Five Signs Of Drug Abuse: What To Do?

Being the parent or loved one of another person can be challenging enough.  However, when they have an addiction to alcohol or drugs, it becomes nearly impossible.  What do you do?  When or how should you help them?  What about an intervention?  How do you go about convincing him or her to seek treatment?  This article focuses on the signs of addiction.   It shall then describe five signs of when an intervention is needed in detail.  It will also cover what can happen if they do not seek addiction treatment.

Brief Definition of the Term “Intervention”

Before you can encourage someone to get an intervention, it is a good idea to understand what it means.  It is defined as program strategies and elements in such a combination that is intended to elicit behavioral changes in someone.  It can apply to different circumstances; however, in the case of this article, it refers to a campaign for positive health changes.  In particular, you want to alter the loved one’s dependence on drugs and/or alcohol.  Now we shall delve into those five signs leading up to such a campaign.

First, Observe Behavior Changes

When someone has become addicted to drugs or liquor, their behavior will change.  It usually is not a sudden change, but rather a series of gradual changes.  If you truly know the person, you will notice when their behavior changes.  What about school or work?  Is their attendance suffering?  Is this person not performing as well as they had been?  Do they have a different set of friends now?  Is he or she becoming argumentative or getting into physical fights, either inside or outside of the home?  It is recommended you take a little time to observe these changes.  After all, it could be other things that are bothering them.  If the behavior changes persist and worsen, it is a sign that something is wrong.  An intervention is needed.

Differences in Their Appearance

Has this person become messy and unkempt?  Have they stopped taking care of themselves and their wardrobe?  Have these differences gone on for a period of time without any effort to correct them?  In an average person’s life, personal hygiene and wardrobe maintenance are very important.  When an addiction is present, the focus on what is important shifts.  The vice is now the dominant issue in their life.  All they care about is obtaining more of the substance.  Appearance changes can also be present in their weight.  Has the individual gained or lost a lot of weight recently?  Is this condition worsening over time?  The eyes are another clue.  Are they consistently bloodshot or suddenly prone to pupil changes?  These are all signs that addiction treatment is on the horizon.

Are There Excessive Refills of Their Prescriptions?

Drug addiction does not have to be of the illegal kind.  It can be to a doctor’s prescription that is quite legitimate.  However, if the person has acquired tolerance for them, it is a sign.  They will be requesting more refills than they ought to be.  If you leave this alone, the situation will NOT improve ever.  His or her body will continue to build up a tolerance of this substance.  This will never conclude on its own.  It is how so many deadly overdoses occur every year.  Whether it is a legal drug, an illegal drug or alcohol, if the person’s tolerance of it keeps getting worse, it is time to intervene.  Please start the conversation before it is too late.

What Happens When the Loved One is Without that Substance?

It can happen, there can be times when the user is without the drug for extended periods of time.  Are there any troubling repercussions?  These can be any mental or physical signs of dependency such as:

  • Shaking and unsteady on their feet
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Inability to speak properly
  • Sleep problems
  • Resorting to drastic measures to get financing for more drugs
  • Legal troubles resulting from the previous point

If you observe any of these negative activities or others that are equally bad, have an intervention immediately.  Addiction treatment is desperately needed.

A Rare, Yet Possible Sign

This does not happen often, but occasionally the user will admit they have a problem and ask for help.  If this happens, it is critical to take it seriously.  Do NOT dismiss it, do NOT take a position of denial, do NOT hesitate to get them the help they need.  This is also a form of intervention, only that they started the conversation instead of you.  They want addiction treatment.  No matter who initiates the discussion, please – do the intervention!


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