Return to Article 3 months ago, KathyAP said... I know that my boyfriend is doing some kind of drugs! I just don't know what!He will sleep for days!I have also noticed that sometimes he has a black substance under his nose at the top of his lip.He is also biting the inside of his mouth a lot.He smokes weed a lot.But he doesn't get the black on his lip when he smokes weed.All of his friends are on some kind of drugs.They all live with their parents! They are in their 50's! Please tell me what he could be doing! Also.How can I find out what it is! I have searched everywhere for any kind of drugs but I can't find any!He's about to be an ex boyfriend! 5 months ago, twig17 said... I do applaud you "Justfor today' --wow..."every minute of every day" ! That is a lot of work. I know it's worth it. Intellectually I DO know that. I just have to get there....:|( I'm not a terribly religious person but if prayers help you, consider it done. I have my own relationship with our creator and mother earth...and |I believe that, for the truly authentic, love & truth will find a way. 5 months ago, Justfortoday said... I've been clean for 7 months, I had all these and sometimes I still have a few .. will be a life long job to stay sober .. we have to work on recovery every minute of every day by working a program .. I got to an NA meeting every day. .work my steps . Pray .. it works if you work it! 6 months ago, Jock said... My ex husband has resently resurfaced back in my son and my life, says he was in darkness, did not elaborate , now back with woman who is a meth addict and is avoiding his son and me as well, personality completely changed, constant excuses, every one else fault, no job, no $ and I don't ask if on drugs but every conversation somehow leads to him telling me " i don't do drugs" . Un reliable no responsability and angry , picks things to be angry at me or our son and no contact for weeks and weeks , does not remember former conversations and constantly talks about his self and always quick to respond or deny. Married 23 years, walked out 5 years ago and took absolutely nothing, stole our sons savings and never responded to text or calls , we moved 5 hours away and started counseling , our son was 9 now 14. Always $ is comes up and it's never enough. Behind on child support and constantly lies or gas lights and projects. He was a great dad, soccer coach, we had a farm and walked away and never returned. Very boastful and wants to tell me all his woes and does same to our son. Does not keep promises and lives in the woods in a broken down trailor and surrounded by drugs and riff raff but does not do them . What is your intake? Thanks and GOD BLESS 7 months ago, Massey said... This article talked a lot about alcoholism. I was hoping to find information about how to tell if your boyfriend is a functioning drug addict. I don't want to wait till it's too late, like a drug overdose as mentioned in this article. That doesn't make any sense. I want to know now what are some warning signs of a drug addict. A "functioning" one 7 months ago, lisap78 said... My partner is an alcoholic he follows all the warning signs to a T, he blames me for his drinking and says he is doing nothing wrong. Ive caught him out numerous times and he has still lied to My face. Its making me paranoid, im constantly checking for bottles and cans its making me miserable. 9 months ago, a fellow commenter said... Hi hope you all doing ok. Im back in same boat again 8 years on after partner had another relapse. Round and round in circles we go. This time hes denying he has touched crack again. Back in that split personality back at his mums house...me back with all the same feelings of betrayal disapointment, conned, stress, yiu know what I mean xx 11 months ago, SleepingBeauty said... I am looking for an answer to a question I have. I am a recovering codependent for the past 16 years. Again, my recent new boyfriend drinks, but of course swears he has quit. But I know better. But my question is this. Why do I go completely crazy when someone I am in a relationship with does the ole turn off the cell phone trick to avoid me? It rattles my nerves more than anything. My codependency is more on a relationship issue to dating alcoholics and drug users. I have a hard time of letting go too, but have gotten somewhat better. My current boyfriend whom I dumped last night did the phone thing to me for the 2nd time yesterday, 3 hrs of avoiding me which I know it means he was drinking and didn't want me to hear his voice over the phone. Before I woke up to my codependency I use to think my alcoholic boyfriend was having an affair when he would turn off his cell phone and avoid me for a few days, and it drove me crazy. I realized later that it was not another woman but alcohol was who his relationship was with. Thanking you in advance for any input. 11 months ago, Ebbey said... I believe that he pot thing in #14 is wrong. Or maybe its different effects for people with chronic pain. Because the more I smoke the more I can move with less pain. I can't go to the Dr. ,because I'm with a so called recovering addict. I call him so calls,because I don't trust him after 6 years of the bs.. One time I was paralyze from my back pain and he stole and the only pain pills that I had. He knew how much it was hurting ,but he still took them. So the question I'm asking is weed different for people with chronic pain? about 1 year ago, phamilton said... I think a person can only take so much and do so much for a person, before they have to walk a way and then if they love each other he will get help and come back about 1 year ago, Elpojohn said... Give him a break Don,t put an extra burden on him now. You will win by kindness not by acting this way. He will know when the time is right. Give him time to think , sometimes one has to hit rock bottom in order to resurface . No need to give up drink entirely