What You Need To Know About Drug Addiction
In previous years, drug abuse has been an increasingly growing problem among Canadian adults and youth, regardless of gender and age. The harmful and excessive use of drugs other than for medication purposes leads to numerous health problems that affect the overall well-being of the person. There are signs and symptoms of drug addiction and abuse that could help determine the problem at an early stage for immediate addiction treatment or intervention.
One of the tendencies of drug addicts is to increasingly and regularly use the drug several times every day even to the point of endangering themselves and other people.
Drug abuse affects people in different ways and levels but you would know addiction when they start neglecting and not giving importance to things they prioritized before. These may include family, friends, work, school, social activities, recreations, and other commitments.
The person that is hooked into drugs spends an enormous amount of time using, accessing and recovering yet going back to using drugs. Drug addicts become secretive particularly on their financial spending and their tendency to overspend on drugs just to satisfy their compulsive cravings.
Acting Out Of Character & Personal Safety
Some people take drugs because it makes them less inhibited but this can have negative effects too. They might do things they wouldnt normally do that they later regret, like having unprotected sex. If your friend is out of it or having a bad experience on drugs, theyll be vulnerable and may need help and looking after.
How Can I Tell If Someone’s Using Drugs
You might not realise for a while that the person is using drugs. There’s no sure way to tell, but some clues include:
- burnt foil, which may have been used for smoking heroin
- tiny pieces of cling wrap, paper or card that have been used to wrap drugs
- hand-rolled cigarettes with filters made from cardboard
- spoons and syringes
- small sealable plastic bags used to store drugs
- pipes, plastic bottles or drinks cans that have been pierced or tampered with
Drugs can cause changes in people’s physical appearance, including:
- sudden weight loss or gain
- sniffing or a runny nose
- small pupils
- not worrying about personal grooming
- losing interest in sports or hobbies
- neglecting responsibilities
Many of these changes are caused by other things. It’s normal for teenagers, especially, to go through emotional changes.
It’s important to talk honestly to the person rather than making assumptions. It will help if you get your facts right. The Department of Health provides information about different drugs and their effects on their website.
You May Like: How To Admit You Have An Addiction
How To Help Someone Dealing With Addiction
Knowing someone who has an addiction is not uncommon, but knowing the best way to help a loved one with an addiction can be confusing and even scary. When someone has an addiction, it can affect every aspect of their lives as well as the lives of their loved ones. You will inevitably be concerned about your loved one, and it can be difficult to know what to do and what not to do, but its important to remember that Recovery is a solution.
What To Expect In Rehab
If your loved one has decided to enter a treatment program for their addiction, they can expect to first check-in and complete an intake interview. This will allow the program to create a plan tailored to their needs.
The next step involves detoxing to remove any substances from their body. This process can take anywhere from three to 14 days and can be aided by medications to ease withdrawal symptoms.
After detox, the next step involves therapy to help them adjust and develop new thought and behavior patterns that will support their long-term recovery.
Recommended Reading: How Does Rehab Help Drug Addicts
Signs Of Drug Addiction Relapse
To recognize potential relapses, the following are 7 warning signs of relapse to keep an eye out for:
Stop Attending Meetings
The 12-step program meetings, AA meetings and other gatherings are put in place to help recovering addicts maintain their sobriety. Here, individuals are surrounded by support and they are reminded of how far they have come.
An individual who may relapse will likely stop going to these meetings, or begin making up excuses for why they cannot go. Whether they say its boring, too long or unhelpful, this is a surefire warning sign that they dont think they need help anymore.
Rekindle Bad Relationships
If an ex-user has begun surrounding themselves with their old crowd of users, a relapse is certainly possible. These friends or acquaintances are likely still using, and they act as severe triggers for a recovering addict to start using again.
Ditching Positive Elements
To maintain sobriety, many people rely on a few positive reinforcements to keep them going. Items such as writing journals, a group of clean friends and new hobbies are ideal for keeping them busy and clean.
If an individual begins getting rid of these positive influences, thats certainly a red flag. This is one of the clear warning signs of relapse since these factors were they to help support and maintain a sober life.
Testing Their Limits
Romanticizing the Past
Analyze Where You Are
Its coming down to the wire. If all previous attempts have failed, our number one solution will be the last ditch effort to getting your loved one off of drugs, and giving them the health and attention they need to recover. By taking a step back and looking at the last few weeks or months of events, youll be able to better determine if your efforts are proving useful or if you need to take one more stab at this.
Making A Decision To Stop Using Drugs
With addiction to drugs its important to understand something about conflicting desires and motivation.
Its often assumed that because addicted people are struggling to stop using drugs, and may even talk and talk about stopping, but never seem to make any real changes that they are not really willing or ready to make the change. In reality though there is an awful amount of conflict around stopping and continuing to use drugs when addicted.
