One of the trademarks of addiction, whether it’s to drugs or alcohol, is that the addict will try to keep their addiction a secret. Addicts hide their addiction from friends and family, and in a way they can even try to hide it from themselves. Addicts often keep secrets to preserve the life they have been leading, but by doing so, addicts put themselves and the people they love in more danger.
Hiding the Evidence
Drug and alcohol addiction is not easy to hide. There is always physical evidence of drug use such as drug residue, needles and empty bottles that cannot be effectively hidden. Addicts will often find a place at home, work or even a car to hide drugs or alcohol. By hiding the physical evidence, addicts think that they can prevent friends, family members and co-workers from discovering their addiction secret.
The bodily evidence is not so easy to hide, either. Drug users will often appear high or act high when using. Drug users who inject will have bruises from needle injections or from tie straps that they use to cut off the circulation to arms or legs. Many drugs also cause weight loss or a general look of malnourishment. Drug users are also more prone to sickness. These symptoms are not so easy to hide.
Pushing Loved Ones Away
Drug and alcohol addicts will often consciously or subconsciously push loved ones out of their lives to prevent them from finding out about the addiction. Addicts will find reasons to argue with loved ones or otherwise cut communication. Addicts will start acting differently and socializing with other people, thus avoiding the friends who do not participate in their addiction.
Addicts will worry about their friends and family members being disappointed when they discover the addiction. Addicts do not want to let loved ones down and they don’t want to be a disappointment. Thus their answer is to push their friends and family members out of their lives.
Another thing addicts will do to further distance themselves from loved ones is physically move. Addicts will claim they can no longer live under the same roof as parents or friends because it is holding them back. Addicts think that by distancing themselves from loved ones, literally, that the user can save loved ones from heartbreak and worry.
Drug and alcohol addicts will often avoid responsibility. Addicts will avoid responsibility for finances, family, jobs and even their own health. Addicts think that by avoiding responsibility they can prevent loved ones, bosses and coworkers from discovering their addiction. Additionally, addicts usually care about very little except feeding the addiction. An addict will put more importance on getting the next high than they will on getting a promotion or attending a birthday party.
Acting or Pretending to be Normal
Some addicts have hiding addiction down to an art. The addict has mastered the art of appearing normal. Some addicts will get high in the bathroom but be able to pretend to be normal and function relatively well outwardly.
These addicts usually leave signs though. Addicts tend to be bad at keeping appointments and being dependable. An addict may play off their undependability off as a social flaw, but the addict is really trying to cover up his addiction.
All the work addicts put into hiding addiction would be much better focused on getting off drugs. No addict ever admits that he is living his lifelong dream or achieving goals. Addicts are chained to addiction. If you know someone who may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, helping them get help could save the addict’s life in more ways than one.