or suddenly . just take up walking everyday for an hour and talk to yourself a sort of meditation. about 1 year ago, a fellow commenter said... Hiding liquar bottles all over the house is so irratating and the anger he doesn't no if he's coming or going I just want to get out of this situation and leave it for the birds but we have a child together and one minute he say he his and the next he say he's not because of the liquar and I'm tired of it I'm not a grown mans baby sitter I'm giving up for real he lost his other family now he's losing this one as well about 1 year ago, me and him said... Can I please get help for my boyfriend he does everything you guys wrote about acholics and I can't take it no longer. Only God knows please help me I'm to young to be going threw this about 1 year ago, a fellow commenter said... My friend and ex roommates boyfriend is acting so strange. He has a lot of the symptoms seen here. His eyes roll up in his head. He has to go to the drugstore all the time. He keeps borrowing money from her and she is always broke. I would just walk away but my former roommate and friend has a rare disease called FOP. Only 800 cases world wide. It renders her to a wheelchair and as she has self esteem issues, this guy comes along and she is in love. She has been through a lot and I don't want to hurt her. She won't listen to me no matter how hard I try. She has alienated her friends who know that is what he is doing. She lives off SS and he has been stealing it from her. He won't get a job. I love her but I just don't know what to do. Now he is telling her he has Pancreatic cancer. No signs of it. even though she told me he has been getting treatment for two months. I don't know what to do. almost 2 years ago, Dulse said... Wow that was some great information you put out there. The details of all the addicts signs. I enjoyed it because it helps me out a lot with my partner. Is it normal for them to act as if they really don't care about you when there in withdrawal or relapse stage? I would like to know if its him or the drugs about 2 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Hi, I'm a middle class, single female who has a highly qualified/professional job. My family are all successful but have alcohol/drug issues. I live on ,y own but find myself drinking and taking drugs on my own - non of my many friend have any idea. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks. about 2 years ago, Karr said... Hi Claire from CA, That's true. I only shared what I've observed. Each warning sign is like a playing card in someone's hand. One card or warning sign alone may be nothing, but collectively, they reveal the hand he or she is holding. Either way, alcoholics and addicts won't seek help until they hit rock bottom and finally ask for help. Have you ever watched the TV shows Intervention or Hoarders? about 2 years ago, CA-Claire said... HI Karr - It could also be that they weren't that interested in the movie or show, so only paid attention to "bits and pieces"... Not necessarily an addiction sign, unless they live alone about 2 years ago, Karr said... Subtle red flag 21: You ask your family member or friend if he or she has seen this or that movie or TV show, and more often than not, he/she replies, "Bits and pieces." It seems innocent enough, but it's a very clever answer. They are actually telling you the truth. He/she may only have seen bits and pieces because they were too high or drunk to follow the plot and kept nodding off. about 2 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Having nearly lost a loved one to addiction, I think this is one of the best compilations of warning signs I have ever scene. Every parent should have copy stuck on the refrigerator. I would like a copy of it but I do not see a Print button. about 2 years ago, john & jane b. wilso said... Fabulous must-read for just about everyone! Thank you. over 2 years ago, KristaWoodley said... Thanks for sharing this valuable list of the signs of addiction. I think it's really useful to examine the behavioral signs of addiction, but I think it's also helpful to understand the neurological changes the brain undergoes as a result of addiction and that cause critical shifts in the reasoning processes of addicts. By understanding how addicts reason about their addiction you can improve your relationships with the addicts in your life. Here's a great resource (http://www.bestrehabcenter.com/blog/relationship-drug-addiction-lies-bad-behavior/) on these changes such as the fallacies that addicts use to justify their addiction. almost 3 years ago, Done with it. said... This artile was meant to help family and friends of addicts-thank you I am 5 years out of that hell and yes you are spot on. They may feel remorse but if no one benefits it only makes this much more insidious. If you have other reasons to use prescription drugs such as pain and have friends and family come to your home take note- you may find yourself explaining to your doc your oxycontin disappeared before you left the pharmacy drive thru.p about 3 years ago, Mickey Dee said... Thank you for sharing your thoughts. about 3 years ago, a fellow commenter said... This article was helpful because I live with 3 addicts. Pills, coke, heroin. Sometime alcohol. I've tried to help, but, they have to WANT the help, or you just get more excuses. When 1 of them tried to cash a check (3rd x) and caused me to be over drawn, again, I decided after all these years, that I finally give up. I'm too old for this stuff. So, now they will have to find another place to live their miserable lives. I'm just sooo tired of all the negativity. Hopefully it won't be to late for me to get it back together, without them here. about 3 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Just re-iterates what I already knew. Addicts know all the hiding places. Actually found pills in a small bottle wrapped in