Drug and alcohol use manifest in different ways but share common signs and symptoms. People with addiction including alcoholics are generally the last to understand the negative consequences of behavior. Attempts to hide addiction from loved ones create a space to escape but do not solve the problem. Learn the physical and behavioral signs which may be present to others even if the person struggling does not own it yet.


Isolation is one of the behavioral changes people with addiction exhibit. People with addiction often cite drug or alcohol use as a way to relax and relieve stress. Other signs of addiction may include when a person with addiction attempts to hide use and make trips outside the home. A five-minute trip to get a pack of cigarettes or milk from the store may turn into a five-hour disappearance during which time the person with addiction will most likely be using. Some other signs include:

  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Decreased socialization with friends
  • Limiting or eliminating exercise altogether
  • Reduction of participation in previously enjoyed activities

Mood Swings

When a person with addiction undergoes a drastic change in lifestyle, mood swings can kick in. If drugs or alcohol are used and it gets to the point of overcoming the person’s daily life, symptoms of withdrawal may include:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety

Signs of addiction can be drastic improvements to mood or swinging wildly from one extreme to the other in short periods of time. Wild mood swings are a direct result of the changes drugs and alcohol can have on the body and mind.

Financial Struggles

A person with addiction may not have money for things like groceries or rent including basic necessities. One sign of addiction is that money becomes scarce rather quickly when it is spent on using drugs. When it happens regularly, an expensive habit can kick in again and people with addiction will drain bank accounts, steal from loved ones or deplete life savings to support a habit. Some additional signs include:

  • Lack of money to pay for groceries, clothes, rent, bills or other necessities
  • Asking others to help cover bills
  • Seeking out extra money from roommates to cover their portion

Isolation, withdrawal, hiding and stealing are all behaviors a person with addiction may exhibit. Family members and loved ones often suspect something is wrong but cannot prove it as the person will deny a problem exists. Common habits and behavioral changes are just a few things to make note of but it can help to consider a discussion with a loved one suspected of having addiction. In doing so, the cards can be on the table and everyone can get on the same page towards health and substance free living.

Hired Power helps individuals struggling with addiction. If your loved one is exhibiting some signs of potential addiction and needs help, do not hesitate to contact us for support. We are here to help you or your loved one get on the road to recovery.