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Signs You’re Dating a Drug Addict

The warning signs of drug abuse can be difficult to identify, especially if the individual is a high-functioning addict. Being in a close relationship with someone who’s struggling with a substance use disorder can be challenging in many ways. Addiction is a progressive and chronic disease that, if left untreated, usually only worsens. From broken trust to lying to stealing to physical problems, so much that affects the addict can hinder their relationship with their partner. If you suspect that your partner is battling substance abuse, here are some signs you’re dating a drug addict to look out for.

Warning Signs You’re Dating an Addict

The onset of drug use can begin with innocent, recreational use and evolve into something much more complicated and problematic. As their drug use worsens, users may start hiding their problems from romantic partners, making it difficult to determine whether or not a person may be using substances. Dating a drug addict can be a heavy burden to carry.

Not only may the individual be secretive and lie about their behavior, but it’s also common for partners to become “caretakers,” causing them to inadvertently enable the individual’s behavior. Codependence is also common in relationships where one partner suffers from addiction, which can also have toxic effects on a relationship.

Unfortunately, the signs you’re dating someone with addiction aren’t always clear until the person hits rock bottom. While you might suspect your loved one has a problem, they might not be ready to talk about it, or they might not realize they have one themselves.

Below are some signs you’re dating a drug addict that you might have noticed in a loved one.

Physical Signs

Physical signs of drug addiction tend to be the most evident. Since drug problems often have a great impact on behavior, demeanor, and appearance, close friends and family can usually spot the evident warning signs right away.

Some typical physical signs of drug use include:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Brittle nails
  • Dilated or pinpoint pupils
  • Dramatic weight loss or gain
  • Flushed skin
  • Frequent headaches
  • Husky voice
  • Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
  • Skin problems
  • Thinning hair
  • Track marks from injection
  • Trembling hands
  • Unusual body odor
  • Unusual smells on their breath

Certain substances are also known for causing more specific physical side effects. For instance, methamphetamine is associated with meth mouth and meth mites, which refer to oral health problems and skin problems, respectively.

Behavioral Signs

Cognitive function is often impaired when prescription and illicit drugs are misused. These are often the first signs the person’s romantic partner will notice.

Common behavioral signs of addiction include:

  • Blackouts or memory loss
  • Borrowing or stealing money with no explanation
  • Depression and severe mood swings
  • Engaging in risky behavior, such as driving while high
  • Frequent arguments or fights stemming from erratic behavior and mood swings
  • Motor skill impairment
  • Neglecting activities that were once enjoyable pastimes
  • Neglecting family and friends
  • Secretive behavior/lying about their whereabouts
  • Unexplained absences from home or work
  • Unexplained injuries or accidents

Like behavioral changes, your loved one may also display other behavioral changes that may indicate a drug problem. These may include:

  • Avoiding people, including those the person was once close with
  • Having new friends with no explanation of where they met
  • Being less social and more secretive about how they spend their time
  • Losing money and being careless with daily commitments and obligations
  • Neglecting responsibilities

Can a relationship with an addict be healthy?

Maintaining a healthy relationship with an individual who is actively struggling with addiction and not seeking treatment is extremely challenging. Addiction often prioritizes substance use over relationship obligations, leading to behaviors such as dishonesty, infidelity, and even criminal activity, all of which severely strain interpersonal connections. Despite the best intentions and deep love one might feel, attempting to heal or change an addicted partner typically results in emotional distress and disappointment, as addiction requires professional intervention beyond what a partner can provide. 

What are sober living homes, and how can they provide a structured environment for individuals transitioning from rehab back to their home?

Sober living homes are residential facilities designed to support individuals who are transitioning from rehab back to their own homes. These homes offer a structured environment that encourages residents to maintain their sobriety while reintegrating into everyday life. In a sober living home, residents are provided with housing within a community setting, where specific rules and expectations are in place to help them stay on track in their recovery journey.

The structured environment of a sober living home includes rules that residents must adhere to, such as attending house meetings, therapy or counseling sessions, following house rules, completing assigned chores, remaining sober from substances and alcohol, and dedicating time to working or seeking employment. By imposing these expectations, sober living homes create a supportive and accountable atmosphere that fosters personal responsibility and commitment to sobriety among residents. This structured approach helps individuals transitioning from rehab to gradually adjust to the challenges of everyday life while receiving the necessary support and guidance to maintain their recovery progress.