the "ball" in the tank of the toilet and another unusual spot in a kleenex stuffed in a hollowed out tampex. With the alcoholic I found liquor bottles in a dropped ceiling where he knew normally I did not go. I think it is important to share stories like this to make us aware of what the real story is and how we can spot the signs. about 3 years ago, CA-Claire said... Very good description of these indicators. Another thing we, as caregivers, need to watch out for in ourselves and our loved ones - especially the loved ones that may feel neglected at home, while we're caring for our parents at their home. over 3 years ago, a fellow commenter said... For anyone close to a person who is suffering from addiction/alcoholism, probably the most valuable resource is Al Anon. This is a group for families / loved ones who have to live with the addictive behavior. They have some helpful literature, but the best thing you could do for yourself would be to attend a few meetings. over 3 years ago, Elpojohn said... sadly all you say is very true. over 3 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Article didn't bring up Dual Diagnosis - lots of addicts fall into that category. Nothing is more maddening than an alcoholic, smokes marijuana, addicted to any pain meds they can get their hands on AND they are taking psychiatric meds. The most talented, charismatic liars out there are able to snooker friends & family for years. My relative used to hide the empties in our mother's room and claim that our mom was an alcoholic. Our mom was blind, had dementia and definitely didn't drive - but it sounded soooooo plausible to all the neighbors. She had accidents and claimed she was fleeing a carjacking; stole credit cards and denied it, changed the home phone number and when anyone attempted to hold her to the truth rather than lies she would grab a knife, threaten suicide, scare us into calling 911 and then enjoy several weeks of rehab care of her insurance. Her kid was a nervous wreck - her hubby was as bad as she was except had a worse temper. Tell people they have to face the truth EARLY and not keep the dysfunction going - it will destroy everyone else in the family. The addict will not care, but will cry crocodile tears and ask for "one more chance" for the millionth time. over 3 years ago, Pearlymae 1943 said... My sister takes Kepra and clonaisapan. Kepra for one seizure she had and clonaisaan for hands shaking. Thes two drugs have her sleeping all day and night. She have panic atacks and don't like to go out of her house and eating is not important to her, she also smokes cigaettes over 3 years ago, hurting heart said... Coming from an alcoholic mother, I have found the bottles of vodka under the sink in the kitchen and in the bathroom. I would pour them down the drain. Next day new bottle under the sink. Endless circle. A friend was a prescription addict. She would come to my house and steal pain pills out of my medicine cabinet. I counted the number in the bottle before she came and after she came. Confronted her about stealing not about drugs. about 4 years ago, JBronson said... This is a wonderful consolidation of a great deal of information about less obvious signs of addiction. I have printed a copy for my next door neighbor whose wife is, obviously to everyone but him in public, addicted to zolpidem and Vicodin. Maybe this will force him (and even her) to admit what he probably knows and all the rest of us certainly do before something awful happens. about 4 years ago, another_sheep said... while understanding that, yes, there are people out there that will abuse & manipulate anything and everything for their benefit. whoever wrote this seems to be a very judgemental person with no faith in his fellow man. I truly feel bad for all the people that will be negatively affected by these... poor choices of words. especially those who will have broken relationships with friends and family over it. over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... A great commentary on OCD over 4 years ago, Chris' mom said... My son went to rehab @Salvation Army ARC program. But he was kicked out . Now he is home and he still has angry outbursts,blame his father and I for is addiction,smokes cigarettes,drinks alsohol. We want him out of our house but he cant keep a job. Now what do we do he is 25 yrs old. We are on a fixed income,lost our home,all our furniture,have health problems. He had OCD,separation problems,anger tantrums.mild tourettes as a child and was on an array of meds. then when he was aprox 10 his doctor had a stroke and we were left high and dry and couldnt find anyone else to work with him like Dr. Michael Cohen. And it was a down hill snowball effect and then he became involved in drugs and all hell broke loose. Now he has no medical insurance,a menimum wage job and ....I am at a loss! Can you help us? over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... After reading this article I feel I have to respond. First of all, I am a chronic pain patient. I suffer from severe Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain. It is a horrible illness to live with on a daily basis. It is true that over the counter pain meds don't generally work for this illness, at least for me. I have been dealing with chronic pain for well over 15 years. It is not pleasant and narcotic pain meds are the only thing that works. I wish to God there was a cure, but I haven't found a doctor that can find a solution. The amount of time and money I have spent trying to deal with this illness is unbelievable. I also go to a chiropractor, acupuncturist, and get deep tissue massages. I have done physical therapy, gone to psychotherapy, you name it. So to suggest that people that take narcotic pain meds, who say the over the counter meds don't work, are all addicts is simply unfair and a rather uneducated thing to say. Further more, I suffer from