It is likely that you know or have a loved one who suffers from drug addition, with over 20 million people in the USA suffering from drug and alcohol abuse issues and the cost of treatment and incarceration run nearly $700 billion annually..
So even if you feel that you know enough about drug addiction to know that you need to be on the lookout for the early symptoms of drug abuse in your loved one – but this can be challenging, and so here we will take a look at how to detect the early signs of addictive behavior, and how to best deal with such a difficult situation.
The Early Signs Of Addictive Behavior
Certain indicators may include some or all of the following:
- personality changes
- poor judgment
- avoid responsibilities
- drastic changes in their habits.
- morning illness
- financial problems
- increasing difficulties at school or in work performance
- defensiveness when asked about their substance use
Most drug activity is related to prescriptions that people have legally obtained from doctors. So is your loved one already using a particular legally prescribed medication, and yet they seem to want and crave more and more of it? This is one of the most common triggers to look out for, with this particular substance abuse becoming an increasingly common occurrence, with millions of Americans of all ages expressing their dependency on prescription opioids like OxyContin and Percocet, which are prescribed in incredible numbers every year.
Alarmingly, among 17 nations surveyed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States ranks first in the lifetime use of three substances - cocaine, cannabis, and tobacco - and is in sixth place for alcohol use. The proportion of people in the United States who have used cocaine at some time during their lives is higher—by a factor of four—than in 16 other nations surveyed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
What To Do If You Discover A Drug Addiction
If your child, spouse or someone else you care is showing these signs, then there might be a substance abuse issue presenting itself. Your instinct will be to panic, and confront them about their habit; you will probably feel angry, upset and let down, and want make sure that they know it – but you should consider how your actions may make the situation worse. Here is a quick guide on to how to confront an addict about their addiction.
1. What You Should Not Do
Deal with them in an angry and judgmental manner – an addict seems to have the ability to irritate even the most patient person in their lives
Be judgmental – this will be very tempting, when you feel so let down and feel that your loved one has simply given up. You’ll risk driving him or her further into the depths of the addiction.
Lie about your own emotions - addicts are rarely aware of the effect they are having on those around them. You may feel the need to appear strong, when you are hurting. You will not be helping the addict by pretending that you are okay. Explain calmly and honestly just how much pain you are in and try to gain some empathy.
2. What You Should Do
Get educated - follow this link to find drug recovery facilities and locate resources that can help them. If you do not understand what you are dealing with, you can’t help them. You are going to be an important part of their recover process, and in the future you will want to able to spot the signs of a possible relapse
Take care of your own health - the incredible stress of discovering addiction alone is going to take its toll upon you. Consider this If you are travelling with children on an airplane that loses cabin pressure and the oxygen mask drops, you need to put it over your nose and mouth first, so that you can help your children. The same applies here, and you may need to consult a support group that provides a 12-Step Program for Families and Friends of Addicts and an opportunity to learn from the experiences of others who have faced similar problems.
Talk about it - this is essential part of the healing process for you and your loved one, as most people who have a drug addition will deny it or avoid the subject altogether. It will not be easy, because most will lie to and try to manipulate you. But know that addiction is a disease, and it is not person you knew and love who is treating you in an offhand and dismissive manner
Early Intervention For A Greater Chance Of Successful Recovery
You should strive to stage a friends and family intervention once the signs of drug use are apparent, and prepare yourself in advance:
a) Know why you are confronting them
b) Get your facts straight about what they have been doing
c) Make a script of what you need to say and a plan for what you need to do
d) Look into possible options for recovery and their medical insurance
If need arises, you should seek the assistance of a professional interventionist to assist you for best results, and research comprehensive addiction treatment programs for medical detox and therapy for the underlying issues related to substance abuse, as well as support programs for you and your family.
You may feel fearful about confronting the problem that a loved one has with drugs addiction, but remember that short-term fear will be overshadowed by the love and relief that you will feel when your loved one has the right help