It is a condition of active addiction that the patient has a decreased awareness and therefore it is most often the family that has to step in and bring about a crisis that can result in an admission to an addiction treatment centre and the possibility of some much needed real change.
Only once the addicted person is in an effective drug rehab and the addictions counselling team has managed to reduce the patients level of delusion will they have a more accurate awareness of the severity of their problem.
Once the addicted patients awareness of their reality is increased, theres the potential for a deeper motivation sufficient to bring about the required changes that would enable them to get well and to stay well.
Enhancing motivation for change and the environmental conditions are the responsibility of the focal addictions counsellor and the overall treatment programme. Family, friends, employers, court orders etc can provide critical external pressure and help to maintain the movement towards addiction recovery.
Think About Joining Al
When someone close to you has relapsed, often it can be helpful to get an outsiders point of view, especially from people who have their own experiences of addiction or relapse within the family.
Al-Anon and Nar-Anon provide support to people affected by someone elses drinking or drug abuse. These can be particularly useful if you find it difficult to talk to your friends and family about the problem.
Addiction is something that has such a big impact on the people surrounding an addict, and these support networks allow you to be amongst people going through similar experiences. Along with discussing how to help someone who has relapsed, you also have a chance to air your concerns, worries and thoughts, and receive helpful advice and support from people who really do understand the situation you are going through.
You May Like: How Do You Become Addicted To Alcohol
Tips For Helping Someone With An Addiction
The challenge with addiction is that the addict is not the only one impacted by this disease. Family and friends can have difficulty with the addicts behavior, financial problems, legal problems and the daily struggle of supporting a loved one. Here are seven tips that family and friends can reference to support an addicted family member or friend.
Educate Yourself About Signs Of Addiction
People with addiction can exhibit a range of symptoms. Behavior, physical appearance, and social interactions can provide clues as to whether one might be addicted to drugs or alcohol. Although specific symptoms can vary according to the individual and the substance being abused, if you suspect a friend is battling addiction, some common signs to look out for include:1
- Loss of interest in school, work, or hobbies
- Poor performance in school or work
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Lack of concern for appearance and hygiene
- Stealing or selling possessions to buy drugs
- Risky behavior
- Preoccupation with obtaining drugs
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Sleeping problems
- Pupils that are smaller or larger than normal
- Bloody or runny nose
Social Symptoms and Other Clues:
- Legal issues
- Socializing with others who abuse drugs
- Drug paraphernalia
Recommended Reading: How Long To Get Rid Of Nicotine Addiction
How To Help Someone With An Addiction
This section will guide you in how to help someone with an addiction. When someone struggles with addiction, it can have serious negative effects on their relationships with family, friends, and work colleagues. If you know or suspect that someone in your life suffers from alcohol or drug addiction, you will probably want to help the one that you love, but this can be met with hostility or denial. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease, and the path to recovery for someone who is addicted is often a long and difficult one. This inevitably impacts those closest to them, and professional help may be needed to get them to treatment and into recovery.
How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction
If you think that someone you love is addicted to drugs, its important to handle the situation carefully. Before you talk to your loved one about help or treatment options for their drug addiction, you need to approach them about the problem.
- Its important that you dont confront your loved one in a way that will cause an argument.
- Its common for those abusing drugs to get angry and defensive easily, so you need to approach the situation with care.1
- Its natural to be afraid to approach your loved one about drug use, because of the uncertainty of how they will react.
- You can approach your loved one with compassion and empathy and ask if they will consider getting the help they need.1
A variety of drug addiction treatment centers and therapeutic approaches exist to best match the specific needs of each individual. Whether youre looking for inpatient or outpatient treatment, there are many options out there for anyone looking to take their life back from substance abuse.
How To Talk To Someone About Their Drug Abuse
Starting a conversation with someone about their drug addiction is never easy, but its important you come from a place of compassion and understanding. Remember, no one sets out to become an addict. Drug abuse is often a misguided attempt to cope with painful issues or mental health problems. Stress tends to fuel addictive behavior, so criticizing, demeaning, or shaming them will only push your loved one away and may even encourage them to seek further comfort in substance abuse.
Discovering someone you love has a drug problem can generate feelings of shock, fear, and anger, especially if its your child or teen whos using. These strong emotions can make communicating with a drug user even more challenging. So, its important to choose a time when youre both calm, sober, and free of distractions to talk. Offer your help and support without being judgmental.
Dont delay. You dont have to wait for your loved one to hit rock bottomto get arrested, lose their job, suffer a medical emergency, or publicly humiliate themselvesto speak out. The earlier an addiction is treated, the better.
Express your concerns honestly. Emphasize that you care for the person and are worried about their well-being. Offer specific examples of your loved ones drug-related behavior that have made you concernedand be honest about your own feelings.