auto-immune type symptoms, dry eyes, dry sinuses, dry mouth, so I chew gum, drink a lot of water and use eye drops. You should be more careful what you say. I am sick and tired of uneducated people lumping those of us who deal with chronic pain on a daily basis into a group of addicts. I would much rather not have this illness nor to take the medications I have to take on a daily basis. You do those of us with serious illnesses a disservice. The world needs to wake up and realize that there are legitimate human beings who are suffering and we are only trying to manage our illness the best way possible to have some semblane of a decent existence. I have found that those of us who suffer from this type of illness generally don't abuse the medications. I don't. One prescription, one doctor, one pharmacy and that's it. I'm still searching for a solution to this illness and I won't ever give up. If I could have only one thing in this life it would be to be healthy again. It is a tremendous loss and to constantly have to deal with ignorant comments from the public at large doesn't help. over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Alcohol & Drug & Presc. Pill Addiction of family members. All of the signs are just what you said, and have been for years. Thanks for a very good article. I've known about it all but cannot change any of it. They don't want to stop. over 4 years ago, povdds said... having observed some addictive behavior, it is worth pointing out there is a fine line between "concern" and "spying." Each one of these 20 single points may have an alternate explanation, and it's worth discussing your concerns in a trusting manner with the individual as early as possible. For example, "sleeping on the couch" may be a sign a family member is just being exhausted from working too hard and you need to cut them a little slack, not confront them about a drug problem. When I was a teenager, I often came in late after just spending some time with good friends, and my mom always knew when I crept in. If she had confronted me about suspecting I was doing something nefarious, I would have lost considerable trust in her. She let me know, in a caring way, that she knew when I arrived home, and as a result, our relationship strengthened and I was far more willing to let her know when something serious was going on. Suspicion is not always accurate,and caring is not always suspicion -- keep that in mind. over 4 years ago, Officer Lenton said... This is to the Grandparent of the 14 year-old. My Grandmother was the most important person in my life. I may not have had the problems your grandson has going right now, but having been in Law Enforcement and talking with young addicts, the most common thing I've heard (and seen) is that everyone gave up on them and I can understand why they do, don't get me wrong. A 14 year old child can be saved before they become my habitual problem as an adult. Be firm that the behavior is untolerable, but always let that person inside know you love them more than anything, and that the time to shape up is now before the Law recognizes them as an adult, because when that happens, there is nothing you can do anymore to help them as it goes on a permanent record that stays forever. If you have the time, and are in the same town, appear at the court hearings (if it's a small town that takes more courage, but I know you have it in you), and make it clear you hate the persons' behavior, and not the person. He is salvageable (Saveable is a better term but not a word unfortunately), and I know you can still remember when you looked in those eyes the first time when he was a baby and saw all the promise and hope for a good future. It's still there. I lost my Grammie in 1989, and not one day goes by that I don't think of her or how much she loved me and how being in her presence was like the sun shining on your face, warm and loving. Where there is Love, there is Hope. over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... It may explain some family member's behaviors, however, if they are not drinking but behave a lot like these symptoms, then what? We also have depression, bi-polar issues, and suicidal tendencies in our family plus suicides. Can it be that the problems are passed down from one generation to another? If you can't get the problem person to see their problems or recognize that they are a problem to ther family, then what? How do the rest survive? over 4 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Many things considered normal aren't really normal. Need to be more observant. Thank you. over 4 years ago, thesorrel said... Have you done any articles on internet/pornography addiction? over 4 years ago, Madhatter100 said... If you could, like the Brits, make it short and informative you'd have more readers. Far too WORDY. almost 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... explaining with example and putting all these symptoms in one place almost 5 years ago, SuziQ said... It was nice to have confirmation. Decades ago I found my brother left a bottle of vodka in the freezer but he said it wouldn't freeze and that way he didn't have to add ice and water it down. I told him he had a BIG problem. Then my mother, the enabler, would make excuses for my brother if he didn't have one handy. I didn't cut him much slack and AA helped a lot when he finally quit hiding from himself. almost 5 years ago, seanymph007 said... One of the best lessons I've learned about helping people (especially addicts) who come to you for help, is to provide them with "self-help instructions". If they actually want to solve their problem, they will seriously your suggestions, and will ask for clarity, more input, etc. (sooner or later). But if they are only looking for "a quick fix" and/or "to use you" to fix their problems (which is nearly impossible for anyone else to do, without creating more problems) they