Addiction can produce profound changes in appearance and behavior in an individual. Families of women who are addicted may feel that they no longer know or understand the person to whom they were once so close. There may be frustration about getting them to stop their substance abuse and fears about how it will end. These individuals may need an intervention to show how much addiction has affected their relationships and those around them.
Physical Signs of Addiction
Individuals who are addicted may begin to neglect regular grooming routines.1 They may bathe less often, forget to fix their hair, stop wearing makeup, and wear the same clothing for days. People suffering from a substance use disorder may look pale, with dark circles under their eyes, or their skin may be severely broken out.
They may lose weight, appear sluggish, sleep for long periods or stay awake for days. They may show signs of withdrawal when they try to stop using the substance, experiencing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, anxiety, sleeplessness, joint pain, and seizures.
Emotional Signs of Addiction
Another sign of addiction that may indicate they need an intervention is a change in emotional state. She may become very depressed or severely anxious. She may have angry outbursts or periods of irritability. Some individuals may display emotional numbness or lack of any facial expression. In general, individuals who are addicted fail to relate to others around them in a normal way. They may seem inwardly focused and uninterested in other people as they would otherwise be.
Behavioral Signs of Addiction
A person caught up in the web of addiction may exhibit various behavioral symptoms that indicate they may need an intervention. She no longer has any control over substance use and is actively engaged in covering up the severity of the problem, such as:
Lying – Individuals addicted often resort to constant lying to cover up school, employment, or money problems. They may lie about where they are going, whom they are with and what they are doing when they are away from home.
Manipulating – People who are addicted sometimes become master manipulators because they require the cooperation of others to get money, time to use the substance, and the transportation to acquire the substance.2 People close to the addicted individual may not initially realize the games being played. Still, the constant misunderstanding and confusion eventually play out, and they realize they have been used to maintain the addiction.
Isolation or secrecy – The addicted individual may isolate themselves from regular contact with family and friends, preferring to stay high or spend time with people who also use the substance.
If you have a daughter or other loved one struggling with addiction, contact a professional treatment center that can provide information on interventions that can begin the process of leading them back to a healthy life.