The summer months are full of long days, lots of sunshine, and plenty of social gatherings. But these months also consist of less structure, more free time, and more opportunities for relapse.
Changes in behavior are one of the most common signs of substance abuse and addiction, some more obvious than others. If you notice yourself or your loved one doing any of the following, it may be time to seek outside help to address the issue at hand.
Skipping your work meetings, cutting classes, or simply ignoring your every day responsibilities to drink alcohol or use your drug of choice is a clear sign of addiction. Drugs or alcohol become a top priority, causing them to toss their personal responsibilities to the side.
While everyone may be out at the lake this summer to soak up some rays, it can become tempting to neglect important tasks like paying bills, cooking meals, doing laundry, or even picking up the kids from summer camp.
Showing a Lack of Interest
Sometimes life gets in the way, and our favorite hobbies or activities often get forgotten or ignored. However, for an addict, they may lose interest in previously enjoyed activities because they are physically and chemically unable to receive the same amount of joy from their hobbies that they once did.
For someone dependent on drugs or alcohol, getting drunk or high brings them more pleasure than anything else. Having the extra free time in the summer makes it easier to ignore the things they once loved doing, like going for hikes or bike rides. Instead, you may find them turning up the heat of the summer at local parties or barbecues.
Isolation from Friends and Family
Isolation and addiction often go hand in hand. People facing substance abuse may begin to withdraw from their closest friends and family for several reasons.
One of the main reasons people begin to withdraw is to hide their addiction from loved ones out of shame or embarrassment. They want to avoid looks of disappointment or fear on the faces of their loved ones. By hiding their addiction, no one will judge or disapprove of their behavior.
Another reason addicts isolate themselves is to avoid conflict. They may feel like a burden or stay away from others in an effort to keep the peace. People facing addiction also tend to surround themselves with others who support and encourage their habits.
Summer may be filled with more free time, which makes it easier to fall by the wayside. While everyone's out having fun in the sun or enjoying vacation, isolation from friends and family can be effortless. Summer months are the perfect time to check in on your loved ones who may struggle with addiction to make sure they are not starting to seclude themselves.
Engaging in Risky Behaviors
People struggling with addiction and substance abuse often become impulsive, and their critical thinking skills become affected—the chances of becoming involved with more criminal activity and other risky behaviors increases. Due to the loss of judgment substance abuse can cause, some of the behaviors may include:
- Driving under the influence
- Involvement in physical fights
- Domestic violence incidents
Increased Desire for Privacy
You may notice yourself beginning to keep secrets from people you once trusted. Or perhaps your loved one is lying to you about the amount of a substance they used. The addict may be trying to manipulate someone to get what they want; or hide parts of themselves they are ashamed of.
How Chattanooga Recovery Center Can Help
The most effective way to change behaviors is by taking action. Participating in a treatment facility like Chattanooga Recovery Center is a great first step to creating new and healthy habits on your journey to recovery.
At Chattanooga Recovery Center, we offer innovative and unique holistic treatment programs to help you achieve sobriety ineffective, scientifically proven ways. One of the techniques we use is brain mapping, which helps shift your negative thinking to create healthier brain waves and behavior patterns.
We also use a combination of traditional therapies and wellness programs to prepare you for life after rehab.