrawal

Developing a tolerance means that the individual needs more of a substance or engagement in a behavior to achieve the same effects. Conversely, withdrawal occurs when they experience unpleasant physical or psychological symptoms when they try to quit or reduce their usage. If your loved one is increasingly using a substance or engaging in a behavior despite negative consequences, this is a red flag.


Denial

One of the most challenging aspects of addiction is that the affected individual may deny their problem. They might become defensive or minimize their behavior when confronted. Denial is a coping mechanism, but it's also a sign that they are struggling with an addiction.


Social Isolation

Addiction often leads to social isolation. Your loved one might start avoiding friends and family, preferring to spend time with people who share their addiction. This isolation can further exacerbate the problem by reducing the influence of supportive individuals.


Health Problems

Addiction can have severe physical and mental health consequences. Look out for signs like frequent illnesses, unexplained injuries, weight loss, or deteriorating mental health.


Loss of Interest

As the addiction takes hold, your loved one may lose interest in activities or hobbies they once enjoyed. This disinterest in previously cherished pastimes can be a clear sign that something is amiss.


Secretive Behavior

Addiction often leads to secretive behavior. If your loved one is concealing their actions, lying about their whereabouts, or exhibiting suspicious behavior, it may be a sign that they are hiding their addiction.


Approaching a Loved One About Their Addiction


Approaching a loved one about their addiction can be a delicate and challenging process. Here are some tips for addressing the issue:

  1. Choose the Right Time and Place: Find a quiet, private place to talk where you won't be interrupted, and your loved one can feel comfortable expressing themselves.

  2. Use "I" Statements: Express your concerns using "I" statements, such as "I've noticed some changes in your behavior," rather than accusing or blaming them.

  3. Be Empathetic: Let your loved one know that you care about their well-being and that you want to help them. Avoid judgment or criticism.

  4. Offer Support: Encourage them to seek help and let them know that you'll be there to support them throughout their recovery journey.

  5. Research Treatment Options: Familiarize yourself with treatment options, such as Eleven Recovery's ECO-Care program, which specializes in helping individuals achieve sobriety and maintain it through a holistic approach, including family therapy.


Eleven Recovery's ECO-Care Program

If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, it's important to seek professional help. Eleven Recovery offers a unique ECO-Care program that focuses on getting individuals sober and helping them maintain their sobriety. This program stands out due to its holistic approach, addressing the environmental, emotional, and physical factors contributing to addiction. Here are some key features of the ECO-Care program:

  1. Environment: The program helps individuals identify and modify the environmental factors that contribute to their addiction. This includes offering a supportive and sober living environment, addressing triggers, and promoting positive lifestyle changes.

  2. Emotional Well-being: Addiction often stems from underlying emotional issues. ECO-Care provides counseling and therapy to address these emotional challenges and equip individuals with healthy coping mechanisms.

  3. Physical Health: Addiction can take a toll on the body. ECO-Care focuses on improving physical health through nutrition, exercise, and medical care.

  4. Supportive Community: Recovery is often more successful when individuals are part of a supportive community. ECO-Care fosters a sense of belonging and accountability, helping individuals stay on the path to sobriety.


Recognising the signs of addiction in a loved one is a crucial step toward helping them overcome their struggles. Addiction can manifest in various ways, and it often goes hand in hand with denial and secrecy. It's important to approach the issue with empathy and offer support. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, consider seeking professional help, such as Eleven Recovery's ECO-Care program, which provides a comprehensive and holistic approach to achieving and maintaining sobriety. Remember, recovery is possible, and it starts with recognising the signs and taking the first step toward healing.

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