Substance abuse treatment can be more successful when the problem is identified early. If a person enters treatment, it is more helpful in identifying the issue prior to hitting rock bottom. Learn how to spot the signs of substance abuse and what to do if it is happening to a loved one.


Identifying Abuse

Drug abuse is potentially harmful to not only the person with addiction but also others in the family. Not only will that person become healthier with treatment, it will be a more stable and safe home life. The following are potential signs of drug abuse:

  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Changes in attitude or friends with no identifiable cause or reason
  • Confusion
  • Constant need for money
  • Mood swings
  • Hyperactivity or lethargy
  • Needle marks
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Poor work or school performance
  • Red eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Tremors or shakiness
  • Unusual weight loss or gain

Prior to entering treatment, the person must first be diagnosed with drug addiction. This may be done by a general doctor or addiction specialist including a counselor or psychologist. A person will answer questions about drug use and possibly conduct a physical examination to make an informed diagnosis.


What’s Next

If drug abuse is suspected and confirmed, the next steps may include:

  • Selecting a treatment program. Getting a person into treatment is crucial. Once the person is ready, staff will meet with the person, assess the individual situation and develop a treatment plan. Recovering drug abusers may also attend outpatient meetings.
  • Staging an intervention. Many persons with addiction may be in denial about a problem and are unwilling to seek help. When an intervention is planned and supervised appropriately, the person may be able to get help right away for addiction and seek support from family and friends while in treatment. Specialists are available to help develop an intervention strategy and plan for optimal success (getting the loved one into treatment).


Drug Abuse Questions

Helping a loved one take the steps to recovery can be a long road. It is full of challenges and ups and downs, may be confusing, frustrating or even heartbreaking. It is helpful to know families are not alone in the endeavor of seeking treatment for a loved one’s addiction. Treatment centers have different options for various price points and supportive services. Getting started is the hardest part but once a person gets moving in the right direction, it is possible to see some light at the end of the tunnel for everyone involved.


If you have noticed possible signs of drug or alcohol abuse in a loved one, Hired Power can provide resources and information about potential next steps. Contact us to find out how we can partner with you in helping your loved one move forward in recovery from addiction.

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