How can partners create a recovery-friendly home to support long-term recovery after rehab?

Partners can establish a recovery-friendly home to aid in long-term recovery post-rehab by implementing several key measures. These include ensuring that there is no alcohol present within the home, including wine or beer. If removing alcohol entirely is not feasible, it is advisable to store it out of plain sight, such as in areas like refrigerators or kitchen cupboards that are not easily accessible.

Additionally, it is crucial to keep illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia out of the home entirely to create a supportive environment for sustained recovery. Furthermore, partners should prevent easy access to prescription medications that have a high potential for abuse, like narcotic pain relievers, sedatives, and stimulants. If these medications are needed for legitimate medical reasons, they should be securely stored in locked areas. Otherwise, they should be removed from the home.

Moreover, partners should avoid having any decor in the house that promotes substance abuse or alcohol consumption. This includes refraining from displaying posters, wall hangings, or other decorative items that could implicitly endorse such behaviors. By following these steps, partners can create a safe and supportive living environment conducive to long-term recovery after completing rehabilitation.

Where can partners find support to aid in addiction recovery and provide emotional strength for the partner of a person in recovery?

Partners seeking support groups, such as 12 step programs, to aid in addiction recovery and boost emotional strength for the spouse of a person in recovery can explore local community resources. These programs can offer crucial emotional support, guidance, and a sense of community. Partners can connect with individuals who have shared similar experiences, learn effective coping mechanisms, and cultivate hope for the future through participation in these support groups. Various community organizations, treatment centers, or online platforms may host these programs, allowing partners to share struggles, provide mutual encouragement, and find solace during challenging moments.

How can Behavioral Couples Therapy (BCT) help partners address dysfunctional patterns that sustain addiction within a cohabiting partnership?

Behavioral Couples Therapy (BCT) offers a structured approach to addressing substance abuse within a cohabiting partnership by focusing on improving the relationship dynamic between the partners. This therapy is specifically designed for committed couples who are invested in strengthening their bond while overcoming addiction. BCT aims to tackle the dysfunctional patterns that support substance abuse by guiding partners through various steps:

1. Enhancing Problem-Solving Skills: BCT helps partners develop effective strategies to address challenges and conflicts that may contribute to substance abuse.

2. Improving Communication Skills: By fostering open and constructive communication, BCT enables partners to express their thoughts, feelings, and needs in a healthy manner, reducing misunderstandings and increasing understanding.

3. Increasing Caring Behaviors: BCT encourages partners to engage in supportive and positive interactions that promote trust, empathy, and intimacy, thereby reducing the reliance on substance use to cope with stress or negative emotions.

4. Developing a Treatment and Recovery Plan: Partners work together to create a structured plan for seeking treatment, managing triggers, and supporting each other's recovery journey, fostering a sense of shared responsibility and commitment.

5. Creating a Recovery Contract: Through mutual agreement, partners establish clear expectations, boundaries, and goals related to sobriety and healthy behaviors, reinforcing accountability and motivation in the recovery process.

6. Supporting Self-Help: BCT empowers both partners to engage in self-help activities, such as attending support groups, practicing coping strategies, and building a supportive network, promoting individual growth and resilience in overcoming addiction within the partnership.

By integrating these components into the therapy process, BCT helps partners address dysfunctional patterns and build a strong foundation for recovery by nurturing a healthier and more supportive relationship dynamic that fosters mutual understanding, communication, and commitment toward shared goals of sobriety and relationship improvement.

Let us help you or a loved one get clean.

Being involved with someone who’s battling a substance use disorder can be challenging for many reasons. As a Christian drug rehab that’s treated thousands of individuals with addictions, we encourage you to support your loved one by helping them find treatment.

Our facility offers medically monitored detox as the first step of care. Detox is designed to address withdrawal symptoms and ensure that patients are as comfortable and safe as possible. Our medical team offers medication (as needed) to patients to manage their symptoms, helping them stick with treatment.

Our rehab center also offers residential addiction treatment, which is the level of care best suited for individuals with severe drug use disorders. During residential care, patients work with therapists to understand the causes of their addictions and develop relapse-prevention strategies.

Let us help you or a loved one get clean. Call Faith in Recovery today at 888-280-4763 or send us your contact information to learn more about our Christ-centered addiction treatment.

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