Substance abuse and addiction are serious issues to which millions of Americans cope with daily. The very nature of abusing drugs or alcohol is secretive; therefore, detecting a problem is difficult. It can be more troublesome if you are participating in some of the unhealthy habits as well. Substance abusers and addicts will do whatever they can to hide their addictions, but it is essential to sort through the hiding, lying, and manipulating to detect an addiction. The problem with discovering an addiction, besides the addict trying to hide it, is finding out if it is an addiction or simply a bad habit. Millions of Americans fall victim to dependency and addiction, but at the same time even more move on from a bad or deadly habit and go on to live normal lives. How do you discover if it is a habit or and addiction? How to known when a habit has become an addiction.


Habits simply defined are routines of behavior that is repeated regularly and it tends to occur unconsciously. Young adults develop the habits of letting loose on the weekends; more or less, blowing off steam from the week. This habit ordinarily transfers into adulthood, with the only difference being a heightened sense of responsibility (hopefully). Experimenting with drugs and alcohol has, unfortunately so, become part of society. Some individuals believe it to be a form of rite-of-passage. When these habits continue over time to the point they become a necessary part of daily life it becomes a bad habit. Using and abusing drugs and alcohol are bad habits that can turn into addictions because of the way those substances affect the brain and body.


Detecting an addiction can be signs that a loved one may be addicted can be difficult. There are some people who do not show the signs and symptoms of alcohol or drug addiction, because they function normally while using. Others often experience changes and declines in their work, home, school, and in their relationships. The common signs of alcohol and drug addiction are:

Blood Shot or glassy eyes-  The addict will attempt to cover this up by wearing sun glass or normal seeing glasses, when they normally use contact lenses. The addict will blame allergies, stressful job or school work, infection, or intense physical activity. While this may be the case, an addict will seem defensive when questioned and show other signs in conjunction; like the following:

-Problems at school or work- Drug addicts will try to cover this up with some excuse, but will be unable to convince those looking. The duration of this decline and the severity of it will reveal a deeper problem.

-Physical health issues- By visiting a physician we can discover if the problem is virus related, but uncovering a drug or alcohol addiction can be more difficult. The diminished health of an addict will be shielded with an array of excuses. The addict’s physical health will decline quickly and significantly.

-Neglected appearance- Alcohol and drug addicts will excuse their appearance often with aggression, attacking the concerned with the problem of stress from work or life.

-Changes in behavior- the significant change in behavior will be shielded with lies of stress or exhaustion.

-Spending or lack of money is a sign of an addict. They can hide this by staying in more often than usual or selling items for more cash. Lack of work or cutbacks are also excuses used by an addict.

-Sweating while it may seem normal is not easily detected. At the same time, perfuse perspiration in non-physically demanding or stressful situations can be cause for concern. Someone addicted to party-type drugs will consume massive amounts of water and will be visibly drenched with sweat. This will be paired with heightened, instantaneous energy.