How Can I Tell If My Friend Is Addicted To Drugs
Their behaviour, their physical appearance, and certain stuff in their environment can provide clues as to whether your friend might be addicted to drugs.
- sudden changes in behaviour or mood swings
- withdrawal from family members and old friendship groups
- carelessness about personal grooming
- loss of interest in hobbies, sports or other favourite activities
- neglect of responsibilities.
- red, glassy or bloodshot eyes, or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal
- sniffing or a runny nose
- frequent nosebleeds
- shakes, tremors, incoherent or slurred speech, impaired or unstable coordination
- sudden weight loss or weight gain.
The following items could also be a sign of addiction:
- spoons and syringes
- small, resealable baggies that could be used to store drugs
- pipes, plastic bottles, or cans that have been pierced or tampered with
- burnt foil
- stuff missing, such as money, valuables or prescription drugs.
Is Treatment Different For Criminal Justice Populations
Scientific research since the mid-1970s shows that drug abuse treatment can help many drug-using offenders change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors towards drug abuse avoid relapse and successfully remove themselves from a life of substance abuse and crime. Many of the principles of treating drug addiction are similar for people within the criminal justice system as for those in the general population. However, many offenders dont have access to the types of services they need. Treatment that is of poor quality or is not well suited to the needs of offenders may not be effective at reducing drug use and criminal behavior.
In addition to the general principles of treatment, some considerations specific to offenders include the following:
- Treatment should include development of specific cognitive skills to help the offender adjust attitudes and beliefs that lead to drug abuse and crime, such as feeling entitled to have things ones own way or not understanding the consequences of ones behavior. This includes skills related to thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering.
- Treatment planning should include tailored services within the correctional facility as well as transition to community-based treatment after release.
- Ongoing coordination between treatment providers and courts or parole and probation officers is important in addressing the complex needs of offenders re-entering society.
Plan An Intervention For Meth Addiction
If a person doesnt respond to their familys concerns about their drug use, professional help may make a difference.
Addicted people often struggle with denial and fear. This, along with the brain changes that result from drug use can make it difficult for a person to accept that they need help.
While family-led interventions are sometimes successful, a professional intervention is typically recommended.
One goal of an intervention is to have a constructive conversation about the damage a persons substance use is causing. Without professional support, an intervention could become overly heated, and in the case of meth abuse, even violent.
A professional interventionist will guide loved ones through the intervention and treatment-planning process. In many cases, they will help make transportation arrangements and even take a person to the facility.
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How To Talk To Your Friend About Their Drug Use
Drugs can be a hard subject to discuss, especially if you think your friend has a problem. Theres no right or wrong way to talk about drugs, but there are some general guidelines you can follow to make things easier.
Do speak to your friend:
- when youre both sober and not on drugs
- somewhere private and familiar
- when you have plenty of time its not a conversation you can rush
- more than once you may need to have several conversations
Dont speak to your friend in a way that:
- is judgmental or critical it wont help
- doesnt give them time to talk try to speak less and listen more
- assumes superiority dont act like you know better
Remember that you or your friend can call FRANK anytime on for confidential advice.
More Young People Become Addicted
One thing supporters of marijuana legalization do not mention is the higher rate of addiction among young initiates. Among all people who use marijuana, one in nine will become dependent on the drug. But when young people start abusing the drug in their teens, the rate is one in six. Just to reinforce that statistic, this means that out of six youth who begin smoking dope in their teenage years, one will become addicted. Parents should understand this clearly.
High levels of harm also occur among those youth who abuse the drug daily. In recent years, the number of youth using the drug daily has increased. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than six percent of high school seniors smoke the drug every day. Nearly one in four are current users . Studies funded by the National Academy of Sciences show that heavy marijuana use results in a significant drop in IQ and that some impairment from using the drug does not go away when the use of the drug stops.
At the time of their life when the ability to learn and think clearly is the most vitalwhen they are getting their educations and starting careersmillions of youth are damaging their ability to succeed. While there are no statistics on this point, anecdotal information indicates that loss of abilities in this area has led many people to abandon their educational and career goals.
