5 Common Traits to Help You Identify a Drug Addict

Drug Addict Behavior Traits

Has your friend or child been acting strange lately? Do they not seem like themselves?

Just because you can’t put your finger on what’s different, doesn’t mean you’re making it up. If you think something is wrong, you need to trust your gut. As we’re learning more and more, your gut is connected to your mind and is usually right.

Your friend acting strangely could be from a lot of different things – not necessarily drug use.

But, it’s good to know some drug addict behavior traits, just in case. We’re detailing them, below.

Drug Addict Behavior Traits

These traits aren’t in any particular order of importance, nor are they chronological. Each person is different, and their journey to addiction will be as well.

Please keep that in mind while going through the following traits.

A Change in Priorities

Everyone has their “thing.” For some people it’s work. For some, it’s working out, reading, or going out on their boat.

Whatever it is, it brings them joy, and they always make time for it, even if they have to prioritize it over something else.

However, drug and alcohol use change those priorities. As addiction progresses, getting high or drunk becomes the top priority more and more.

If you notice your friend isn’t doing what they love anymore or isn’t making time for themselves, it’s time to check-in.

*This trait is also a sign of depression, so it’s extra important to make sure they’re okay.

Impulsive Behavior

As someone starts to use and abuse substances, they start making a series of bad decisions.

What may start as bad time-use decisions, like going out on a work night, can progress into things that put their personal safety at risk.

If you notice them doing things like driving drunk, going home with strangers, getting in fights, or making other harmful decisions, that’s another sign to make sure your friend is okay.

An Extra Short Fuse

We all know people who have a short temper – even when they’re not using alcohol or drugs. But a temper is something that stays relatively predictable (whether it’s short or long), in someone’s adult life.

A change in temper, especially becoming more short-tempered, is a sign of addiction. The persons’ drug use is putting such stress on their mental resources that they find themselves being able to deal with less and less.

This trait can be dangerous, so make sure the person is calm before you talk to your friend about these concerns.

Low or Worsening Self Esteem

Finally, it’s not uncommon for drug or alcohol use to have an impact on someone’s self-esteem. In fact, having low self-esteem is a risk factor for developing an addiction in the first place.

Addictions upset the serotonin production in your brain, and cause depression from over-use.

What To Look Out For

When it comes to the alcohol and drug addict behavior traits above, you’re looking for a change.

A change in their priorities, the kinds of decisions they make, how they handle stress, and or in their self-esteem.

If you catch this change early on, you may be able to help them seek treatment before a full-blown addiction starts. Learn about our support groups and our recovery programs here.