top of page

5 Uncommon Behavioral Signs of Addiction

We all think we know what the signs of addiction are; things like bloodshot eyes, sleeping in because of a hangover, and being very sluggish overall. However, there are some signs of addiction that you might not think are indicators that someone you love has a monkey on their back.

It’s helpful to understand the uncommon behavioral signs of addiction so that you can better help a loved one who might be sliding into addiction.


1. Sleeping Problems

When someone is addicted to any kind of substance, it can take over their thought processes and cause them to obsess over how they can get their substance of choice.

They also often lose sleep over their perception that other people are judging them and, even more importantly, how they are starting to feel about themselves. Those kinds of thoughts only serve to make them want to self-medicate even more, and all of that can cause many a sleepless night.

2. Work/School Troubles

While some addicts can still function effectively at work or school, most experience performance problems. The inability to concentrate effectively leads to suffering in their work.

When loved ones ask about any issues they might be having, they often have an excuse ready to explain it. That takes the focus off of any other reasons behind their problems, but only for a while. Eventually, the addict’s poor performance will catch up with them, and they may flunk out of school or lose their job as a result.

3. Repetitive Speech Patterns

Repetitive speech patterns are another uncommon behavioral sign of addiction. Addicts are often uncertain of whether or not they are expressing themselves clearly, causing them to frequently repeat themselves.

Additionally, they may slur or mumble their words so that others can’t understand what they’re saying. Basically, the regions of the brain that underlie addiction also support cognitive functions like learning, memory, and reasoning.

Addiction eventually causes cognitive deficits that make it difficult for an addict to establish sustained abstinence, and those also result in speech patterns that are incoherent and sometimes repetitive.

4. Malnourishment

When someone becomes addicted to a substance, they often neglect other aspects of their health, including nutrition. As a result, they may suffer from the effects of malnutrition.

They might develop vitamin deficiencies, for example, and suffer from the after-effects of those problems. They may lose weight, and experience cognitive decline as a result of malnutrition. The brain lacks the nutrition it needs to function efficiently.

5. Community Changes

Addicts will also typically make changes in the friends with whom they associate. It’s not uncommon for them to feel judged by close family members and old friends, so they choose to associate with people who are also involved in substance abuse.

Unfortunately, it is those people who typically encourage more substance use, and they also make it difficult for an addict to stop. That’s why most treatment programs emphasize social changes to help an addict stop using.


We are proud to partner with Sober Sidekick and watch over150,000 recovering addicts experience freedom from their addictions. The platform is designed to give the addict a positive community that encourages permanent sobriety.

Sober Sidekick offers support and tips for getting and staying sober, and they also offer a shoulder to cry on when the going gets tough. They’ve seen it all and done much of it themselves, which helps them be the positive community support that an addict needs to get clean. Give it a try today for a sober tomorrow!

Related Posts

See All


bottom of page