will not listen to your input, nor will they ponder it; in fact they will ignore everything you said as if it was never uttered; this is because they had no intent or desire to help themselves, but to use you. In this case there is only one solution: "Give them more self-help instructions", over & over if necessary. Now IF they are working to help themselves (or others), then lending a helping hand TO ASSIST them temporarily may be appropriate. But you must be careful, addicts can be very clever at roping you into thier dilemas & schemes, often without you knowing it! almost 5 years ago, seanymph007 said... Good, helpful, accurate article, that must be kept in context (such that it doesn't incite you to go searching-out evidence of addiction in other peoples lives, which is none of your business; and such that you don't assume that each/any of theses 'signs' automatically mean someone is an addict [as noted by commenter's about eye-drops, etc]). I mention this because there was no mention of co-dependency which goes hand-in-hand with addiction. It is common for loved-ones to become obsessed about (identifying, helping, monitoring, investigating) an addict, and this is just as unhealthy as addiction (if not moreso, because it often 'doubles the troubles'). Not to mention that these interferences, investigations, judgements, accusations, etc. often helps drive the person to use (and/or to resist, rebel, react, retaliate, relapse, etc). What I'm trying to say is that, it's good to know the signs, and to try to help an addict WHO WANTS HELP to get back on the right path (definitely an imperative with minor children); but it is his/her PERSONAL PATH, whether they choose to work on recovering or not. If/when you allow YOUR life to get disrupted and twisted in the process, then YOU are not on a healthy path (which may be a sign of your unhealthy "helping addiction", or over-controlling, or codependant pattern, which may have been/be part of the dynamic that fostered their desire/need/drive to use)! The fact is, you simply cannot control or cure someone else's addiction. It is your job to keep your own life in order, despite what they do/don't do. This is accomplished by employing professionals, learning healthy coping skills, and practicing "compassionate detachment", opposed to getting all caught-up in their disease. It's not easy, but Al-Anon can definitely help (whether you choose to go to meetings or not; their book : "Courage To Change" is incredibly helpful!) almost 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Best and most useful article I have read for quite a awhile. Some very pertinent points raised. Please keep up the good work, articles like this will help greatly. almost 5 years ago, susanoffederalhill Baltimore, MD said... Boy I wish that this article was out about 28 yrs ago before I married my husband. So much of what you say applies to him and his late Mother. I only thought my Mother in law was good about hiding her problem, husband put new meaning into it. At least he stoped hiding his drinking after I reminded him of how much he hated what she did. Sad thing is he is drinking more and more and he is getting meaner, and more angry at everything daily. almost 5 years ago, JBronson said... My next door neighbor fears his wife is addicted to Ambien but doesn't want to admit that she is. I have forwarded this article to him; she exhibits several of the signs, so maybe this will help him (and her). almost 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... I believe my 14 year old grandson is addicted to drugs, and last week he was arrested for possesion of Vicodin (it "wasn't his" of course... :-/). This is his second arrest - the first was for pot. He swore to me this time that he hadn't touched pot in 2 weeks. The last paragraph of this article really helped. He asked to talk to me ("because you're the only one I can talk to"), and his explanations were full of "pointing the finger". At first, I really believed (and despaired of the potential) that he could not tell right from wrong, but that last paragraph helped to seal my convictions that he may be addicted, and when he goes to court next week, I am going to suggest that he be evaluated. Thank you. about 5 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Vodka the choice of women! my wife is on this band wagon, bottles hidden, denied, in her coke. no more horried arguements. It is her destiny. can't fix people. My job is to make sure the rest of my family move forward as she is moving backward. brilliant, wonderful person. Amazing to see what this stuff can do. what a waste. almost 6 years ago, shesobudda said... I am a care giver and was acused by the apt complex owner were my lady lived. Being that I had a baby and was on leave and had to hire outside help while I was in the hospital, was very expensive. I have worked for a reasonable amount of pay, but I must say the cost of these CareGiver Companie is outrages. The over head is extrem, and what I understand the caregiver is payed a min wag. At any rate when I first met my lady she had a tril of black on the carpet that lead to the bathroom and to the kitchen . Her feet were black and she had a pile of mold clothing stacked 4 feet high. My lady contacted Her ex husband and I was His room mate He bagged Me to help. So as I went to the apt, there was a paper that indicated that management had indicated that no new carpet or paint needed. She lived there for 23 years and due to Her Ms. this was crazy. She also had messages that she was under investigation as social services, was to be investigating Her son for abuse, Him being away in the marines and not having knowledge of Her MS, being She did not want to worry him. I called the owner being that the order was given from Her not to provide my lady withy carpet and paint. Her reason there was a fire not to long ago up stairs and it effected Her kitchen two and they spent enough money in Her apartment.. 