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Are you worried that a loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol? Every year millions of people ask themselves whether a close friend, romantic partner or relative has a drug or alcohol addiction. 

Determining if someone is battling an addiction can be difficult. Sometimes even the person who’s addicted to drugs or alcohol doesn’t accept they have a problem and aren’t aware of the symptoms they are exhibiting. It can also be hard to know if a teenager is using drugs or if they are simply going through the hormone swings of puberty. 

The experts at our addiction treatment centers in Dallas know what to look for to determine if someone is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Below are some of the most common signs of drug use and addiction that can be used to decide if a loved one should seek treatment. 

Losing Interest in Hobbies

One of the most troubling signs of addiction is a person losing interest in the things they once loved. As the addiction progresses the person’s attention turns to getting their next fix. Their free time becomes dedicated to getting high or drunk rather than spending time on positive, healthy activities they used to enjoy. 

If a loved one suddenly stops participating in hobbies they were once very interested in, that’s something that warrants concern. Having a conversation with your loved one is an effective way of determining if there’s another issue at hand that has caused them to lose interest. If they have difficulty explaining their loss of interest it’s a red flag. 

Changes in Mood and Behavior

Another sign that happens early on and gets worse with time is changes in mood and behavior. 

Both are signs that something is wrong, whether or not the problem is addiction. Often this is also a sign of a mental health problem, and that increases the risk of an addiction forming. 

Risky behavior is one of the hallmark indicators of drug or alcohol addiction, especially if the person is usually risk averse. Under the influence of drugs and alcohol people lose their judgment and are most likely to engage in risky behaviors they otherwise wouldn’t do when they’re sober. 

Paranoia is another common behavioral issue related to addiction. This can stem from the effects of the drug itself or from the fact that the person is trying to hide their drug use. Some addicts will even put locks on doors and withdraw from others due to their paranoia. 

Changes in Sleeping and Eating Patterns

Sleep and eating patterns are something that counselors monitor when someone is in our program for Sober Living in Dallas. When someone’s sleeping or eating patterns quickly change with no other explanation such as a shift in work schedule or diet it’s a sign of addiction. 

Drugs and alcohol have profound effects on our ability to sleep and appetite. Some drugs can cause a person to appear drowsy and sleep more while others lead to insomnia and restlessness. The same is true for eating. Under the influence of some drugs a person may binge eat and overeat, but drugs like heroin can cause weight loss from lack of appetite. 

Unexplained Spending or Financial Problems

Feeding an addiction can be extremely expensive. It’s not uncommon for people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol to run into financial problems. Those who share expenses or live with the person may also notice unexplained spending that the person can’t account for. 

Physical Symptoms of Drug and Alcohol Addiction

In addition to the symptoms above, there are a number of physical symptoms that suggest someone is dependent on drugs or alcohol. The symptoms vary depending on the drug that is being abused, but common physical symptoms can include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Flushed face/cheeks
  • Tremors
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Fast or slow speech
  • Slurred speech
  • Blacking out
  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Scratching/picking
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Vision problems
  • Coordination issues
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Scratching
  • Skin changes

An overall unhealthy appearance is another warning sign of addiction. So, if a loved one looks ill but hasn’t been sick it’s an indication of underlying problems. 

Specific Symptoms by Drug


  • Passing/blacking out
  • Inability to remember events
  • Arrests for drinking while driving or public intoxication
  • Binge drinking
  • Drinking alone
  • Drinking in the morning
  • Concern over access to alcohol


  • Bursts of energy
  • Restlessness
  • Mood elevation
  • Fast, excited speech
  • Dilated pupils
  • Use of slang for drugs
  • Financial problems


  • Rotted teeth
  • Weight loss
  • Sores/scars on the face
  • Sagging skin
  • Frequent illness and infections
  • Convulsions
  • Increased libido
  • Increased body temperature
  • Scratching
  • Insomnia that can last days
  • Delusions and hallucinations
  • Impaired memory
  • Inability to learn new skills
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Talking fast
  • Using jerky movements

Prescription Drugs

  • Coordination problems
  • Lightheadedness/dizzy
  • Drowsy during the day
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Uncontrollable tremors 
  • Confusion
  • Problems with vision
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Getting prescriptions from multiple doctors
  • Using different pharmacies to fill prescriptions


  • Injection marks
  • Unhealthy, unkempt appearance
  • Acting secretive 
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Breathing issues
  • Disorientation 
  • Weight loss
  • Tremors
  • Stomach pain/cramps
  • Delusions and hallucinations

Our rehab centers in Dallas, TX are staffed by highly trained professionals that are experienced at assessing individuals and creating effective, personalized treatment plans. We can also place patients in a Sober Living House in Dallas if they live outside of the metro or need a more stable environment during recovery.


Learn more about our services or contact us below to discover how Lighthouse can help you on your road to recovery today. Thank you for your trust.