Sometimes, people who need help with drug addiction don’t seek it on their own. Often, it’s a family member, friend or loved one that encourages our patients to get the addiction therapy they need.
However, drug addiction doesn’t happen overnight, and very often, it can go on for months or even years without anyone being sure that their loved one is abusing drugs.
If you suspect that someone you care about is using drugs, and you suspect they may need help, there are some signs of drug addiction that you can look for, including:
• They are increasingly absent from events they used to attend – over time, most people in active drug addiction need to use more frequently, which might lead them to miss events they would once have attended
• Changes in their appearance – most drugs will start having a physical effect on the body over time
• Not caring about how they look – drug addiction can also make people take less interest in their appearance, so if there is a marked change, it might be a sign that they are abusing substances
• Missing work or school obligations
• Appearing drowsy or disconnected, or being visibly intoxicated
• Aggressive or out of character behaviour
• Taking unnecessary risks
• Sudden unexplained changes in their financial situation – drug addiction can be very expensive, and if people who were once financially stable need to borrow money more frequently, that is a warning sign
People who are struggling to keep drug addiction secret often try to hide the problem as long as possible, but that only leads to deeper addiction and more problems. Depending on the type of drugs your loved one may be abusing, they will demonstrate different symptoms. For example, addiction to various opioids like fentanyl will show up differently than stimulants like meth.
The longer someone is in active drug addiction, the more chance there is that they will cause damage to their lives, such as losing a job or relationship, and the more risk of physical harm there is. Frequent drug use almost always comes with increased risk of overdose and other physical harm, and the longer it continues, the more chance there is.
Approach with Love and Understanding
If you suspect someone you love might be struggling with drug addiction, it’s important to have the conversation as soon as you can about going to drug rehab. It can be very uncomfortable to raise this kind of issue, but it can be a matter of life and death.
Not everyone who is struggling with drug addiction is ready to make a change right now. It’s important that you don’t approach them with anger or trying to force them to seek help. Drug addiction is a disease, and it requires compassion and understanding to help your friend, family member or loved one to make a positive change.
Seek Professional Advice
Even if your friend, family member or loved one is not ready to seek help for drug addiction, you can still get professional advice.
At Safe Haven Recovery Center, we work with the family, friend and loved ones of our patients, and we are always happy to provide information and advice. You can contact a team at a center like ours to find out what you might need to do next, and how you can help the person you love to seek appropriate treatment for drug addiction.
Drug addiction is not easy for anyone involved. It’s not easy for the person in active addiction, or the people who care about them. But it’s important to remember that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. No one is beyond help for drug addiction, and often, it just takes one step to get onto a path to freedom from drug addiction.
Educate yourself, understand that it’s no one’s fault that this is happening, and find the help you and your loved one need.