Staging an intervention
Take Care Of Yourself
Although you may see this as selfish, its incredibly important that youre able to be there for others and make the best decisions possible. Make sure your own needs are met by getting enough sleep, exercising and eating well. Dont be afraid to go to therapy to get help if you find yourself struggling due to your loved ones drug addiction.
Recommended Reading: How To Help Someone Addicted To Meth
How To Choose The Best Drug Rehabilitation Facility In Canada
Addiction Canada is one of the premier facilities in the country that offers flexible addiction recovery treatments. There are different locations, settings, and actual programs that cater to the unique and varied needs and financial situations of the client. The facility focuses on contemporary approaches particularly on cases that require effort, time, and aftercare programs for full recovery.
Keep Their Addiction In Perspective
Keeping things in perspective in the grand scheme of things will help you from feeling enveloped in their addiction. While their drug abuse may feel like the worst thing that could ever happen, you need to remind yourself that things will get better. Seeing this from you, the addict you love may be able to find hope that things will get better for them, too.
Also Check: How To Stop Pron Addiction
When All Else Fails Dont Use Guilt
Its very easy to mix up the thought of an ultimatum, and lecturing or guilting an addicted individual into ceasing their vice usage. Under no circumstances should you attempt to guilt them into quitting their addiction. Phrases like How could you do this to me, or anything that will garner guilt and/or shame from the addict is a surefire no-go.
Why Do Some People Become Addicted To Drugs While Others Don’t
No one factor can predict if a person will become addicted to drugs. A combination of factors influences risk for addiction. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction. For example:
- Biology. The genes that people are born with account for about half of a person’s risk for addiction. Gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders may also influence risk for drug use and addiction.
- Environment. A persons environment includes many different influences, from family and friends to economic status and general quality of life. Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress, and parental guidance can greatly affect a persons likelihood of drug use and addiction.
- Development. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a persons life to affect addiction risk. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it will progress to addiction. This is particularly problematic for teens. Because areas in their brains that control decision-making, judgment, and self-control are still developing, teens may be especially prone to risky behaviors, including trying drugs.
Don’t Miss: Why Do People Get Addicted To Opioids
Dont: Enable Your Loved One
There can be a fine line between helping someone with an addiction and enabling them. Sometimes when we think were protecting a loved one from the consequences of their addiction, we are actually enabling them to continue with potentially destructive behavior.
For example, if youre trying to figure out how to help an alcoholic, keeping them from drinking and driving is helpful, since that could put them and others in danger. However, consistently offering to drive them home whenever they get too intoxicated is enabling their actions, because its setting up a formula in which you are constantly available to rescue them.
Studies show that people with addictions are more likely to proactively seek treatment when they are forced to face the consequences of their actions. So, if you want to know how to help someone with an addiction, allow them to make mistakes without the promise of your rescue.
Its important to set up boundaries and rules, both for your well-being and the well-being of your loved one and its important to enforce those rules and boundaries. This is the only part of Recovery in which tough love is beneficial, since its done for both you and your loved ones protection.
How To Reduce Or Quit Drugs
Many different services are available to help you or someone you know quit drugs.
Its never too late to quit using drugs.
Reducing or quitting drugs can improve your life in many ways. It can:
- improve your physical and mental wellbeing
- reduce your risk of permanent damage to vital organs and death
- improve your relationships with friends and family
- help you reconnect with your emotions
- increase your energy
- Improve your appearance
- save you money
Recovered addicts say that theyve never felt better after quitting drugs, although this can take time. Knowing why you want to quit drugs can help you to stay motivated during the withdrawal process.
Also Check: How To Cure An Addictive Personality
How To Support Someone With Alcohol Addiction:
- The American Medical Association defines alcohol dependence or alcoholism as a chronic, primary illness that is influenced by psychosocial, genetic, and environmental influences on the development of and manifestations.
- Research has shown that certain people develop a dependency on alcohol because of past family history, abuse in childhood, or low self-esteem, a number of others who are drawn to drinking alcohol due to social pressure or the desire to be part of a particular category of people. But, regardless of the factors that convince people to drink alcohol, the truth is that the process of going from one drink until one final drink is not always anticipated.
- This is because, contrary to the belief that after a person has passed the thresholds of alcohol dependence, abuse, and tolerance, they tend to become addicted to drinking. difficult to stop drinking alcohol due to the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
- It is crucialto understand that addiction to alcohol is distinct from abusing alcohol. Alcohol addicts typically consume a lot of alcohol, but not frequently. They may be reckless or are prone to mix drugs of abuse, which could cause alcohol poisoning. In addition, abuse can cause addiction, but not vice versa. But, addiction to alcohol is the entire spectrum of dependence, abuse, and tolerance.