Seeing Signs Your Spouse Is An Addict? What Can You Do?

November 17, 2020 | addiction treatment

my spouse is an addict

Dealing with the likelihood that a loved one is struggling with addiction is never easy. Especially when it’s the person you love most. The heart is a funny thing, and it can force you to neglect or struggle to come to terms with the situation. 

So how do you know for sure they are addicted to drugs or alcohol if emotions blocking your perception? There are some telltale signs your spouse is an addict. We will talk about what defines a person as an addict and the red flags you should look out for.

A person suffering from addiction will allow the desire to use the substance to interfere with responsibilities

What qualifies an addiction? 

The misuse of drugs and alcohol is always a call for concern, but just because someone uses drugs or alcohol doesn’t mean that they are an addict. However, if you know that your spouse is using substances frequently or as an escape, you should still try and reach out to them about your concerns.

Addiction is a complex condition but can be defined as the obsessive use of substances to the point where they negatively impact a person’s life.

A person suffering from addiction will allow the desire to use the substance to interfere with responsibilities and other essential parts of their daily life, such as their relationships. There are signs of addiction you can look for, but we will come back to that.

To add complexity to the situation, you won’t always know when one is using drugs or alcohol. Those who struggle with addiction will often try to hide it from others. Even your spouse may try and hide it from you. However, if someone is actively hiding their substance use from you, it’s a good sign that there is a severe problem.  

What Signs are Red Flags?

But just because drug addiction is complicated doesn’t mean there aren’t clear signs to look for. When someone develops a habit, it tends to impact many areas of their lives. Even functional addicts will show some indications that they are likely struggling with a substance abuse disorder.

So, what are the signs of drug addiction?

Physical Signs

  • Sudden Weight Loss or Weight Gain Deterioration of Appearance
  • Changes in Appetite
  • Changes in Sleeping Patterns
  • Frequent Runny/Bloody Nose
  • Tremors 
  • Slurred Speech
  • Frequently Impaired 
  • Bad Breathe/Poor Hygiene

Behavioral Signs

  • Lack of Motivation
  • Spikes in Energy
  • Instability 
  • Mood Swings
  • Change of Personality
  • Neglecting Responsibilities at Home, School, and work
  • Abandonment of Hobbies 
  • Change of Social Circle

When a spouse begins to act differently or change in ways, it shouldn’t always be linked to substance abuse. However, when many of these signs start to appear together, it can be a good indication that it may be the root of the issue.

Another thing to keep an eye out for is drug paraphernalia. Physical and behavioral changes accompanied by items used to take drugs are clear indicators that your spouse struggles with addiction.

Drug paraphernalia may contain things you may be familiar with, such as pipes, alcohol containers, and rolling papers. But others aren’t quite so obvious. Review this list for items to keep an eye out for:

  • Alcohol Containers
  • Pipes/Bongs/Hookahs
  • Needles and Small Spoons
  • Rolling Paper/Cigars/Roach Clips
  • Small Mirrors/Razor Blades
  • Tinfoil
  • Aerosol Cans/Glue/Rags

As we mentioned earlier, a person can go to great lengths to hide their addiction from you. They might do a great job of keeping themselves together and stay on top of their personal appearance and presentation. But the presence of drug paraphernalia is always a red flag, especially if they are keeping it hidden from you.

Is Denial a sign of Addiction

If you notice a number of these signs, you’re likely to voice your concerns to your spouse. When you do, they are most likely to deny having an addiction.

But if they do, is it because they are in denial? And is denial a sign of addiction? This can be a tricky question to answer. If your spouse is misusing drugs, they may deny being addicted because they aren’t. But denial isn’t the act of denying their addiction to you.

Denial is a state of delusion where a person tries to convince themselves that they aren’t suffering from an addiction. If a person is in denial, they will deny the problem by trying to rationalize it, minimize it, or blame it on others.

In any case, where a person is frequently misusing drugs, it is crucial to get them to stop. Whether they can do it on their own or seek the help of a drug treatment center, they should put an end to it before it does become a problem.

Concluding Thoughts:  

If your loved one is suffering from addiction, you should never try and avoid the issue. They need your help more than ever. It can be hard to figure out how to deal with the situation or speak to them, but you’re not alone. You can always seek advice on what to do from an addiction specialist.