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Parents May Just See The Effects Of Drug Abuse
It is very typical for a young person who is abusing drugs to hide his habit from his parents. Very often, parents know nothing about the drug use. It is common for drug users to become skilled at diverting their parents attention from any indicators of drug abuse. Lying becomes routine. Those drugs you found in my backpack do not belong to me, I was just carrying them for a friend.
Parents often dont want to believe that their son or daughter was using drugs because of the many years of trust. And in order to keep the drugs coming, youth will hide their use, knowing well that in many cases their parents would put an end to it if they were honest.
What Is Substance Abuse Disorder
Substance abuse disorder, or drug addiction, can be defined as a progressive disease that causes people to lose control of the use of some substance despite worsening consequences of that use. Substance use disorder can be life-threatening.
Addictions are not problems of willpower or morality. Addiction is a powerful and complex disease. People who have an addiction to drugs cannot simply quit, even if they want to. The drugs change the brain in a way that makes quitting physically and mentally difficult. Treating addiction often requires lifelong care and therapy.
How Can You Help A Loved One Get The Help They Need
Mention the word treatment in relation to substance use and many people think of long-term residential facilities or detox. In fact, treatment includes both of these options and a variety of others.
Treatment addresses the individuals physical, psychological, emotional, and social conditions. Sustained reduction in alcohol or other drug use and sustained increases in personal health and social function are the primary goals.
The type of treatment is based on the severity of the problem. For risky people with an active addiction, treatment can be as simple as a screening and a brief intervention. For people exhibiting signs of dependence or addiction, a screening will probably lead to a referral for more intense level of care.
All treatment starts with a screening, which is a series of questions about the amount and frequency of alcohol or other drug use and the consequences it may be causing. Screening can be done by many types of professionals, including a physician in a hospital or an office, a nurse, a clinical social worker, or a licensed substance abuse counselor.
To help someone you know who you think may have a substance use problem, you first need to get them screened. Your best bet is to talk to your own physician or employee assistance professional about referring you to someone who can help, such as a licensed substance abuse counselor or family therapist.
To find a treatment program, visit SAMHSAs Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.
Express Your Concern For Their Addiction Calmly
Change is unlikely to occur if no one says anything. Start a conversation with the person suffering from addiction. Remain calm and open listen more than you talk. This can provide them with a sense of safety and security, letting them know that you are there for them no matter what, even if they are not ready to deal with their addiction.
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A Note From Addiction Policy Forum
Substance use disorders get worse over time. The earlier treatment starts the better the chances for long-term recovery. Many families are wrongly told to wait for rock bottom and that their loved one needs to feel ready to seek treatment in order for it to work. The idea that we should wait for the disease to get worse before seeking treatment is dangerous. Imagine if we waited until stage 4 to treat cancer. Decades of research has proven that the earlier someone is treated, the better their outcomesand that treatment works just as well for patients who are compelled to start treatment by outside forces as it does for those who are self-motivated to enter treatment.
Recognizing Drug Abuse In A Loved One
Its not always easy to recognize if a loved one is abusing drugs. In teens, for example, drug abuse can often resemble normal adolescent moodiness. Furthermore, theres no specific amount or frequency of use that indicates someones drug use has become a cause for concern. Whether your loved one is using every day or every month, its the adverse impact their drug abuse has on their life that indicates a problem.
Signs your loved one may have a substance use disorder include:
Experiencing problems at work, school, or home. They appear high more often, for example, and take more days away from work or school to compensate. Their work performance or school grades suffer, they neglect their responsibilities at home, and encounter more and more relationship difficulties. They may even lose their job, drop out of school, or separate from a long-term partner.
New health issues, such as changes in sleep schedule, often appearing fatigued or run-down, pronounced weight loss or weight gain, glassy or bloodshot eyes, and forgetfulness or other cognition problems. Depending on the type of drug theyre abusing, they may also exhibit frequent sniffing, nosebleeds, or shaking.
