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Spot the signs and symptoms of addiction

At Port of Call we always advocate helping an addict before they hit ‘rock bottom.’ That can be easier said than done if you don’t know what the signs and symptoms are to look out for though. In this blog, we give you all the facts you’ll need to take action on addiction with localised drug rehab and alcohol addiction support.

Has your loved one’s appearance, habits or behaviour changed of late? Have your suspicions been roused that something might be amiss? That maybe a sign that they are living a double life – a life of damaging substance abuse. Only, you’re not quite sure if you’re overreacting or if there is genuine cause for concern.

Symptoms of addiction


Chances are your intuitions are right. But let us talk you through some common signs and symptoms of addiction, to ensure that you know exactly how to help an addict at the earliest possible opportunity.

Common signs and symptoms of alcoholism

Someone who abuses alcohol may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

  • They drink to de-stress or feel better.
  • Their friends and family worry about their drinking.
  • They are dishonest or secretive about their drinking.
  • They continue to drink despite the problems alcohol causes in their relationships.
  • They neglect their responsibilities at home, work or school.
  • They have experienced legal problems as a result of drinking too much.

Common signs and symptoms of a drug addiction

If you suspect that a loved one may be abusing drugs, look out for these various signs:


  • Bloodshot eyes and larger or smaller pupils.
  • Sudden weight loss or gain.
  • Deterioration of physical appearance.
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination.


  • Poor attendance at work.
  • Suspicious or secretive behaviour.
  • Financial difficulties.


  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts.
  • Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or ‘spaced out.’
  • Unexplained changes in personality or attitude.
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness.
  • Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid.

About the author: Martin Preston

Martin is our Founder and Chief Executive. Martin is himself in long term recovery and started Port of Call to help families navigate treatment options. In 2020 Martin will open Delamere Health Ltd, the UK’s first purpose built addiction treatment clinic.

Do you have any questions?
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  • All our call handlers are themselves in recovery
  • We visit all clinics in our network to understand what’s most suitable for you
  • We can organise same day admission
  • Let us help you and your family find freedom from addiction today

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We’re specialists in UK rehab options and can advise you on alcohol rehab in the North West, drug rehab in the North West and other addiction support services in the area.