Do you suspect that a friend or family member has a substance abuse problem? It can be difficult to know how to handle this situation. Do you confront the person, stage an intervention, or just hope the person will recognize the problem on his own? The first step in dealing with this issue is to understand what substance abuse looks like. The next step is to guide that person to the necessary help, while giving him the support he needs to survive the treatment and recovery process.
Symptoms of Substance Abuse
There are a number of potential signs that your loved one is abusing a substance:
• Tendency to drink or use more of the substance than originally intended
• Inability to cut down or stop using the substance completely
• Cravings to drink or use the drug
• Legal or financial problems as a result of their substance abuse
• Inability to manage work or home responsibilities as a result of their substance use
• Continued use even if it causes problems in relationships or puts them in dangerous situations
• Need to take more of the substance to get the same effect
How to Respond
When your loved one shows signs of substance abuse, it can be difficult to know how to respond. It is important to understand that substance abuse is a disease that usually requires professional treatment. You will not be able to get this individual to stop using on your own. In fact, if you cover up the substance abuse by lying for the person or in other ways, you may actually make the problem worse.
Getting a loved one to seek treatment for substance abuse is no easy task. The right approach will depend on the individual, your relationship and the level of abuse you are dealing with. Professional counselors that specialize in substance abuse are available in most areas to provide you with advice and insight on the best way to confront your loved one and encourage him to get professional help.
Dealing with Your Own Feelings
Many people feel hurt or angry when a loved one has a substance abuse problem. Substance abuse takes its toll on more than the person using; it can impact those closest to the individual as well. If you find yourself struggling with your loved one’s abuse, professional counseling may also help you to understand your feelings and find constructive ways to deal with them.
Substance abuse is never easy – for the individual or those around him. The good news is help is available. If you need to learn more about substance abuse and treatment options to help someone you love get on the right track to sobriety, contact Pasadena Recovery Center at 866-663-3030.