Knowing the signs of addiction is extremely important, considering how bad our community’s drug and alcohol problem is.
In light of COVID-19, with an already-bad addiction issue, I think it’s very important that our community members know some of the warning signs that they or someone they care about might be struggling with substance abuse.
After being quarantined, alcohol sales sky-rocketed almost 40 percent since community support groups like AA and out-patient clinics were closed and everything went to online forums. On top of that, stress and anxiety from job loss, financial distress and being stuck at home has driven many in our community to find solace in drugs and alcohol.
I’d like our community to be aware of five warning signs of addiction.
Any alterations in normal behavior, loss of interest in things that used to be interesting, changes in sleep patterns, loss of appetite and poor hygiene are all potential indicators that something could be wrong. Also, if a person who used to be very family-oriented is now isolating themselves and finding reasons not to show up for family events, birthdays, holidays, etc., it also may be a warning sign that something is going on.
Physical changes can occur in a person starting to struggle with drug abuse.
A person may experience significant weight gain or weight loss, have sunken eyes, skin can turn a “greyish” color and their hygiene may become poor. Additionally, some drugs cause users to develop sores, especially on their faces.
Lastly, a person who is becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol often experiences financial problems, as most of their money is going to feeding their addiction. They may create fake “crisis” situations to get money from family.
They may have an elaborate story about how their apartment was broken into, they were robbed, were fired from their job, etc., and now they can’t pay their rent or bills, so please send money. While it may be true that they can’t pay their bills, it’s very likely that any money given will go right back into feeding their habit.
I believe the more our community is aware of addiction, the more our community can do to fight back against it. If I can be of any help to any of our community members, please reach out at 970-484-2023 or visit narconon-colorado.org/blog/5-signs-of-addiction.html.
Deputy executive director, Narconon Colorado
Fort Collins, Colo.