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Addictive patterns don’t always show themselves in visible, obvious ways. They can gradually become more and more overpowering over time, staying relatively benign for a long time until they reach a point where they’re destructive and debilitating. Signs of addiction can be hard to detect, especially when we’re trying to understand them in other people, but there are some things we can keep in mind when it comes to recognizing signs of addiction in our children. 

Behavioral Changes

We know our children well, especially if we live with them. We get to know their behavioral patterns, habits, and routines. When there is a sudden or drastic change in our children’s behavior, it might be a sign that they are developing a problem with addiction. Is your child suddenly refusing to eat, or having a hard time sleeping? Are they hesitant to spend time with old friends, or are they separating themselves from certain friendships? Are they hanging out with new friends they don’t want you to meet? Have they mentioned a desire to seem popular or cool? Do they seem to be going to excessive lengths to impress their peers? 

Silence and Secrecy

Sometimes our children will confide in us about the peer pressure they’re experiencing to experiment with drugs. They might even confide in us once they’ve already tried drugs or alcohol. If we’ve been able to establish an open and honest relationship with them, they will hopefully continue to communicate with us, even when there are challenging things they’re struggling with. Our children’s silence, especially when they’re usually communicative with us, can be a warning sign that something is wrong. Perhaps they seem more nervous or anxious than usual. They might seem on edge, as though they’re feeling guilty about something, or as though they have something to hide. If it seems as though they’re hiding secrets, they might be doing something they know we wouldn’t approve of. They might have experienced something traumatic. They might be grappling with symptoms of depression or anxiety. 

Stay Supportive

The best thing we can do if we suspect our children might be developing a problem with addiction is to remain a source of support that they know they can come to, about anything they’re going through. Remind your children often that you’re there for them, and that you’ll love and support them unconditionally. Try to stay as non-judgmental and open-minded as you can, and try to remember that the challenges our children are facing are quite different from those we faced growing up.

At The Guest House Ocala, we have personal recovery experience and over 12 years in the recovery industry. We have helped countless people recover, and we’re here to help you too. Call 855-823-5463 today for more information.