September is National Recovery Month: Drug Counselor Shares Signs of Addiction, You May Not Know About

(MediaQuire) How do you know if your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol? Unfortunately, it is a question that more families face as the Opioid Crisis is increasing the number of substance abuse cases in The United States. According to the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis:

In 2015, 27 million people reported current use of illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. Despite this self-reporting, only 10 percent of the nearly 21 million citizens with a substance use disorder (SUD) receive any type of specialty treatment according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health.”*

Some of the most common signs of addiction include: frequently missing school or work, lack of energy and motivation, being secretive about where he or she goes, drastic changes in relationships with family and friends, and insomnia.

Lyle Fried, a board certified addictions professional, internationally certified alcohol & drug counselor, and co-founder of The Shores Treatment and Recovery ( says there are some infrequently discussed signs of addiction to keep in mind usually involve extreme behavior, including:

  • Spending money – excessive spending of or a desperate need for money is a drastic action. The addict may quickly spend all their money or do anything to get more.
  • Deflection – the typical addict has an uncanny ability to sense they may have to answer questions about themselves, so they will change the discussion.
  • Perpetual victim – no matter the extent of what happens to the addict, whether dropping a fork or losing a job, he or she will blame others and describe how this was an action against them. Even if someone admits they have an addiction, they will still play the victim role.
  • Obsession– an addicted person may spend more and more time and energy focusing on ways of getting hold of their substance, and in some cases how to use it. That obsession may cross over into everyday behaviors.
  • Sudden Changes in Appetite – Fried says to keep an eye on whether your loved one spends extend amounts of time without any interest in eating or continuously eats, especially foods they used to not be interested in. Unexplained weight loss or gain is a related sign.
  • Sleep Patterns – similar to the food above, addicts have a tendency of extreme sleep patterns. Either sleeping too much/staying in bed (also a sign of depression) or sleeping very little or not at all.

Fried reminds you to follow your gut. No one wants to believe their loved one is an addict. You have to believe your instincts if you feel it may be the case.  Spending more time with the person facing the challenges and dangers of addiction may be the only way to confirm your instincts so you can help jumpstart their road to recovery.


About Lyle Fried- The Shores Recovery

Lyle is a Board-Certified Addictions Professional, an Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor an Approved Training Provider for the Florida Certification Board, and a Certified Health Coach. Because of his experience and industry knowledge he continues to be a regular and featured speaker at various industry events. He has served as the Executive Director, Clinical Director & Program Manager of several Residential and he has served as a Consultant & Licensure Specialist to numerous facilities and has served as a Drug Court Panel member. Lyle also served as a Primary Therapist in high-end facilities and is a board member of the Alliance for Addiction Solutions (AAS), a board member of the Florida Association of Recovery Residences (FARR) and Floridians For Recovery (FFR).

In 2016 he was invited to meet with senior White House officials including the White House Chief of Staff, the head of the Parity Act Task Force, the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and several Senators to discuss and help shape addiction treatment awareness

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