Drug addiction, also known as substance use disorder, impacts as a person’s life, and those around them, in many different ways.

Left untreated, drug addiction can have serious long-term consequences that can impact a person’s physical and mental health, relationships and quality of life. But how do you know if the person you love, whether it’s a family member or friend, is using? 

Questions to Ask If You Think There’s an Addiction

If you suspect that your loved one is using, ask yourself these five questions. If you think your loved one would be willing, include them in the discussion. These questions are by no means the only ones to consider, but they do provide a good starting point toward addressing the problem.

  1. Has their appearance changed recently?
  2. Have they been increasingly moody, irritable, or nervous recently?
  3. Have their relationships with their friends and family been changing recently?
  4. Have they not been participating in important work, recreational or social activities?
  5. Have they recently been spending more money than they usually do?

Why It’s Difficult Quitting Drugs

Overtime drug use changes the structure and functioning of a person’s brain. This is why addiction is considered a brain disease. There are many factors that go into why a person is addicted to drugs.

The main factors that put a person at risk for drug use also make quitting difficult. The main factors are:

  • Environmental – Things like peer groups, beliefs and attitudes of friends and family, stress, etc.
  • Genetic – A family history of addiction can not only make a person predisposed to addictive behavior, but also make quitting more difficult.

Many times there are also co-occurring issues like depression or anxiety that can fuel a vicious cycle. In this case, finding a treatment center that provides mental health services along with addiction treatment will be important so both issues can be addressed simultaneously.