5 ways to tell if your loved one has an addiction

Trust your gut – When observing a spouse, relative, or friend, look for these telltale signs of addiction:

  1. Loss of control – ingesting more than a person wants to, for a period longer than intended
  2. Risk taking – more likely to take serious risks in order to gain drug of choice
  3. Relationship issues – People struggling with addiction are known to act out against those closest to them
  4. Tolerance – over time a person’s body adapts to a substance to the point that they require more to obtain the same effect
  5. Continued use despite negative consequences – A person will continue to use regardless of consequences.


And what to do about it

  • Watch for withdrawal symptoms – People with addiction sometimes try to stop on their own, if this occurs, you will see signs of withdrawal. Some people require medical monitoring to prevent additional complications.
  • Stay detached, but with love – Remember this when dealing with your loved one’s addiction – you didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, and you can’t cure it. You can support your loved one, but any behavioral change must come from the person with the addiction.
  • Don’t Judge – Addiction is a disease. It’s just as threatening as cancer or diabetes if left untreated.
  • Begin the conversation, but keep your expectations low – It’s hard to know what to do or say. However, remember you may literally be saving a life just by starting the conversation.
  • Get professional help – Iris healing retreat and other addiction centers have professional staff who can conduct individual screening to determine whether someone has an addiction. A professional assessment is the best way to clinically assess the problem, establish the facts, and determine what treatment will help lead to recovery.