23 years no new carpet , I was appalled and not to lie yet I did call and threaten Her that social service would be investigating Her and they would very much have if they walked in and saw what I saw. This was so much work and I care for those who need help. what my complaint is I was escorted off the property after I was accused of all kinds of things from the owner. My lady had fallen and the emergency was called by a newborn and the management met them there all my info was there and they called Me . I just had moved all my personal belonging there and I was going to live with her and we were going to save are money and purchase a small condo I had been caring for Her for 3 years now. When the police came because she had fallen they ran my name ,I had a ticket that had gone to warrant and I completely forgot about it due to having the baby and my lady going threw two services furor care because of incompetence ext. When I was let out Monday going to the apt they called police on me and escorted me off the property. I went to the hospital and the hospital was under impression that I was some terrible care taker and would have to be investigated. I was on the streets, with a new born and I had no money and this was, well it was terrible! If someone could help me rectify this situation I would so appreciate it this is what people do to those not extorting money and taking advantage. they make the insist look bad and suffer for there behavior. They don't realize the consequence society endures over their sin and actions we all suffer as a whole. I just recently got a phone call from Her Son wanting to know were His Mother is, I told Him and the last Place she was and I told Him all my thing that were left there and the circumstance. I need help ! almost 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... And eyedrops first thing in the morning? Enough said. ---------------------- Sorry, this is blown out of proportion. I wear contacts and may be seen with eyedrops anytime of the day or evening, because they can be uncomfortable! almost 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... good job telling addicts what not to do. about 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Sometimes people dealing with the monumental task of managing chronic pain do lose their medication. Chronic pain can be very distracting and debilitating. Also, pharmacies are NOT infallible. People counting out these medications are doing a 8hr+ job day after day and will make mistakes. I just hope people don't look at the comments made in this article and act on them without engaging in some serious SELF examination and a little critical thinking. We are dealing with human beings after all. about 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Interesting article; definitely some worthwhile information presented. However, I was a little disturbed that the author is instructing people to be suspicious of individuals who frequently use eyedrops or chew gum. "A bottle of eyedrops in the purse can be a tip-off that someone's trying to hide reddened eyes, especially if he or she seems to go through bottles remarkably quickly. And eyedrops first thing in the morning? Enough said." and "Constant use of gum or breath mints? Someone might be trying to mask the smell of alcohol." Obviously, the author has never suffered from any type of medical condition which causes extremely dry eyes and mouth. However, millions of people in this country do suffer from dry eyes/dry mouth (myself included), and wouldn't appreciate being suspected of being addicts because we need to use eyedrops and chew gum frequently. As a Sjogren's syndrome patient with severely dry eyes as well as dry mouth, I use eyedrops many times each day (and periodically throughout the night as well). I also chew gum and/or suck on sugarless candy throughout the day, to help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with dry mouth. I find the author's comments labeling people who frequently use eyedrops and gum/mints as probable addicts rather offensive. It is miserable enough to have a condition that causes so much pain and discomfort (and severely dry eyes/dry mouth are painful) without having people view you with suspicion because you use eyedrops and gum frequently. Yes, it is possible that people who use eyedrops/chew gum are addicts/alcoholics, but in most cases, this is not true. I find it upsetting that many people who read this article may henceforth view people like myself with suspicion, regarding addiction, due to the author's comments. about 6 years ago, T&D said... We have had many of these experiences with our son in the past and it helps us to know our feelings were right. Now we have a better understanding of what an addict is going through themselves, which we can work with him before it gets out of hand if it ever does again. I know an addict must conquer their addiction on a daily basis, especially when it hasn't been long that they have been clean. Once our loved one gets their soul back again (because it literally takes their soul away from them) as parents or family members or just someone who loves and cares for them, we worry and work maybe as hard as they do to help them not fall back into this darkness again. It was definitely a horrible family experience for our whole family. We pray it never happens again and we will do anything to keep it from happening. about 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... I concur with "been on both sides", the article was supportive and informative. I can only state this, my 9 months of sobriety is a result of new found fellowship, guidance and spiritual commitment in my 12 step program. I have discovered a new life and a proven plan to enjoy living again, one day at a time. Thank you for letting me share. about 6 years ago, donnadon said... I think that