It’s never easy trying to help a friend who is struggling with addiction. That first step of initiating the conversation about their substance abuse can be very uncomfortable for all involved. Here are some tips to educate yourself about the signs of addiction and how to confront them.
Before you have any discussion, it is important to find a rehabilitation program that suits the level of addiction they face. Research is important. Ask questions. Also keep in mind that depending on what their addiction problem consists of, they may need a detox treatment before starting therapy. Find out exactly how the program works while planning on having your friend start treatment immediately – don’t wait a moment after the talk. Once you have the info sorted out, it’s time to have a serious discussion with the person in question.
First thing to remember is it’s very important to discuss your concerns with your friend or family member when they are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If they aren’t sober during the discussion, they are much less likely to not absorb the impact that their habits are making on friends and family, yet alone themselves. Meeting in a neutral place to talk is also a good idea, while trying to make the conversation last for more than just a minute or two. If you have any doubt, a group intervention may be your best choice, especially if the person in question is reluctant to get help. Getting friends and family together out of a mutual concern to confront their loved one and confront them to get help with an addiction professional
Creating an environment that promotes a dual sided conversation so they don’t feel lectured or cornered is also ideal. Be sure to list the dangerous behaviors that you see them performing and reinforce the seriousness of worry you’re feeling that their addiction is having on both them and their family. Experts suggest developing and repeating a consistent, yet positive message in a loving and caring light. Let them know you urge them to get help and that you will help them take the first step.
Last thing to remember: Many people struggling with addiction do not realize how much their family and friends love them. Be loving and supportive and let them know that you’re going to support them throughout their journey to recovery.
- Mood swings
- Irritability and agitation
- Lack of motivation
- Neglected responsibilities
- Loss of interest in school, work, or hobbies
- Poor performance in school or work
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Lack of concern for appearance and hygiene
- Stealing or selling possessions to buy drugs
- Risky behavior (such as drunk driving)
- Preoccupation with obtaining drugs
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Sleeping problems
- Nausea and vomiting
- Excessive sweating
- Bloodshot eyes
- Pupils that are smaller or larger than normal
- Bloody or runny nose
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Slurred speech
- Impaired coordination
Social Symptoms and Other Clues:
- Legal issues
- Financial difficulties
- Socializing with others who abuse drugs
- Drug paraphernalia (spoons, syringes, pipes)