Recognizing the Signs of Substance Abuse in a Loved One
Recognizing the warning signs as early as possible is important in helping those we love receive proper treatment before the problems related to the lifestyle of addiction worsen. Described as progressive, addiction will continue to increase in severity over time if proper intervention does not happen. Though addiction reveals itself in a multitude of ways (2) depending on the person, there are three specific areas that a loved one may begin to notice changes:
- Social Relationships — One of the first symptoms that may arise pointing to a substance use disorder is the impact that it has on the user’s social relationships. Many who begin to experience a substance use disorder will become withdrawn from friends or family. This is especially noticeable when the person previously was very social or outgoing.
- Psychological Differences — Changes in a person’s personality and cognitive ability may also be a sign that loved ones notice. As addiction progresses, it will begin to negatively impact the user’s mood and overall demeanor.
Biological Changes — The third, and possibly most notable, are the changes in your loved one’s physical appearance. Weight loss, bags under the eyes, and visible scabs or scars are all potential warning signs to a loved one that a substance use disorder is manifesting behind the scenes.
Talking to Your Loved One About Seeking Treatment
A critical point in the beginning stages of the recovery process is how you address the need for treatment with a loved one who may be struggling. Like many, those who are experiencing the symptoms of a substance use disorder may be embarrassed or ashamed of their current situation. Conveying the message of care and support without judgment is of vital importance if the desired effect is to help your loved one receive the help that they are in need of.
Exploring Treatment Options for Addiction
With a quick online search, will usually return more than enough information to make an informed decision concerning the care options available to your loved one. Thankfully, these days, finding quality substance use treatment options is easier than ever. Often, however, the immense amount of detail concerning various programs and treatment options can seem daunting when attempting to sift through.