Knowledge of Signs of Addiction is very important. Early Intervention the Key to Positive Recovery, But Addicts Don’t Always Ask for Help
As the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids points out, substance abuse recovery is often portrayed on television as something that only happens when a person has reached rock bottom. Unfortunately, this isn’t the ideal time for an addict to get help. If you suspect a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, don’t wait – offer help today and you may help them avoid serious long-term consequences.
Spotting the Signs of Addiction
It’s not always easy to tell if a person has a problem with drugs or alcohol. They don’t carry Signs of Addiction and the vast majority of addicts aren’t sitting on a street corner in injecting heroin. Addiction affects everyone including teachers, doctors, and even suburban housewives. There are, however, a few common indicators (Signs of Addiction) that signify a problem. A few of the most common signs of drug abuse and addiction are:
- Changes in behavior
- Physical changes such as weight gain or weight loss
- Mood swings
- Social isolation
- Poor grades/missed school
- Loss of control
- Slurred speech
- Memory issues
Some addicts may display all of these while others show no outward signs and continue to function publicly as if nothing were wrong. See Caring.com’s list of 20 Secret Signs of Addiction.
How to Help if someone has Signs of Addiction
If you suspect that a loved one is battling addiction, there are ways you can help, even if they don’t realize the scope of the problem. Addiction changes the brain, and at this point, an outside intervention may be necessary in order to help the afflicted regain control of their life. Start by point-blank asking them if they regularly use drugs and alcohol. Even if you know the answer, the realization that others are aware of the behavior may give the addict the encouragement they need to get help. A word of caution: Do not approach your loved one while they are using or if you suspect they are in an altered state. A person under the influence may become violent, even if they are normally pleasant, friendly, and docile.
Speak with an addiction counselor in your area. This person will be able to advise you of available programs and possibly help you gauge the scope of the addiction. If you choose to host a formal intervention, your addiction counselor should have recommendations for a mediator. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence explains that a drug intervention specialist is especially helpful if your loved one has a history of mental illness, has exhibited suicidal tendencies, or is self-destructive.
Perhaps most importantly, you must stop enabling the addict’s behavior. It is difficult to watch someone we love suffer, but actions you take may actually be causing more harm than good. There is a fine line between helping and enabling, and it’s one that you must learn. As an example, if your sibling has lost their job due to drug use, paying his or her bills enables – and encourages – that behavior. Giving your loved one money or helping them cover their tracks when they make a mistake while drunk or high won’t do anything to help them get better.
Sometimes, it may become necessary to give your loved one an ultimatum. If you choose to go this route, you must make it clear that you are aware of their usage and that this action will no longer be tolerated. You must be ready and willing to impose severe consequences, up to and including divorce, eviction, or severing ties completely. While this last resort is certainly not the most desirable form of help, at some point, you must shift your attention to yourself and your family and away from the individual who does not wish to better their circumstances.
Each time an addict uses, they lose more and more of themselves. Getting ahead of addiction can help them avoid losing their friends, family, job, and freedom.
Author of the article “Signs of Addiction”
Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.
Where to go in Philadelphia if you have Signs of Addiction
Philadelphia Addiction Center is the leading addiction treatment provider in the City of Brotherly Love and on the East Coast of the USA. Under the supervision of Dr. Tsan, the team of acupuncturists, hypnotherapists, and naturopathic physicians provide treatment for all kind of addictions including alcoholism, substance abuse, porn addiction, gambling, etc.
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