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Addictive BehaviorIf you are concerned that someone you know in Anchorage may be using drugs, there are signs of drug use that you can look for. Keep in mind that a person can exhibit some of these signs and not be addicted, and conversely a person may be an addict and not display all or even any of these signs.
It is important to understand the distinction between signs and symptoms. Signs are outward manifestations of addiction that are observable to others, while symptoms are the results of drug use that are experienced first-hand by the user.

Signs of Addiction in Anchorage

Certain behaviors are common to all addictions. These behaviors may indicate drug use or addiction, but in and of themselves they do not constitute proof. Nearly all of these behaviors can be exhibited by Anchorage residents who are not using drugs, and they can have any number of other possible explanations. Signs to look for include the following:

  • Extreme mood swings
  • Changes in sleep patterns; sleeping more or less than usual, and/or at odd hours
  • Changing energy levels; either extremely tired or very energetic
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Persistent coughing or sniffling
  • Seeming to be unwell or “rundown” for no specific reason
  • Dilated pupils
  • Being secretive
  • Lying
  • Stealing
  • Financial instability
  • Socializing with new friends, losing contact with old ones
  • Unexplained absences, disappearing repeatedly
  • Possessing drug paraphernalia
  • Possessing drugs

All of these behaviors except the last two can be explained by a variety of reasons, and do not necessarily prove drug use. If the Anchorage resident you are concerned about is a teenager, keep in mind that many of these behaviors are common to teenagers struggling to cope with the challenges of adolescence. Avoid jumping to conclusions, but do not ignore a potential problem.

How to Address Drug Use or Addictive Behavior

If you discover that an Anchorage citizen is using drugs, be aware that confronting an addict can be a risky proposition; it can induce the user to become defensive, to lie, and to avoid contact with you in the future. This can be especially problematic within families, and can result in long-term problems. It can be very difficult to maintain your objectivity, particularly if the person in question is someone close to you. If you are not a trained drug counselor, your best efforts may make matters worse. To help make sure your talk goes smoothly, Anchorage residents can research confrontation and intervention tactics before discussing drugs with their loved ones.

Anchorage Help with Drug Abuse

If you live in Anchorage and suspect drug use in a friend or loved one, seek out professionals who are trained to deal with drug abuse and addiction. Don’t wait until tragedy confirms your suspicions. Call us today. Our number is toll free, and we are available 24 hours a day.