Is it time to get help? A guide for family and friends
Identifying a substance use disorder (SUD) in a loved one can be hard to determine. If you suspect a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it might be time to reach out for help and seek out how you can play a supportive role in their care. We’ve created a list of changes you might see in your loved one. While this is not an exhaustive list, it can demonstrate that it might be time to seek supportive care.
Changes in appearance might indicate if your loved one is battling a SUD. Some common items might include bloodshot eyes, weight loss or gain, skin problems, strange odors or smells, slurred speech, or a lack of coordination.
Sudden behavioral changes could be an indicator that your loved one is struggling with a SUD. Look for drop in performance at their work or schooling, mood swings, unexplained personality changes, lack of appetite or change in sleeping patterns, taking more risks than usual, or withdrawing from relationships. They could also suddenly face financial struggles, as addictions can be costly.
Mental signs may also indicate an underlying serious mental health problem, which would need to be treated in tandem with the SUD for a more complete and full recovery. If your loved one is battling with depression, some common signs are unable to get rid of a low mood or feeling or withdrawing from activities they once enjoyed. An indicator of anxiety might be spiraling thoughts, chronic worry over events, or intense fear.
Addiction can also take a toll on those struggling with SUDs. They might perceive themselves with less self-esteem and lose their confidence. Since drugs and alcohol can alter one’s mood and brain, they might even be prone to anger or rage.
You can be an active participant in your loved one’s recovery. The first step is to educate yourself on how you can be an advocate for your loved one. You can contact us at 603-554-8142 to discuss further support options and give you ideas on next steps. We can offer advice, provide support, help you find resources, and listen. We also have information on how to create a well-planned intervention, once you have educated yourself as much as possible.
Remember, you can seek support for yourself as well. It can be just as important for you to join a support group and seek external assistance in your journey to your loved one’s recovery.
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