Do you worry about a loved one misusing drugs or alcohol? If you suspect a friend or family member might be hiding an addiction, you may want guidance on what to do next. Is drug rehab necessary?
You don’t have to have all the answers before reaching out to your loved one. It’s OK to trust your instincts when you have concerns about possible addiction. Learn more below about four physical and behavioral signs of substance abuse. Also, you’ll find a few tips for encouraging your loved one to consider addiction treatment.
When you think your loved one has an addiction
You may feel like your loved one is pushing you away. They may not answer calls or texts like they used to. And when these changes take you by surprise or seem unusual, it’s normal to feel worried.
Suspecting an addiction can create mixed feelings. You want to help and see your family member act like themselves again. But you may worry about appearing judgmental or controlling. Still, your efforts to help them start alcohol or drug rehab could save their life.
Physical and behavioral symptoms of addiction
If you suspect an addiction, your loved one may not be ready to talk about it. These physical symptoms and behaviors may give you clues about possible substance misuse.
A person showing one or two of these symptoms may not necessarily have an addiction. But if your loved one shows several of these changes, you may have reason to dig further.
(1) Hiding use and related activities
You may notice odd behavior patterns or changes like:
- Unusual or unexplained spending
- Valuables or money disappearing,
- Coming in and out at odd times of the day
- Attempts to cover their tracks or be secretive about whereabouts
- Lying and getting defensive when confronted
(2) Increase in risky behavior
You may notice or hear stories about high-risk behaviors like:
- Unsafe driving
- Going on shopping sprees
- Aggressive behavior
- Conflict with others, more than usual or with bigger consequences
(3) Changed physical appearance and health
You might notice things about their physical appearance that concern you like:
- Ignoring basic hygiene, not caring for their health
- Slurred speech
- Unintended weight gain or loss
- Appearing tired, weak or ill
- Wearing the same clothes for several days
- Appear jittery, sedated or “out of it”
- Unexplained scars or wounds you haven’t seen before
(4) Change of priorities
Your loved one may make sudden and surprising changes to their priorities like:
- Giving up activities they usually enjoy
- Abruptly changing their social group
- Avoiding family responsibilities and core relationships
- Skipping or quitting their job/school, or changing jobs suddenly
- Disregarding usual responsibilities
How can your loved one get the help they need?
The journey of addiction treatment and recovery begins with a conversation. Your loved one may get defensive or say you’re interfering in their life. But if you share your concerns and show sincere support, their resistance may soften.
Offer to make a phone call or get information for them. It’s up to your loved one to take the ball and move forward. But you can smooth out their first step by learning more about drug and alcohol rehab options.
Keep an open line of communication, even if they don’t agree to get help right away. When someone develops an addiction, they hide the truth from themselves. Their mind has many ways of covering emotions, twisting reality and avoiding change.
Sometimes it takes time for a person to gather their courage and face these issues. Be in their life and show up frequently. You can’t force them to make a change, but don’t give up. If living with addiction becomes too painful, they’ll know you care.
Help your loved one with addiction
We know it can be hard to watch someone you love live with an addiction, but there is hope. With support and the right information, you can help them take the first step.
Call us today at 1-844-675-0964. We can help.