How to Recognize Addiction in a Loved One

Part of the Addiction and Recovery For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you suspect that a loved one is dealing with an addiction or behaving in self-destructive addictive behavior, look at this list of questions, which signal an addiction, and answer yes or no. Does your loved one . . .

  • Turn up late for functions or dates?

  • No longer follow-through on his/her commitments?

  • Have more trouble with illness than usual?

  • Have more problems at work than usual?

  • Appear to be withdrawing from intimate contacts?

  • Have unexplained absences from or inconsistencies in his/her usual schedule?

  • Appear to have a new set of friends who he/she is highly involved with but who you don’t get to meet?

  • Have major financial fluctuations (like carrying more or considerably less money than usual)?

  • Have lapses of concentration or memory?

  • Stay up later at night and sleep in more during the day?

  • Have more trouble than usual getting it together in the morning?

  • Appear surprisingly secretive about specific aspects of his/her life?

While this checklist cannot diagnose an addiction in a loved one, the more “yes” answers you produce, the greater the chances are that your loved one is suffering from an addiction.

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