stress is the main cause of starting smoking over 6 years ago, drcassie said... Wow. I wish I'd seen this several years ago when I became involved with a near-brilliant man, engaging man who nonetheless seemed to have so many problems. He had told me early on that he 'used to be' an alcoholic and I was young enough to think that meant he was now just fine. I had no idea what binge drinking 'looked like.' Within a few months, his mood and behavior became more and more erratic, he lost his job and moved in with me, etc. I was shocked beyond belief the day I found a vodka bottle behind the living room drapes--which led to a few hours more finding (some of?) the others all over my small apartment. Finally he seemed to get his act back together, a friend got him a well-paying job in a consulting firm etc. But I was starting to realize that our relationship had long ago paled to care-taking on my part--and I was young enough Ito realize I was losing years of my life to that. The last straw was when a friend from his earlier days, an executive from a firm they both once worked at, came to visit. As much as he cared about his friend, he finally came out and asked me, "Did you know he's making $90,000 now? That he's been making double payments on his house while you pay for everything?" When I asked my fellow to start paying half of the rent, he moved out that night. He wanted to remain friends though I'd become more self-protective. Years later, he married a very nice woman he'd known from his youth and I remember wishing them both the best--but she told me that every morning she woke up wondering if she would find herself looking into the eyes of a stranger again. All this to say, most of your points are spot-on here. And even when signs are not so subtle, those who are too close to the situation actually may find it hard to see them as their sense of 'normal' has gone by the wayside. Excellent piece. over 6 years ago, Ivoryfox said... #15 - Mommy's sleeping on the Coach? - Yeah, that could be a problem... over 6 years ago, been on both sides said... I've been clean and sober in a 12-step program for more than 21 years and read this article with interest. There are some very salient points found here that could help someone unfamiliar with the diseases of alcoholism and addiction to spot the patterns. One thing I would take issue with, however, is the comment that alcoholics and addicts lose their capacity for guilt and remorse for their actions. To the contrary, while deep in the disease, alcoholics/addicts suffer great amounts of guilt and remorse. This often leads to even more drinking and/or drugging to cover up those feelings. Unfortunately, while still drinking and in denial, they can rationalize all kinds of behaviors. This may appear to be a lack of guilt, but it most assuredly is not. As another poster said, if you have a friend or family member whose drinking is causing you distress, give Al-Anon a try. It is a program for anyone who has a family member or friend whose drinking (or sobriety) is affecting your life. Alcoholism (and other addictions) is truly a family disease. Al-Anon's website is: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/ With more than 2 million members worldwide, Alcoholics Anonymous is widely regarded as one of the most successful programs to help alcoholics live full and happy lives. Their website is http://www.aa.org There are also programs based on AA's twelve steps for gambling, sex, cocaine and other drugs and many other types of addictions. I wish hope and good luck to anyone who is grappling with this devastating disease. May we all find our way out of the darkness. over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... As a grateful, recovering, cocaine addict, I must admit...this article is DEAD ON. While I am still "green" in the program, w/ only 4 yrs. under my belt, I recognized myself 4 years ago in this article, and if you have a child/spouse/loved one/significant other that you see displaying any of the these signs, follow your gut and the advice in the article. over 6 years ago, Gryphon said... There is a lot of valuable info in this article, and I say that as a psychologist who has worked extensively with addicted persons. I'd like to add two things, though: one, the article deals almost entirely with "drug addiction." In American culture, people have many destructive addictions that don't necessarily involve drugs. These are often called "process addictions" because they are addictions to a behavior or process as opposed to a substance. Gambling and the use of pornography can both become addictions with no drugs involved, for example. Compulsive shopping, compulsive Internet use, womanizing ... the list is extensive. So don't imagine that someone has no addictive issues just because they don't drink or do drugs. Second -- the article mentions that it is a tip-off to addiction if a person "loses" their medications either by being "shorted" by the pharmacy or by dropping the prescription bottle in the sink, having the lid pop off, and losing meds down the drain. Well, these things actually DO happen, and it doesn't necessarily mean the individual is an addict. I take thyroid meds, and have had both things happen to me multiple times over the years. So the message here is -- look for the big pattern. If someone you know has an addiction, you will see a combination of the signs described in the article, not just one or two things. over 6 years ago, susan2404 said... absolutely ! over 6 years ago, a fellow commenter said... My family is in constant termoil. I read this article and it hit my heart and home. We have a few family members that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. One of them is even serving time in prison for his addiction. All the signs the article talks about are all the signs we see in our family. For years we have been dealing with these problem