Substance Abuse and Family Law (2 of 4)

6. The Money Magnet
Substance abuse is an expensive habit and drugs and alcohol cost money. This, combined with impaired judgment may lead many people to get into financial trouble by not paying attention to their affairs. Any kind of unusual money behavior can tip off families to drug or alcohol abuse. Bills might not be paid or the adict might start selling possessions on eBay. Coke and speed can send people into manic spending sprees while alcohol can spur gambling binges. Also, the person may ask family members for loans or use their credit card without asking.

7. The Clear Choice
Many alcoholics prefer vodka as their drink of choice because it is clear, looks like water and does not typically have a noticable odor. A dead give away is when a person puts vodka in their thermos and mixes it with their morning coffee. Pay attention if the person goes from their normal drink of choice to vodka or if you taste their drink it and is spiked. Watch grocery receipts too, are they buying large amounts of vodka?

8. Missing in Action
If the person is missing important events like high school graduation or a birthday party, the person may be displaying signs of addiction. Becoming secretive and unreliable is a trademark of addiction. They start to forget appointments, miss important events or come in late to work or school. Maintaining and hiding an addiction takes time and effort. The person may stop by the bar on the way home, then get coffee to sober up. Sneaking around the house is also a tip-off, like sneaking into the bathroom for Visine and to brush their teeth before talking to anyone.

9. A Narrower World
Addiction will often cause people to block out other interests and activities which they used to enjoy. They may lose interest in friends, sports, social activities and other things which once defined them. Sometimes you may have a sense that the person just isn’t themself anymore. They may change their daily routine without a good reason. They may be trying to avoid friends, family and coworkers.

10. Magic Bottles
Anyone who lives with a heavy drinker is familiar with the ritual of checking the state of the liquor cabinet. It is hard to spot, but it’s a telltale sign, is the “magic bottle” which never seems to get empty. Often, if a person is trying to hide alcohol consumption, they will refill liquor bottles with water to keep the liquid level high. The only way to confirm is to taste it. Similarly, the person may hide beer or wine bottles in the bottom of the recycle bin to try to hide them from neighbors. If you hear the clink of bottles, that may be a warning sign.

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