Addiction is a serious illness that must be dealt with appropriately. When left, it can spiral and lead to overdose and in serious cases, death.
Helping someone that you know with an addiction problem may feel like a mammoth task. Not only are there many factors to consider, but you may not know if this person is even aware that their addiction is out of control. Thankfully, there are many people who are here to help you.
Detecting drug or alcohol addiction in someone may not be easy, but minor personality changes, the need for the substance and possible withdrawal from daily tasks are major red flags. Addiction begins when the tolerance to the substance has built up and the body is constantly craving more.
They need more of that substance to achieve the effect that was achieved the first time. Then, the number of drugs or alcohol increases and consumption becomes more frequent until there is no way to regulate their mood and physical state without this substance anymore.
Spotting the first signs will allow you to monitor them over a set period of time, and look out for new changes and developments. Speaking to them openly and calmly is vital. A rational approach is always best, as many addicts will not openly admit that they have a problem.
Signs Somebody Has an Addiction
Symptoms of any alcohol or drug addiction will present themselves in similar ways. Whilst there may be minor differences in the physical symptoms of some substances, there are some universal signs that must not be ignored.
Gut instinct will tell you if there is a problem, and with this in mind, you should be aware of the following symptoms of addiction:
1. Withdrawal from daily life (not wanting to go to work or school, or missing events)
2. Irritability and mood swings
3. Anxiety and depression that worsens as time goes on
4. Euphoric moments which soon plateau
5. Lack of personal hygiene and appearance
6. Weight loss or weight gain
7. Oversleeping or not sleeping enough
8. Possible anger outbursts or emotional breakdowns
9. Behavioural issues
10. Bloodshot eyes or pupil changes
5 Tips to Help Someone with an Addiction
The most successful method to help someone with an addiction is to assist them in entering a private rehab programme. These highly successful programmes have proven benefits and world-renowned methods and therapies to help leave addiction behind.
If this does not seem within reach, you can ask for help from an intermediary who can intervene and will guide you toward the right path. You may also want to approach the situation gently, and with sensitivity. Here are some recommended tips to try:
1. Find out as much as you can
Whilst talking to someone may seem difficult, approach it with a sensitive but light mood. You do not need to make them feel as if you have cornered them and are trying to trick them. After all, paranoia and anxiety can be big symptoms of addiction. Find out more about the addiction and the substance they consume, how often are they consuming it and ask if they want to talk about the problem. You can also ask if they are concerned about their health and ask how you can help. If they deny any problems, simply leave the subject at that moment and return at a later time.
2. Talk openly without judgement
The more you talk about the addiction, the more they may feel they want to pull away. But if you talk without judgement and show that you understand where they are coming from, they may feel more inclined to openly talk to you. Tell them you are not angry, you don’t judge and you are simply wanting them to be happier and healthier.
3. Show concern, with a clear pathway in mind
If you broach the subject of alcohol rehabilitation or therapies, it may seem a daunting task to them. However, if you mention that there are many routes to help you and that there are plenty of ways to overcome the issue, they may be inclined to ask what these are. Share with them the impact that the addiction is having on your life. This may include writing down in a journal or documenting some of their behaviours discreetly to show them. These are critical moments that could assist them in seeing the issues.
4. Talk about rehab in a positive light
Some people still attach a stigma to rehab. However, in a modern-day world, nothing could be further from that. There are many warm and welcoming centres that are ready to help you. Professional medical teams are on hand, and your loved one will have many ways to connect to new people, heal from old traumas and put aside their addiction. A great way to share this is to speak to them about success stories and give them information to look at in their own time.
5. Give them space, but not too much
You can still care from afar. Let them know that you are there to listen when they are ready to talk. Let them know you are ready to help them when they want help. Let them know that you want to give them space. Don’t give up on them.
5 Things Not to Say to Someone with a Drug or Alcohol Addiction
Be sensitive in your approach. If you are too harsh or you speak with disdain in your voice, it can make them feel unloved or that you are trying to get rid of them. Their addiction will not make them think rationally. Here are 5 things not to say to someone with addiction:
1. You’re going to kill yourself if you don’t get help.
2. Why don’t you think about someone other than yourself for a change?
3. I thought you were smarter than this.
4. You need to just quit, now!
5. You are so selfish and you’ve ruined your life.
Get Professional Support
Mention the support that is available for addiction. Do not get frustrated if they reject your suggestions and recommendations to seek professional help. Just have them know you are by their side. Professional support comes in all shapes and sizes and is bespoke and a dedicated programme offers anyone the chance to recover. We are here to help – for more information, please contact us today on 0151 268 6992.