Addiction is not simply a bad habit — it affects how an adult’s brain functions, leading to physical, mental, and behavioral changes. As their substance abuse worsens over time, adults will likely begin behaving differently around those that care about them, either due to an attempt to hide their addiction, substance-induced paranoia, or otherwise.

If you suspect your loved one’s changed behavior may be the result of substance abuse, here are a few things to watch out for.

Common Behaviors of Adults Struggling with Addiction

Depressed or Anxious

Especially since addiction can be caused by or connected to mental health, a sudden onset of depression is not uncommon for adults struggling with substance abuse. Additionally, certain substances, such as alcohol, marijuana, and opioids, can lead to depressive states.

You may notice that your loved one consistently seems sad, hopeless, or begins to neglect their self-care, hygiene, or social events.


As they make feeding their addiction their main priority, adults who struggle with addiction can shirk other responsibilities in their lives. For example, they may stay out later at bars or at friends’ houses, resulting in their being late to work or missing shifts entirely. If they’re recovering from a binge, they may spend the day sleeping it off, forgetting to pick up the kids or run errands they were supposed to complete.


Lying is a very common trait of those struggling with drugs or alcohol abuse. Adults may lie about where they’ve been or disappear for long periods of time without any explanation. It’s not uncommon for adults to also lie about their finances to hide how much they’ve spent feeding their addiction. If confronted about their actions, they will often become defensive or make excuses, rather than admit their struggle.


Those struggling with addiction can be mentally, physically, or emotionally abusive in relationships. They may get physical with loved ones, either in retaliation or for no reason at all, or mentally guilt or manipulate loved ones in order to get what they want. If codependency develops within the relationship, the abuse can be all the worse.

Address Addiction at Its Core at Silver Ridge

At Silver Ridge, we focus on addressing the physical, mental, and emotional causes behind addiction for those in midlife. Our program consists of specific interventions meant to increase the sense of self so that a client can have a source of strength when stressors tempt them to relapse.

We can be contacted 24/7. Call our addiction recovery center in Asheville today at (855) 945-7788.