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How to Identify Drug Abuse in a Family Member
Excessive prescription or street drug use is a serious problem. Drug addiction is a disease that affects an individual’s brain and behavior and eventually causes an inability to control the use of medication or illegal drugs. It impacts people from all walks of life.

If you’re worried that you or a loved one might have an addiction to drugs, there are signs that can help you identify abuse. Read below to understand the symptoms of addiction and what to do if you or someone you know is struggling with signs of drug abuse.

What are the symptoms of drug abuse?

There are many signs of drug abuse to look out for. What can begin as experimental or recreational drug use in social settings can quickly turn into addiction and abuse. Read some of the signs below to help determine if your loved one’s drug use may be an addiction.

Some of the most common symptoms of drug abuse can include:

  • Increased frequency in drug use
  • Needing to increase the dose to feel the same effects
  • Failing to meet work or personal responsibilities
  • Inability to stop taking the substance
  • Withdrawal symptoms after discontinued use
  • Changes in sleeping patterns such as over or under sleeping
  • Difficulty getting along with others

How do you know if a family member is addicted to drugs?

There are also some physical and emotional signs that can help you recognize drug abuse in family or friends. These include changes in behaviors, physical appearances, and extreme moods. Here’s what to look for:

  • Irritability and lack of motivation
  • Depressed or withdrawn
  • Inability to focus
  • Shakes or tremors
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Sudden and frequent requests to borrow money
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Difficulty getting along with others
  • Slurred speech
  • Frequently ill
  • Secretive behavior

What should I do if a loved one is struggling with drug abuse?

If you’re noticing signs of drug abuse in a loved one, it’s important to act quickly. Monitor your family member’s behavior and share any observations of drug abuse with other family members, close friends, or a trusted source. If others agree, be sure to seek advice from a medical professional and determine who will speak directly to your loved one about their addiction.

Prior to confronting a loved one, be certain that you and your family members are safe from any possible physical or emotional harm. You can do this by developing a safety plan beforehand with your family, before deciding to discuss their behavior — especially if there is a threat or possibility of violence.

Taking action early can literally save your loved one’s life. That’s because those who identify drug abuse early on will be far more equipped to overcome their addiction and work on their recovery.

Steps to take to seek treatment for a loved one

After you’ve identified a drug addiction and confronted your loved one, you may be wondering what to do next. It’s imperative that the addict is seen by a medical health professional to determine the correct treatment plan for them. Drug abuse takes many forms and everyone’s experience is different. That’s why it requires an individualized and personalized approach.

If addiction is left untreated, problems will begin to worsen rapidly. Seeking treatment through a professional recovery program will increase your loved one’s chances of success in overcoming substance abuse. There are highly specialized programs that will address the various physical, social, and emotional needs of addiction recovery.

Treatment can come in the form of long-term rehabilitation facilities or a medical detox performed under in-patient or out-patient supervision. Those seeking recovery from drug abuse will need all the support they can get or they’ll be at a risk for relapse.

Get your loved one the help they need at Still Water Wellness

At Still Water Wellness, Southern California’s premier recovery program, we provide personalized plans based on your loved one’s specific needs and medical history to ensure an effective and long-term recovery. With proven treatment plans and a commitment to your journey, the chances of successful rehabilitation are much greater.

Let us help you determine the right substance abuse program for your loved ones to get them back on track and take their life back. We offer a variety of treatment plans, which can be customized by you to help them achieve their recovery goals.

Don’t wait when it comes to addiction. Contact us today to get the help you or your loved one needs at Still Water Wellness. The sooner you address drug abuse, the likelier your loved one is to get their life back on track.