Spotting The Signs Of Addiction In A Coworker
Addiction is a broad term for many kinds of responses and behaviors in relation to a wide range of abused substances. And its vital to remember, too, that the signs and symptoms of addiction can be attributable to many other causes, such as a health condition or life event. While its important to avoid jumping to conclusions about a coworkers behavior, a number of behaviors and symptoms can be typical indications of a substance abuse problem. And that problem can manifest in several ways:
Find The Right Intervention Program For You And Your Family
At Family First Intervention, we recognize that not all intervention programs are designed or created equal. There are many wonderful interventionists who will come out and talk to your loved one. How many actually prepare the addicts family for their recovery? How many actually support the family after the intervention when the real trials and tribulations will occur. The answer is, not many. Most interventionists treat an intervention as a rehearsal and 12 Step call in an attempt to talk your loved one into accepting treatment.
Addiction affects the family and just about anyone else the substance user comes into contact with. Addressing only the substance use addresses only a small part of the problem. We know that not every family that calls will be ready to move forward. We also know that not every family member will be on the same page nor will they be ready to hear that they would greatly benefit from changing themselves. The intervention company should put your needs first and meet you where youre at as a family. One of their many goals should be moving your family into their own recovery and reducing your reactivity to the substance user.
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Find The Right Moment
When you have an addiction problem, it is important to act quickly. Medical experts rarely champion waiting. Your issue could worsen by the day. It is also not recommended to broach the topic in a busy restaurant or while attending a sporting event. Approach your family or friends in a comfortable, quiet location when everyone is calm and ready to talk. If they get angry or emotional a realistic possibility stay calm.
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Signs Your Loved One Is Hiding An Addiction
People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol will often try to hide their addiction from their loved ones. While some addictions may be obvious, others may be more difficult to spot, especially if your loved one is actively trying to hide it from you. Signs that your loved one may be struggling with addiction include changes in attitude and behavior and withdrawal from friends and family.
Admitting to a drug or alcohol addiction is hard and not something that many people readily do. Instead, individuals often go to great lengths to hide their addictions from their loved ones. Unfortunately, being able to hide an addiction often keeps the person in the cycle of abuse longer.
If you believe your loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, looking for these signs can help you determine if its time for you to confront him or her. The sooner your loved one can get help, the better the chance he or she has at long-term recovery.
The following are six signs your loved one may be hiding an addiction:
They Experience Financial Trouble Or Property Loss
While many people will experience financial hardship at some point in their lives, individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol often go through sudden and seemingly unexplainable financial difficulties. This is due to a persons need to continue to obtain drugs or alcohol despite the inability to responsibly pay for them. People who are addicted to substances may choose to buy drugs or alcohol despite their upcoming bills or may sell off their personal property to be able to afford substances.
Additionally, a person struggling with addiction may steal or borrow money from loved ones. They may also steal drugs from friends or family in an attempt to get their next fix.
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How To Tell If Someone Is On Drugs
Are you worried about someone you care for, but youre not sure how to tell whether they have a problem? It can be hard to know how to tell if someone is on drugs and what signs to look for when you suspect a family member or friend is struggling with chemical dependency.
Thankfully, there are some trusted ways to tell if someone you love is on drugs. There are even signs that can indicate which drug they may be abusing.
Drug Addiction Treatment Options
When some people struggle with an addiction, they may deny that they have a problem. Others may be reluctant to enter treatment due to lack of support or cost or simple fear.However, once they finally overcome any reservations and are ready to enter treatment, they must choose between an outpatient or inpatient/residential program.
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Getting Treatment For Drug Use Or Addiction
It is a common misconception that someone has to hit rock bottom before they can be helped. Waiting for drug abuse to develop into an addiction is very dangerous. If you or someone you care about is misusing drugs, get professional help as soon as possible. Someone who is abusing drugs can benefit from time spent in a residential treatment facility where they can be evaluated by addiction and mental health specialists, get individualized treatment plans, and dedicate their time and energy to getting better.
Treatment and rehab for substance use and addiction may involve medications in some cases, but behavioral therapy is the backbone. This kind of therapy teaches people how to recognize their negative thoughts and behaviors, how to change them, and how to use healthy strategies for coping with negative emotions and avoiding using substances in the future. Treatment may also include overall wellness and alternative therapy programs including nutrition, exercise, meditation, art or music therapy, and more.
Drug abuse is damaging to individuals, to their physical and mental health, to their futures, and to their relationships with families and loved ones. The signs of drug abuse can be hidden to some extent, but if you suspect someone you care about is using, dont hesitate to offer help and to ask others to step in as well so that he or she can get needed treatment.
What Should I Not Say To Someone About Their Drug Or Alcohol Use
When speaking to someone about their drug use, listen respectfully to their views, and respond calmly. The tone and the type of language you use is important.
Try to avoid the following, since this may upset the person and make them less likely to seek support:
- being judgmental
- using negative labels like addict
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Dealing With Denial In A Loved One
Denial is a very common behavior among addicts and a very serious one, as it can prevent a person from receiving the addiction treatment they need. In knowing how to deal with denial, you can help a loved one overcome a primary barrier to lifelong recovery and get them into an outpatient treatment program.
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.
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How To Recognize An Addict In Denial
It is very common for people struggling with addiction to be defensive about the problem when a friend or family member broaches the subject with them. Partly, because of the vulnerability that comes with letting other people into your business. But mainly because they feel their friends or family will not see them the same way again. But little do they know that denial will do nothing but complicate the problem for them. As their friend or loved one, it is your responsibility to recognize the signs and symptoms of addiction and point it out to them. Here are the common signs of addiction to look out for in persons in denial.