people. My dad died 4 years ago and since then the situation has gotten worst. Due to this whole families addictions our family has self distructed. I tried to help them all, thinking they are just having marriage and family issues and if I help things would get better, but through the years things have only progressed getting worst. At this point our family has broken apart because of all of the deceit , lies,fighting and blaming others for there problems. The more I tried to help the worst the situation became to the point now that I consider myself the "victim" of there lifestyle. I have learned a hard lesson that you can't help people that don't want to help themselves. I wished they would see how they are hurting everyone around them, but sadly I don't think they ever will. I am trying to have no further contact with any of them whenever possible because I refuse to be a part of this any longer. Thank you for listening. over 6 years ago, carolyn hudson said... The first things is to understand the problem before u give any advice to them,they are dealing with something that is keeping them from helping themselves!First u must understand why that addiction is controling that person,what need it is meeting for that person and what else can they replace it with that is more healthier for them!!! over 6 years ago, newby1961 said... I've been clean & sober a little over 6 years now and can really identify w/this article. My poor family is what 1st comes to mind. Secondly was the gal who wrote about where to go for help for her mom's pill addiction. Try www.na.org and click on one of the sites. I was telling my Dr that I wanted to have learning days for Dr's to learn about addicts like me who found it very easy to con them, that way maybe they could know what to look for. Its really not their fault, they took an oath to heal patients and not let them suffer, so when someone comes in w/pain thats what they try to do. I have also been told by Dr's that in school they only spend 3 or 4 hours on addiction so that is another downfall. I would go into hospitals, walk in clinics, and by the time I was done I had enough dope till the next time. Now it isn't as easy because its harder to Dr shop as they call it, because of the computer. I don't write any of this because I am proud of it, I write it in the hopes that someone who reads it may reach out to me. I truly believe that if someone with my past can stay clean anyone with an honest desire can too, because I am no one special just your average run off the mill addict. almost 7 years ago, a fellow commenter said... Seeing the signs outlined almost 7 years ago, user1 said... my sister has lupis and is 48 years old. she is addicted to pain pills she has slowly made her way through every doctor in our area including the pain specilists, why dont these doctors talk to one another about her problem. they must know. she has even coned her mental health provider in to giving her oxicotin for her head aches for gods sake. the doctors wont even listen when our mom calls trying to tell them she has a problem. when my sister finds out that mom has spoken to her doctors or tried to she quickly finds another doctor. it is all well and good to list the signs of substance abuse, but how about tell me where i can go to get some one who can help her. because god knows you cant talk then in to facing a problem they don't want to admit they have. her life has changed so much over the last 10 years that she has started doing dangerous things like giving strangers in the internet all her personel information so she can try to con them in to getting pills for her. she refuses to see she is the one being coned. I now think this will never end. almost 7 years ago, Awitta said... The article was great at reviewing signs of addiction. The DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual) has 7 symptoms (Physical tolerance, physical withdrawal, recurrent use of more of the substance than originally intended, important social, recreational, or occupational activities reduced or terminated due to substance use, etc.) A person must meet 3 qualifying criteria to be considered to be addicted. I think it is important to remember that with opiate addiction (pain killers), the body actually grows new pain receptors, so withdrawal is truly painful and difficult. It is not potentially fatal however, as is alcohol withdrawal. Seizures can occur with alcohol withdrawal, so a detox center where symptoms can be medically managed is important. The DSM IV also has 4 criteria for Substance Abuse; only one has to be met to be considered Abuse. (A substance related legal charge, for instance.) Despite the great information, I think it is important to remember not to try to control the addiction. Al-Anon teaches that we didn't cause, we can't control, nor can we cure the addict. Living with the dysfunctional addict can be difficult, and it is important that we take care of ourselves. Allow the addict to face the consequences of their actions, set boundaries ("if you steal my credit card, I will file a police report", but carry on with your life, rather than focusing on the addict or attempting to try to control their behavior. Don't enable or help them because you love them -- just allow them to face their own consequences, a loving detachment is the best strategy. Attending Al-Anon (not AA) is also helpful in getting our lives back on track. All of this advice comes from personal experience, as well as professional knowledge as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Self-care, rather than addict care, is very important when we love someone who is substance dependent. almost 7 years ago, bugs1952 said... it is very good, and very true about the symtoms to look for. My daughter is just the person you described. She hide it well for along time before we found out. For those of you out there, please read this artical!