Do you know someone who has a substance abuse problem? The chances are pretty likely you do.
As a counselor for both in-class and online drug classes I am often asked how to tell if someone has a problem with drugs or alcohol. This is the second in a series of blog entries examining this question. As reported in newswatch.nationalgeographic.com.
Most Obvious Sign
Can you guess what the most obvious sign of addiction and substance abuse is? It is really quite simple – lies. This is the most consistent and persistent component of addiction. For an addiction to survive it must remain hidden. This is why most people don’t get treatment for their addiction until it becomes so severe that they cannot hide it anymore.
Why do addicts lie? You may be surprised that embarrassment of their addiction is not the primary reason. No, addicts lie to protect their addiction. This is the brain’s way of helping keep a person addicted. It is quite common for the addiction to become the primary love or concern of the substance abuser’s life.
Addicts will lie to protect their addiction from danger (aka discovery) just as you or I might lie to protect a child or loved one from an aggressive assailant.
In addition to lying about the addiction, the addict may start lying about their whereabouts, even disappearing for days at a time. Another might be lying about stealing to get money to feed their addiction like the disappearance of money and possessions — particularly consumer electronics or jewelry.
If you or someone you care about suffers from this sign I urge you to seek help immediately. A drug class is a good place to start to assess your substance use or abuse. If you prefer to maintain total anonymity there are also online drug classes.