Think a Loved One Might be Addicted?

financial signs of addiction

Do You Think a Loved One Might be Addicted? Follow the Money to Find Out

The year 2020 had the dubious distinction of having the highest number of fatal drug overdoses to date (Centers for Disease Control). A Gallup poll has revealed that about 50% of all American families have been affected by addiction.

The news is not all bleak, though. The American Society of Addiction Medicine says that addiction is treatable. It is often referred to as a chronic disease. For this reason, many with more severe substance use difficulties talk about going into recovery instead of becoming cured. For others, this may not be the case, as there could be multiple contributing factors that, once addressed, can put them on a path to permanent recovery.

The signs of addiction can be challenging to spot. When a loved one has a problem with substance abuse, it will likely show up in their financial habits. If you follow the money, it can lead to clues about whether an addiction is present. If so, you can talk to your loved one about getting into treatment.

Financial Signs of Addiction

• Multiple Bank Accounts
There is nothing outwardly suspicious about having more than one bank account. Someone who suddenly opens several new bank accounts may be trying to conceal where their funds are going.
• Changes in Purchase Method
Many people like the convenience and security of paying for items using their debit or credit cards. If your loved one is suddenly making numerous cash purchases, it may mean they are buying drugs.
• Increased Spending on Frivolous Items
Someone in the throes of addiction will likely be impulsive. They will be looking for things that make them feel good at the moment. Your loved one may spend money on fast food, trinkets, or other items that they don’t really need.
• Acting Defensive When Questioned About Finances
If your loved one avoids questions about how they spend their money, it may be because they are trying to hide an addiction.

Other Signs of Addiction

Along with the signs listed above, be alert for other indications that your loved one is living with an addiction. These include:

• Unkempt Appearance
Someone who is addicted will spend more time and resources on their drug of choice. Personal hygiene will no longer be a high priority. If your loved one is bathing and changing their clothing less often, it may point to a drug problem.
• Avoids or Stops Participating in Family Events
An active addiction takes up a significant amount of time and energy. Often, a person starts giving up family activities and hobbies they previously enjoyed to have more time for using drugs.