Few things hurt more than watching a loved one struggle with addiction. Whether it’s alcoholism, prescription med abuse, or an opioid addiction, the thought of someone close to you suffering physically and mentally with something beyond their control is terrible. This is why it’s essential that you always keep an eye out for red flags. Addiction is easiest to treat when caught early. Even if a loved one does their best to hide their problem, there will likely still be subtle signs that something’s wrong.

Early Warning Signs of Addiction

Even if your significant other is abusing in private, there are certain symptoms of addiction that can’t be fully hidden, just like any other disease. If you notice signs of a substance abuse problem in a loved one, you should confront them directly and encourage them to seek out a treatment & rehab program in Tennessee.

  • Uncharacteristic moodiness, paranoia, or unexplained bouts of excitement and euphoria
  • Depression, degraded hygiene standards, an increased tendency to keep to themselves, and less drive to attend social events
  • Contracted or dilated pupils, bloodshot eyes, and red coloring on the underside of eyes
  • Itchiness, cramps, sweating, and frequent flu-like symptoms which could be signs of withdrawal
  • Sudden weight loss or gain and unhealthy dietary choices, especially in alcoholics
  • An irregular sleep schedule, insomnia, and excessive fatigue
  • Finding straws (especially if cut in half), empty pens, coins (often with powder on the edges), empty plastic bags, missing spoons, or unlabeled pill bottles around the home. These can be used as subtle paraphernalia and aren’t commonly associated with drugs in the same way that needles, bongs, or mountains of empty beer cans 

If you notice any of these signs shortly after a loved one has been prescribed common opioids and narcotic pain relievers, you should be especially vigilant. Prescription medications are easy to get addicted to, even if someone would normally never experiment with drugs otherwise. Additionally, these are only general symptoms, shared by many commonly abused drugs. Depending on your loved one’s history, you should keep watch for symptoms of specific drug addictions that you suspect they might have.

How to Help A Loved One With Addiction

How to Recognize Early Signs of Addiction in Loved OnesStaying quiet only enables addiction in a loved one. If they assume that they have your approval or that you haven’t noticed yet, they won’t have enough motivation to get better. If they haven’t already, their addiction will eventually lead them to make dangerous decisions and suffer lasting health consequences, assuming they don’t overdose and die outright. You should always confront those you care about if you think they might have a drug addiction, even if you’re not 100 percent sure. Worst-case scenario, you’ll realize you have nothing to worry about, and you’ll show them that you care deeply about them. However, if you successfully catch an addiction, they’ll thank you for it later. 

Attending a family matters program in Tennessee is a great way to simultaneously address their addiction, the implications it has for your family, and to develop a long term recovery plan which can get your lives back on track. Discovery Place’s alternative treatment center can help. Contact us at 1-800-725-0922 to talk to a compassionate professional at any time of day and learn more about the addiction treatment process for loved ones.


  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
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    Roy Mantelli
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    Tommy Parker
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