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15 Sep Is Your Friend Hiding an Addiction from You?

An addiction can be extremely hard to identify even in a friend, as hiding an addiction often becomes top priority in an addict’s life. If you’re unsure as to whether or not your friend is using, here are some common signs that your friend might be falling into addiction.

Larger and larger quantities

An addiction to alcohol can be difficult to identify, especially since a person might be consuming larger and larger quantities while still appearing in control. You might notice, however, that your friend is refilling the wine glass more frequently than everyone else, or is suggesting opening a new bottle of wine when everyone else is starting to max out. The same is true for prescription drugs. You might notice that your friend is taking more and more medicine and is running out of a prescription more frequently.

Drinking ahead

Someone might also hide an addiction to alcohol by drinking ahead of time and then drinking a more normal amount while out with friends. Have you noticed that your friend seems to have already had something to drink every time you go out? This could be a sign of a growing alcohol addiction.

New prescriptions

If your friend is becoming increasingly addicted to prescription drugs and is seeking out extra medication through an acquaintance, your friend might tell you that they were “prescribed a new medication.” In reality, however, your friend could be abusing an older prescription, or might not even have a prescription at all.

Secret stashes

Finding things where they shouldn’t be located is another sign of hiding an addiction. Someone who is addicted to alcohol might hide a six-pack behind items on a garage shelf, for example, or behind the laundry detergent in the laundry room. Or, you might find small bottles of prescription pills hidden in a jewelry box or in a winter coat pocket. If things are cropping up in unusual places, your friend could be trying to hide an addiction.

Financial trouble

Addiction doesn’t just take a toll on the body; it takes a toll on finances as well. There are several signs of financial trouble that could point to an addiction, from a growing pile of unopened bills, to disappearing items in the home, to frequently borrowing money from family members and friends.

Pushing people away

An addiction can feel extremely alienating, and it might cause your friend to start pushing family members and loved ones away. If you notice that your friend is beginning to become more and more isolated, there could be a growing addiction at hand.

Deteriorating health

An addiction will take a toll on physical health, mental health, and overall appearance over time. If you’re noticing significant changes in behavior, weight fluctuations, or a more unkempt appearance, an addiction could be the underlying cause.

Missing important events

Substance abuse can quickly become top priority in an addict’s life, causing real priorities such as family events, appointments, school, and work to fall to the wayside.

Loss of interest

Addiction can also cause someone to lose interest in things they once enjoyed, such as sports, music, or other hobbies. If your friend just doesn’t seem himself or herself anymore, addiction could be the reason.

Mike Keenan is a Licensed Substance Use Disorder Counselor (LSUDC) and is continuing his education by pursuing a degree in Social Work at the University of Utah. Mike began his career in 2008 working in youth residential treatment. Soon after, he identified his passion for working with the adult population suffering from addiction and chemical dependency and transitioned into adult residential, in-patient, and out-patient treatment. Mike has excelled in a variety of supervisory and director level positions, and is currently succeeding as the Director of Client Relations at Therápia. In addition, Mike has been practicing as a Certified Equine Specialist, using the EAGALA Model, since 2008. Using the EAGALA model, he works in a team to facilitate Equine Psychotherapy and Equine Life-skills sessions. Mike grew up in St. George Utah and has always taken advantage of the wide array of outdoor and recreational activities Southern Utah provides. He has capitalized on his love for and expertise in the stunning surrounding environment to facilitate experiential therapy and metaphorical learning.
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