What’s a subtle hint you are dealing with an addict?

What’s a subtle hint you are dealing with an addict?

25 thoughts on “What’s a subtle hint you are dealing with an addict?

  1. Had a co-worker who would regularly mention that he didn’t sleep well the night before. Found out later he was self-medicating his insomnia with alcohol

  2. I guess not that subtle but heavy cocaine users will usually have damaged septums (septi?) from the drug.

    If you can figure out a way to look inside their nose…

    Also, injection drug users will frequently use those 90s “goth” sweaters that extend to the space between their fingers. Its because they run out of usable veins elsewhere in their body and frequently have to resort to injecting in between their fingers and toes.

  3. Depends on what their addiction is. But from my experience with smokers, the hint is that there’s always an excuse to use the substance.

    “I only smoke when I drink” turns into “I’m having a beer… Might as well have a smoke.” which turns into “I actually smoke when I’m having coffee” which turns into them smoking first thing in the morning and a couple of times a day… Then they say shit like “I can quit whenever I want, but this has been a stressful week for me.” And so on and so forth.

  4. People who’ve used a lot of stimulants over the years often lick their lips incessantly. Cocaine users often have a runny nose for a few days after a bender. Opiate addicts often have grey looking skin. Never have any money despite working +++

  5. If you’re a woman you’re going to keep looking at your purse to see if they can see inside. If you’re a man they’re going to keep dropping their head to the left side shoulder and rubbing the backs of their forearms while they talk to you. If their needle junkies they’re picking scabs.

  6. If he claims to be no addict and repeats this again and again, even though you haven’t even asked.

  7. They get really happy when you are doing their addictive thing but most of the time are flat or depressed.

  8. I see a lot of ‘i was forced to do xyz [usually some kind of destructive behavior] because xyz [somebody else] did xyz’, so no taking responsibility for their own actions.
    Lies. Weird tics with their eyes or face, being aggregated, mood swings, unusual long voice mails that occasionally occur, being out of money although they should be able to be financially stable…

  9. I can only really speak for alcoholism, as I haven’t really had close personal relationships with anyone addicted to any other problematic drugs. (Obviously, nicotine is addictive, I’m a smoker myself, but nicotine doesn’t have *nearly* the level of adverse behavioral and cognitive effects as other addictive substances like alcohol, benzos, opioids, etc.)

    – **Lying about drinking, or about how much they’ve had to drink.** This is a pretty common one, it seems. Either trying to hide it entirely, or doing things like spiking their beer with hard liquor when they’re hanging out with the guys, to make it look like they’ve had a lot less to drink than they have.

    – **Always has a beer in their hand but isn’t typically *drunk*-drunk, but when they *do* get drunk, it’s an ugly nasty blacked-out mess.** Depends on the person and their like, style of alcoholism. Some are drink-a-little-throughout-the-day-on-the-sneak types, others are after-work binge drinkers. But this seems to be a common thing.

    – **Compulsion.** My SO has a history of alcohol addiction. I feel like the degree and nature of compulsion that he experiences isn’t something most people really encounter in their lives.

    – **If they’re a friend or casual acquaintance, they’re noticeably drunk more often than not when you run into them or interact with them.** Doesn’t necessarily mean the person is an alcoholic, but seems to be a trend with people who are.

    – **They go into blackouts with erratic behavior, changed personality, and other bad shit.** There is a level of drunk which, imo, cannot feasibly be reached by anyone who is not routinely abusing alcohol. Reason being tolerance — people with more normal/socially acceptable drinking habits will generally fall asleep well before they hit that level. The alcoholic, however, continues to remain conscious throughout due to tolerance, sometimes with a BAC as high as like 0.3 or even more, leading to some really bad shit.

    – **Weight gain.** This can happen for a number of reasons, but alcohol has calories, and falling down the alcoholism hole can often result in weight gain as a result. (That said, the opposite can also occur if the person is essentially replacing food entirely with alcohol, really depends on the person.)

    – **Puffiness and redness in the face.** This is very “know it when I see it,” tbh, but people who are actively engaging in daily alcohol abuse tend to have a particular “look” about them. Puffy in the face, often some redness, a general vibe of being run-down or worse for wear.

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