Being in a close relationship with an addict can be exhausting – even if you’re unaware of the extent of the problem. Addicts are crafty and can be very effective at hiding their addiction even from those who are close to them. But there will come a time when you realize how serious the problem is, as addiction and healthy relationships don’t mix.
So how can you tell if the person you’re dating or married to is an addict? Unless your partner is open and honest about their struggles, you’ll have to pay attention to these signs.
1. Acting Irresponsibly
An addict’s main goal is to feed their habit, despite negative consequences. On the outside, this looks like selfish behavior. But on the inside, the addiction is interfering with the person’s ability to control their impulses.
Early on, the drug user gets pleasure from using drugs and alcohol. This pleasure is the primary motivator to continue drug and alcohol use. As time goes on, this pleasure becomes secondary and relieving pain or discomfort becomes first. This is when the addiction turns compulsive.
Due to this, addicts put all of their energy into using drugs and alcohol. They end up acting irresponsibly and neglecting their adult responsibilities.
2. Feeling Depressed
Mental health and substance abuse are closely linked. Depression can be a symptom of addiction, or it can be a motivator to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.
If you notice that your partner feels helpless or hopeless, uses substances more often when they’re sad and/or neglects their own self-care routines, it’s important to step in and get them help. Otherwise, the cycle may continue and leave your partner with both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder.
3. Lashing Out
Sadly, addiction can foster abusive behavior in some people. This abuse can be physical, emotional or verbal, and it can be directed at anyone in the family.
However, it’s often the people who try to stop the addiction that receive the most abuse. Addicts have a tendency to lash out when they don’t get their way. They’ll also use blaming, coercion and guilt trips to get what they want.
Codependency is another form of abuse that’s often overlooked because it’s not negative. However, codependent relationships are also toxic and destructive because they allow the addiction to continue.
4. Being Deceitful
Addicts often try to cover up their behavior, which causes them to be deceitful. You may notice that your partner is stealing money, leaving in the middle of the night or coming home late from work. If you question them, they’ll often lie or get defensive.
It’s hard to have a healthy relationship with someone who is deceitful. You’ll naturally lose trust in your partner. But, try not to take it personally because this is a symptom of addiction.
5. Acting Distant
Drug and alcohol use causes changes in the brain, which lead to changes in personality. The person you once loved and knew may no longer be there. Over time, addicts tend to spend their time with other addicts or by themselves. They become distant and emotionally unavailable to others in the family.
It may seem like your partner is choosing substances over you, but keep in mind that they have become dependent on substances. They need professional addiction treatment in Agoura Hills CA to heal – not motivation or willpower.
Addiction is Messy and Complex. But it IS Treatable.
Addiction is a complex disease that changes a person from the inside out. Even if your partner is good at hiding their addiction, it will eventually come out. Awakenings Treatment Center offers intensive outpatient and standard outpatient drug rehab in Agoura that includes evidence-based and holistic therapies. Contact our admissions team to get help for a loved one.