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I think my loved one needs addiction treatment.

Help For My Loved One

Where Do We Start?

How Do I Know If My Loved One Needs Addiction Treatment?

Sometimes it is hard to know what to do when someone you love might have a problem with drugs or alcohol. You might suspect they have an addiction, but you’re still unsure how to help. We get it.

Too many lives have been cut short due to lack of proper treatment. Why? Many individuals don’t seek out treatment for themselves out of fear or denial. Likewise, many loved ones don’t seek help, as they are unsure where to start or how to approach the addict.

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Did you know that in 2016 more than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses?

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Are They Addicted?

How Do I Know If My Loved One Is Addicted?

Chances are if you are already questioning if your loved one has a real problem, they do. But, what are the signs your loved one is really addicted and needs professional help?

Here are some of the most common signs of addiction:
  1. They start sleeping a lot more, or a lot less.
  2. They lose or gain a lot of weight suddenly, without apparent reason.
  3. They start lying.
  4. They hide and cover their tracks.
  5. They are gone a lot more than usual.
  6. They stop enjoying activities they used to always enjoy.
  7. They are short on money or start pawning or stealing.
  8. Their appearance changes dramatically.

How Can I Tell If He or She Is High Right Now?

Someone who’s high may give off several telltale signs. The best way to know for sure is to ask the loved one directly. If their answer is “no,” but he or she has a history of drug use, you may be able to draw your own conclusion.

The best way to tell is by using your senses. Here are five signs that someone may be under the influence of drugs:

The Nose Knows

If you smell alcohol, marijuana or other drugs, that may tell you all you need to know. These odors often linger on the person’s breath, clothing or hair. The individual may try to disguise the smell of drug use with breath mints, air freshener or cologne.

Hands Down

Tremors of the hands may indicate the use of club drugs, such as Molly or ketamine, or hallucinogens, including LSD. Sweaty palms or skin are a common side effect of hallucinogen and opioid use, as well.

Scratch and Sniff

Someone who’s high on opioids or stimulants may scratch at their skin, causing sores. Injecting these drugs will leave needle marks, called tracks, while snorting drugs can cause a raw, runny or bloody nose.

The Eyes Have It

The appearance of the person’s eyes holds a clue. Dilated pupils can be a sign someone is high on marijuana, hallucinogens or stimulants. Narcotics, on the other hand, cause the pupils to constrict.

If the person has been smoking drugs, such as pot, cocaine or heroin, their eyes may appear glassy, watery and bloodshot. Rapid, involuntary movements of the eyes, called nystagmus, are another sign of intoxication on drugs, as well as alcohol.

Listen up

Being high typically causes a person’s speech patterns to change. Meth, cocaine and other stimulants will cause rapid, often incessant talking, while marijuana induces slow, slurred speech.
Many medical and physical conditions can cause the symptoms described above. The key to determining whether some is high is context. Paraphernalia such as needles, bent spoons, pipes, rolling papers or roach clips are clear indications of drug use. Sudden, unexplained changes in one’s behavior or energy level are signs, as well.

If you suspect a loved one is high, try to provide a safe, quiet place for them to “come down” before trying to address their drug use. When the time is right, offer your support, then consult a drug counselor and look into treatment programs. Let them know they are not alone, and that you care.

If this sounds like your loved one, it’s time to seek treatment. We can help: 1 (888) 789-4330
Signs and Symptoms

Other Signs and Addiction Behaviors that you should also be aware of:

Your loved one may be experiencing some or all of the following:

Health problems. From liver issues to increased blood pressure, substance abuse can cause a wide range of short- and long-term health problems. If your loved one has begun to suffer the negative physical effects of abusing drugs or alcohol, it’s time for help.

Relationship problems. Has your relationship with your loved one become strained? Have you watched your love one lose their relationships with their kids, their spouse or important friendships? Have they stopped attending family gatherings and events without alcohol available? Then your loved one needs rehab. 

Missing work or school. Some individuals can still perform work and school responsibilities while they are under the influence. You might call them a “functioning alcoholic,” for example. However, as things worsen, the individual eventually starts to struggle with keeping up and loses their job, or their attendance and grades slip. If your loved one has suddenly stopped taking care of their responsibilities, they need help.

Increased psychological issues. In addition to the physical damage drug abuse does to the body, addiction can cause mental issues as well. Addicts might display rapid mood shifts or act irritable for no apparent reason. They may have anxiety. If they do have a serious mental issue, that can be addressed and treated alongside the addiction.

Wants to quit, but can’t. Not everyone who wants to quit can. Sometimes the individual has a real desire to stop using, but every time they try, they fail. This doesn’t make them a failure; it simply means they are past the point of overcoming the addiction on their own. This is when you know it’s time for professional treatment.

What Can I Do If My Loved One
Needs Treatment?

Step 1: Educate yourself

It helps to learn all you can about addiction and what to expect from the rehab process. You can start here on this site by visiting our resources and our blog. Learn about the chemical changes addiction causes in the brain, and the health effects it can cause on the body. You’ll come to understand that the continued drug or alcohol use isn’t by choice, but that your loved one’s body is dependent on the substance.

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Step 2: Talk about it

Start having open and honest conversations with your loved one about their drug or alcohol use. This likely won’t make them be able to quit, but it may nudge them toward professional rehab. Learn how to have these discussions without airing grievances or shaming or accusing them. You’ll be surprised how much they might share when they don’t feel judged or interrogated.

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Step 3: Get involved in the treatment

Once your loved one gets admitted into rehab, don’t wash your hands of the situation. Get involved as much as you can! The treatment team may seek your input as they started building an individualized plan for your loved one.

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Family Support Group

Here at Harmony Place, we believe that the family plays an indispensable role in the successful outcome of any addiction recovery program.

We offer monthly family therapy sessions and include a weekly multi-family support group in the program curriculum to augment the family system healing process.

Learn More About Our Family Support

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