Recurring financial problems. Your loved one may run up credit card debt to support their drug use, seek loans, or ask to borrow money without any solid reason. They may even steal money or valuables to sell for drugs.
Drug paraphernalia to look out for
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Help For The Person You Care For
Help is available for people with a drug problem. However, it’s important to realise that your friend or family member will only seek help when they’re ready.
The main way to access these services and support is by talking to a doctor. Alternatively, the person you care for can contact their nearest drug addiction service.
Encourage Them To Seek Help
There is a big difference between badgering or hounding and encouragement to get someone into rehab against their will. Its true that the earlier they seek treatment, the higher the likelihood of success, but preaching, lecturing, or threatening will only drive them away. Its common to meet resistance when you bring up the topic of rehab, but trying to guilt or shame a person into doing what you want isnt going to be effective. Its also not a good idea to enable their drug or alcohol use or become overly emotional while you are trying to encourage them to seek professional help.
If you cant seem to make any headway on your own or with immediate friends and family, consider having a proper intervention. These are often difficult to get through, but an intervention specialist knows how to navigate the process and get the best possible results. An intervention specialist is also well versed in hearing the typical excuses that addicts give for not wanting to seek treatment and will have effective tactics to encourage them to do the right thing.
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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 Addicted To Painkillers
All the warning signs are there. Pills have gone missing, or maybe there is lying, deceitful behavior. Perhaps someone you love looks different, seems tired or lethargic, or has started losing interested in school or work. Maybe theyre feigning pain in order to doctor shop and get more prescriptions for opioid painkillers.
These are all potential signs of an addiction to painkillers, but what can you do if you recognize these signs? How can you help someone addicted to painkillers?
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We Level Up Treatment Center Can Help You Or Your Loved One
Drug Addiction and Depression are conditions that can cause major health, social, and economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up Treatment Center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from Drug Addiction and Depression at the same time with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.
Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction DrugFacts National Institute on Drug Abuse
Symptoms and Signs of Substance Abuse
Depression & Substance Abuse American Addiction Centers
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition
Pettinati, H.M., & Dundon, W.D. . Comorbid depression and alcohol dependence. Psychiatric Times, 28.
How Are Medications And Devices Used In Drug Addiction Treatment
Medications and devices can be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and treat co-occurring conditions.
Withdrawal. Medications and devices can help suppress withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. Detoxification is not in itself “treatment,” but only the first step in the process. Patients who do not receive any further treatment after detoxification usually resume their drug use. One study of treatment facilities found that medications were used in almost 80 percent of detoxifications . In November 2017, the Food and Drug Administration granted a new indication to an electronic stimulation device, NSS-2 Bridge, for use in helping reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms. This device is placed behind the ear and sends electrical pulses to stimulate certain brain nerves. Also, in May 2018, the FDA approved lofexidine, a non-opioid medicine designed to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Relapse prevention. Patients can use medications to help re-establish normal brain function and decrease cravings. Medications are available for treatment of opioid , tobacco , and alcohol addiction. Scientists are developing other medications to treat stimulant and cannabis addiction. People who use more than one drug, which is very common, need treatment for all of the substances they use.
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How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction And Depression Tips & Treatments
Learning How to Help Someone With Drug Addiction and Depression is very important in order for family and friends to deal with the difficult situation of having a loved one struggling with those issues in a healthier way. While it is important to set healthy boundaries between yourself and a person who is acting destructively, the company and support you can give to the person can be crucial with their recovery.
Helping a friend or loved one struggling with drug or alcohol addiction is often a long and heartbreaking journey. At times, it can be so overwhelming that ignoring the situation may seem like an easier solution. However, sweeping the issue under the rug can be damaging to you, your family, and the person youre concerned about. As painful as it may be, its important that you take the time to encourage your loved ones to get the help they need. These are a few tips for helping someone with drug addiction and depression:
- Offer Your Support: People with addiction dont always understand how much their family and friends love them. Talk to your loved one about your concerns, and dont wait for them to hit rock bottom to speak up. Let them know that youre going to support them on their journey to recovery.
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.
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