When you have clear feelings against substance abuse, your loved ones may attempt to hide their use of drugs or alcohol to avoid feeling shamed or seeing that you are disappointed. Since addiction is a potentially life-threatening, it is important to recognize when a loved one suffering from addiction is hiding their substance abuse.
Although poor hygiene is often considered a sign of substance abuse, some individuals may hide their drug or alcohol use by dressing well and giving the outward appearance of a well put-together individual.
They may dress well and go to work, but show signs of substance abuse in other ways, as in the quantity of the substance that they abuse.
As an example, when a loved one is abusing alcohol, the amount that he or she drinks at an event may signal a chemical dependency or an addiction. If a loved one regularly drinks half a bottle of hard liquor or a bottle of wine to themselves, then their hygiene habits may be an attempt to hide their addiction.
Visiting the Restroom
It is normal to go to the restroom once or twice throughout an evening out with friends and family. It is not normal to visit it ten times or more. Regular visits to the restroom that seem excessive may be a sign of substance abuse.
That is particularly true if a loved one returns from the restroom with the smell of alcohol or any other substance clinging to their breath or clothes. Some individuals may use the substance in a restroom to avoid detection when they are out with friends and family.
Certain substances cause bad breath or may cause specific scents to linger on the breath. Alcohol is only one example of the potential smells that may occur. In some cases, a loved one may attempt to hide the smell by rinsing the mouth with an alcohol-based mouthwash.
Alternatively, loved ones may use gum, mints or other mouth freshing options to hide the scent of a substance. If it seems that a loved one is always rinsing out the mouth, then it may be a sign of attempts to hide substance abuse.
Using Substances Alone
Hiding substance abuse from a loved one may be easy if the individual lives alone. They can use the substance in certain locations, such as their own room, so that it is hard to detect the substance abuse.
Hiding Substances in Different Locations
Depending on the substance, a loved one may hide it in different locations to use throughout the day without being easy to detect. If the substance is hidden in different locations, a loved one might not notice the amount that the individual is using or a loved one may use the substance in a room when nobody else is around, regardless of their location in the house.
When a loved one is going out of his or her way to hide an addiction, it may be difficult to recognize potential problems. It may not seem like the individual is abusing drugs or alcohol if he or she looks well-dressed. The key is to watch for small indications of a problem, such as visiting the restroom too frequently or smelling odd scents.