Modern life is hectic and demanding in a way that people often don’t have time to be with their families and partners. They’re so focused to fulfill ambitions or chase dreams that sometimes they lose the perspective and forget to look for a real source of happiness.
Unfortunately, life happens so fast nowadays that when some unfortunate thing like addiction occurs in the family, most people wonder how come they haven’t noticed it?
There are several reasons for that. People trust their spouses, so they will not deliberately look for the usual signs of struggle with addiction. Even when they realize that something is wrong with their loved ones, they’ll search for other clues and probably be suspicious of something else first.
Apart from the fact that signs of addiction can remain hidden for a long time, people with a substance use disorder will often do everything possible to keep their problems a secret or deny their existence, as long as possible.
Drug addiction is equally devastating for both genders. However, some researches indicate that males and females are affected differently by drugs and have a non-identical response to the same drug. Comparative studies revealed that drug addiction was more frequent among men than among women. Furthermore, males use drugs in larger amounts, more often, and start at an earlier age.
These and similar conclusions were the starting point for a different approach in creating men-only rehab programs (check at Addiction Resource) and therapies, to be used for male addiction treatments only.
Different Manifestations of Warning Signs
There are three different types of symptoms of addiction: physical changes, mood or behavioral changes, and psychological warning signs. Some are easier to recognize than others because of clear manifestation, while others can be recognized only by analyzing all symptoms.
Since these signs are standard and present in most cases the loved ones should react the moment any doubt arises. Suspicions can be easily confirmed with one phonecall to advisors at local men’s rehabilitation facilities or any 24/7 addiction helpline.
Physical changes are the easiest to identify because drug use leaves visible marks on addicts. The first signs will probably show in disturbed sleep patterns. People with substance abuse problems can sleep very long if they are going through withdrawal or suffer from insomnia if they are high. Sleep deprivation can lead to an inability to function normally or behavioral changes such as frequent snapping at others and constant irritability. A similar kind of disorder could happen with eating habits, whereas the most usual sign for substance abuse could be a loss of appetite followed by rapid weight loss. Although gaining weight can occur as well.
Ignoring usual self-care habits is another common sign of addiction. The lack of hygiene, such as wearing dirty clothes or body and breath odors can be a major red flag. People with substance use problems are losing the perspective of who or what is the most important in life, so they’ll hurt not only the person they love but also themselves.
The easiest way to physically establish if the person is under the influence of drugs is to look at its pupils. If they’re often dilated or constricted, with extreme conjunctival redness or yellowness than it’s already a case of regular use. Frequent sneezing, sniffling and nose bleeding can also be indicators of drug addiction, especially with paint, glue, and cocaine abuse. The mucosa inside the nose can get irritated and swelled which can cause serious difficulties with respiratory tracts.
Other physical marks could be injection sites on ankles and elbows, old and new scars from it, or chronic itching and picking due to the influence of the drug on the level of histamine and dopamine in the body. Skin can be affected as well and become dry, wrinkled, gray, pale or red. Sudden sweating, seizure, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting can be signs of overdose or withdrawal.
Mood or behavioral changes will affect the quality of a marriage or relationship in general, not only with the partner or spouse but with family, friends, and colleagues as well. Addicted people are under a lot of pressure to maintain their lives as usual, but it will become more and more difficult as they get more addicted to the substance. Mood swings, unexpected reactions, anxiety, irritability, nervous breakdowns are just a few of the behavioral symptoms of drug use.
Loss of old friends and the sudden appearance of new ones is another classic change in the life of a loved one with substance use disorder. As they lose interest in hobbies, sport and other free-time activities they usually shared with friends and partners, they’ll let go of the long-term relationships to replace them with new “friendships” with people who are also drug users overnight. Other behavioral changes could be neglecting family and work duties and obligations, a constant need for money, stealing and other legal issues, and car accidents.
Lying, secretive and paranoid actings, fearfulness, anxiousness, lack of attentiveness and motivation are examples of psychological warning signs. Partners and spouses could have the most difficult time connecting these changes with drug abuse. For example, the reason for poor job performances can be many things including a bad relationship with co-workers or professional insecurity. However, if these signs are combined with frequent, unexplained early leaving from work or late arrivals to work and warnings from employers than it should be considered as an emergency.
Spouses can save a lot of valuable time by addressing the situation and talking with an addicted partner about possible solutions immediately. As a form of preparation, they could contact the nearby men-only rehabilitation center for instructions on the best approach and ways to open a conversation on treatment.
The way someone reacts to a drug can be individual, depending on types of drugs. Some symptoms can be a sign of illness, but if they are happening frequently or constantly than spouses should start seeking more information on men-only rehab websites and similar online sources dedicated to the gender-oriented recovery treatments for men or, in case of female addicts, women-only rehabilitation programs.