Drug and Alcohol - Relationships in Recovery

Signs Your Adult Child Needs Addiction Treatment

Recognizing the signs of addiction in your adult child might save their lives. Here's what to look for, and what you should do.

Signs Your Adult Child Needs Addiction Treatment

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

May 12, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

There may be many signs that your adult child needs addiction treatment, but it is essential to recognize and identify them before their substance use disorder gets out of hand. Behavioral elements of substance use disorders can progress into life-ending scenarios. 

Therefore, if you want to identify addiction and take action before it is too late, understating the behavioral aspects of adult children is crucial. The Forge is here to help you with guidance and professional experience.

You May Not Know What to Look For

When an adult child struggles with substances, it may be difficult to identify or know what to look for. Additionally, the adult child may be skilled at hiding all the symptoms and signs. As parents, you must understand that it is complicated for an individual to stop using drugs without professional help and guidance. Also, you need to know that forcing blame or shame on your adult child can cause them to spiral further, often leading to a life-threatening scenario.

As a parent, it is critical to help your adult child recognize the symptoms as they occur and understand the warning signs to help prevent further damage. We here at The Forge want to advise you that the first step is to contact an addiction center. We can give you insights on what to look out for and the factors involving substance misuse or a substance disorder.

As substance use increases, the brain becomes chemically altered. It can cause an individual to act and behave in different manners. Many factors go into why your adult child uses substances, but it is essential to notice the signs and symptoms so you can get them started on a path to treatment.

Physical Signs of Addiction in an Adult Child

As parents, you know your child well. When something changes within your child, it is rather apparent. One of the first signs of substance use disorder in adult children is physical indications. Often these types of changes start on the inside of the body, but continued use will almost always lead to external changes depending on the substance used.

Some signs you can look out for are bruises, dilated pupils, infections, nosebleeds, and spots where a needle may have entered through the skin. Other symptoms can include glazed eyes or weight changes. Adult children often feel the need to hide their substance use because they struggle with shame and other underlying core elements.

Different substances will cause the individual to have various physical signs. Before addressing the concern with your adult child, it is essential to educate yourself regarding the multiple signs and symptoms to have more precise insight into what your adult child may be struggling with.

Adult Child Behavioral Indications of Substance Use Disorder

You know your adult child intimately, as you have been with them throughout the duration of their life. When their behaviors start to change, you may begin to question why. Some parents may find it challenging to understand the behavioral changes when substance use disorder plays a role in life. You will notice a difference in your child as impulses and reactions begin to alter throughout substance use.

For example, when your child uses substances, they may be angrier or more manipulative and secretive about their lifestyle. This behavioral development does not necessarily mean that it is a substance use disorder, but it is something to watch out for. Substance use changes an individual's self-control and will cause them to continue using to feel euphoric or numb their pain. As parents, you need to understand that underlying core elements cause substance use to begin and continue.

Addressing the Substance Use and Deciding if Your Adult Child Needs Addiction Treatment

Over time substance use and abuse will cause the individual to be essentially incapable of resisting use. At this point, they have become dependent on and addicted to the substance of their choice. The irritability or increased aggression from substance use can cause a drastic swing in behavioral reaction and cognitive reasoning. You may notice that your adult child is experiencing a change in their social life or may start participating in illegal activities.

Substance use affects individuals in many negative ways. Personality change, increased agitation, and lack of motivation are just some of the signs of substance use disorder. Many individuals struggle with paranoia and will withdraw or isolate themselves from you and their friends. It is essential to recognize these signs as quickly as possible so your child can find the treatment they desperately need.

Your Adult Child’s Recovery Starts With A Conversation

If your child is exhibiting unusual symptoms in line with substance use disorder, it is good for you to speak with a substance use specialist. These trained professionals will help you understand the steps needed to guide them in a healthier direction. If you or your loved one suspect your adult child of using substances, you will notice various signs.

Finding ways to lead them toward effective treatment is critical as it can help prevent further damage. Discussing substance use with your adult child can be challenging, and there is a right way to approach them regarding treatment options. can discuss the signs of substance use and the hope that addiction treatment offers your adult child struggling with substance use.

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