Admitting that someone in your family has a substance abuse or addiction problem can be very difficult. In our society, this is taboo and is almost always met with stigma. However, if you suspect that a family or loved one is using harmful drugs and you want to help him or her, the foremost hurdle to overcome is that of your own acknowledgement.
Below are a few steps to help you empower yourself and spot common drug abuse indicators:
- Educate YourselfThe first thing that you need to know is that you need to know more. If you have little or no knowledge about substances and addiction, you have to do your homework. It is important to arm yourself with enough know-how to help you properly assess the situation and diagnose drug use.Different drugs have different effects and physical symptoms. At times, there are users who use more than one drug to complement or counteract the effects of the other
- InventoryAs users become more highly dependent on the substance to the point of addiction, you will find that their daily activities revolve around getting their “fix” at whatever cost. Take a look at your house and see if there are missing money or items in the home as users may resort to theft in order to support their drug use. You may also find drug paraphernalia and even traces of drugs in their rooms, in the bathroom, or in other areas in the home where users may hide them.
- Watch out for Behavioral Changes
You may find them being more and more secretive as the abuse progresses. You will also notice changes in eating and sleeping patterns, even seeing them significantly lose or gain weight in a short period of time. If you live with the users, watch out for friends and other people coming in with them, or accompanying them to go someplace which users would rarely disclose. Aside from this, users will also tend to be more secretive.
- Observe Physical Symptoms
Drug abuse will, sooner or later, exhibit physical symptoms, from bloodshot or dilated eyes to skin sores, needle marks, or teeth that are falling out. Having knowledge on the physical symptoms exhibited by various drugs over time, you can know what to signs to look for.
These steps are meant to help you better understand and spot drug abuse in members of your family. However, it is still best to consult with Rehab Specialists to have proper guidance in determining drug use and seeking help for it.