Struggling with addiction is a difficult road to walk alone. If you suspect that someone in your family, your spouse or a close friend may be fighting addiction, they might benefit from inpatient drug rehab.
However, it’s not always easy to tell whether or not someone really needs help, especially if you don’t live with them. Here are X signs that your loved one is struggling and could use professional help.
They’re Behaving Differently
Behavioural changes could indicate any number of changes in a person’s life, but they’re also a strong indication of substance abuse. The excessive use of drugs or alcohol generally leads to a change in various behaviours.
Your loved one might begin spending time with a different group of people or in different places than they usually do. They might begin to neglect things that are important to them – such as their job, their spouse, or even hobbies they were once interested in. Substance abuse might even result in mood changes, irritability or depression.
They’re Suddenly Secretive
Even people who are typically open, honest and loyal often grow secretive when they’re trying to hide something as serious as a drug or alcohol addiction. They might feel ashamed of their habits or fearful that someone might try to stop them if it were out in the open.
This often results in the hiding of bottles or drug packaging, lying about where they’ve been or where they’re going, lying about how much they’ve had to drink or who they’re spending time with.
People who abuse drugs or alcohol are usually very good at hiding any sign of it. However, if you know them really well, you should be able to notice that they’re hiding something.
They’re Defensive About How They Spend Their Money
The excessive use of drugs and alcohol is an expensive habit to keep up with. If your loved one is suddenly dealing with financial problems, it might be an indication that they’re struggling with an addiction.
Addiction can push people to overspend, borrow and even steal money in order to be able to get their fix. Of course, they would be unlikely to admit why they’re struggling with money and constantly running out of it, which would lead to them being defensive about their spending habits and lying about where their money is going.
Any defensive behaviour, whether related to money or something else entirely is usually indicative of someone hiding something significant.
They Seem Physically Unwell
There are a lot of physical changes that can accompany substance abuse. These will range from markers of them being under the influence, long-term physical effects, as well as withdrawal symptoms if they’re trying to stop using on their own.
You might notice things like weight loss, excessive energy or a complete lack thereof, twitching or shaking, flushes or damaged skin, nosebleeds, coughing, nausea and vomiting and other physical reactions.
Of course, physical symptoms like these could be related to any number of non-substance related health issues, but if you notice them alongside any other strange behaviour, it might be a sign of an addiction and they might need professional help.
They Ask You For Help
Of course, the most obvious sign is if your loved one reaches out to you and admits that they have a problem. Those who are struggling with addiction might be determined to battle it on their own and walk the journey without professional help.
However, if your loved one is resisting or refusing to go to rehab, it might be indicative that they’re in denial about how serious the problem is, that they aren’t actually ready to stop using and change their lives, or that they’re fearful of what the process will be like.
As their support system, it’s important that you explain to them how they’ll benefit from going to rehab and encourage them to do so. Ensure that they understand they are loved, that they won’t be alone on the journey and that it will be worth the change.
Watching someone you love struggling with something dangerous like addiction is emotionally taxing, frustrating and scary. You might notice these signs and be unsure of how to handle the situation.
Remember to always be gentle and show love and care when approaching topics like this with your loved ones. Show them that you support them and only want to help them, and that seeking out professional help will be the best thing for them going forward.