Addiction slowly but surely turns you into a shell of your former self. Rearranging priorities to serve just one goal in the end: getting more drugs.
It’s a harrowing decline that only fully reveals itself to the user with the benefit of hindsight, but getting ahead of addiction is no easy feat for many.
What makes this worse for you – the parents, brothers, sisters, family and friends – is the helplessness you feel as you watch substance abuse take over. Whatever power you thought you had to influence behavior in the past, completely overshadowed by the drugs.
So, the question becomes, how to help a drug addict?
How do you get your loved one back?
Signs Your Loved One Is a Drug Addict
The first thing you need is knowledge. Knowledge of the signs and symptoms of addiction. Because knowing and naming what you’re looking at is the only way to adequately find a solution for it.
Addiction manifests itself in several ways and there are subtle – and not so subtle – differences depending on the drug of choice. Nonetheless, some general warning signs of addiction can show up no matter the substance.
- An inability to stop despite wanting to
- Taking ever-increasing amounts of the drug due to a built-up tolerance
- Continuing to use despite clear negative consequences, both physically and mentally
- Changing friend groups often and hanging out with more “questionable” people
- Losing interest in things, hobbies, people that brought them joy previously
- Difficulties at work or school, declining performance and growing disinterest
- Increased need for privacy and being alone – isolation and secrecy
- Borrowing and spending more money than usual
- General financial issues
- Engaging in increasingly risky behaviors, i.e., driving while under the influence
- Preoccupation with substances and spending more and more time getting, using and recovering from drugs
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using
- Denial that they have an issue at all
- Changes in mood, mood swings and irritability
- Shift in eating habits, eating more or eating less depending on the substance being used
- Drastic change in sleep habits and/or insomnia
- Disregard for personal appearance, i.e., not showering, washing/changing clothes, brushing teeth, combing hair, etc.
- Strained relationships with family and friends
As you can see, drugs can affect every part of life. The far-reaching tentacles wrap around whatever is in front of them, suffocating it.
Now that you have some direction in terms of identifying an addiction, what’s the next step?
How to Help a Drug Addict Get Sober
Getting them into treatment is often what gives someone the best shot at getting sober. The difficulty is of course in getting them to understand they need help. Whether by intervention or by them reaching the conclusion themselves with your help, it can be done.
The reason rehab works so well is that it’s concentrated and dedicated care administered by addiction experts. People who have seen it before and are trained and licensed to help your loved one get through it.
Each program is catered to the individual’s needs, fully customized to suit what would work best for them. Depending on the severity of the addiction that may be inpatient care, where they live at a rehab center, or outpatient treatment where they can come just for their sessions.
The hallmark of both is the time spent in individual and group therapy to truly work through and understand the root causes of how your loved one came to be addicted in the first place. From there we work on developing healthy and sustainable coping mechanisms and shifting thought patterns to prevent relapse and future issues.
If your loved one is struggling with addiction and you aren’t sure where to turn to, reach out to us at Principles Recovery Center. We’d be happy to listen and offer any insights or advice on what to do next.