- Solitary consumption of alcohol or drugs
- Consumption of alcohol or drugs at odd hours, such as in the morning.
- Concealment of alcohol or drugs in odd locales at home, at work, and everywhere else.
- Excessive consumption of drugs or alcohol to get the same high effect
- Legal violations resulting from substance abuse
- Avoiding social interactions or hobbies to spend time drinking or using.
- frequent outbursts over addiction-related discussions
Don’t Try To Control Them
You want to help your loved one with their addiction in any way you can, but you can’t control exactly how they do it. They may have unconventional ways of looking at their addiction, or maybe they’re experimenting with alternative therapies or treatments.
As long as they aren’t causing more harm to themselves or others in the process, you can show them that you respect their own way of making changes. Offer to help in ways that they would like, without dictating what they must do.
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Changes To Usual Behavior
Drugs can also change personalities and behaviors, or make people act in ways that they normally dont. At first, these behaviors may happen infrequently so it may be hard to notice them. Over time though, they may occur more regularly as drug usage increases.
Spending more time alone
Losing interest in favorite hobbies or usual activities
Not taking care of appearances
Having mood swings or being more irritable, tired, or sad
Sleeping for longer or less, or at different hours than normal
Eating more or eating less than usual
Missing appointments or forgetting to do things they normally do
Problems With Relationships Work And School
Its normal to have problems in many areas of life when you or someone you care about struggles with an addiction. One of the major symptoms of drug addiction to consider is whether they have problems with relationships, work, or school.
Substance use disorders are hard on intimate relationships. Because people may act differently or feel pressured to hide their drug use, this can create stress in any relationship. This is especially normal among spouses and romantic partners, but it is not exclusive to them. In fact, its common for people with substance abuse problems to lash out at friends and slowly stop speaking to them entirely. Unfortunately, drugs often become more valuable to them than relationships, which can make it even harder for an outside observer to help them.
Signs of abuse also include trouble getting to work on time or focusing at work, as well as trouble performing well in the classroom. Again, since drugs become the individuals main priority, other obligations tend to fall to the wayside.
Getting Help For Prescription Drug Addictions
Addiction can take over a relationship and change a persons personality and priorities. If an individual demands access to someone elses prescription medications, they need professional help.
There are several things to consider and steps to take when living with someone who has an active addiction.
You Can Look For Several Signs If You Are Worried That A Loved One Is Possibly Battling Addiction The First Few Signs Are Behavioral:
- Repeated truancy/absence from work, school, or commitments, with or without excuses
- Withdrawal from personal relationships and voluntary isolation
- Personality or attitude changes including anger, depression, and anxiety
- Secrecy or lying about money/finances and whereabouts
- Stealing money/valuables shoplifting
- Staying in the bathroom for long periods of time at all hours
- Changes in sleeping patterns
While any one or a number of the behavior patterns listed above do not necessarily mean that your friend or family member is addicted to drugs, they can be signals for you to watch more closely.
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Option 2 Talk To Human Resources
A safer option is to take your concerns to a professional. If your company has a human resources department that offers EAP assistance or other kinds of help, you may want to talk with them about the situation. Be sure to document concrete instances of a colleagues red-flag behaviors. A human resources representative can then approach the coworker and discuss options in a professional, detached way.
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.
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Denial: The Primary Roadblock To Addiction Recovery
Getting a loved one to go to drug and alcohol rehab isnt always easy. Some people may not be ready to admit that they have a problem, let alone spend 30 to 90 days in a rehab center.
Denial is one of the main roadblocks that can keep a person from enrolling in addiction treatment and moving forward with their life.1 So what does this look like daily? How can we help our loved ones overcome their denial and accept the help they need to get better?
General Signs Of Drug Addiction
- Difficulties at school, disinterest in school-related activities, and declining grades
- Poor work performance, being chronically late to work, appearing tired and disinterested in work duties, and receiving poor performance reviews
- Changes in physical appearance, such as wearing inappropriate or dirty clothing and a lack of interest in grooming
- Altered behavior, such as an increased desire for privacy
- Drastic changes in relationships
- A noticeable lack of energy when performing daily activities
- Spending more money than usual or requesting to borrow money
- Issues with financial management, such as not paying bills on time
- Changes in appetite, such as a decreased appetite and associated weight loss
- Bloodshot eyes, poor skin tone, and appearing tired or run down
- Defensiveness when asked about substance use
If you or your loved one are exhibiting signs of addiction but you dont know where to turn, American Addiction Centers can help. Our fully licensed team of medical providers and network of credentialed treatment facilities have helped thousands of people get back on their feet and lead a life in recovery. We offer best-in-class care for substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders, treating the whole patient and setting them up for a lifetime of success. Take the next step by contacting us today.
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They Experience Withdrawal Symptoms
People who are addicted to substances will likely experience withdrawal symptoms when they are not using drugs or alcohol. They will likely try to hide the symptoms of withdrawal, but many withdrawal symptoms are physical and often noticeable to others.
Common withdrawal symptoms from drugs or alcohol may include:
The more severe the addiction, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms will be.
What Causes Addiction To A Person
Since this form of addiction is so centered on seeking external validation, it is closely related to early childhood attachment experiences.
In a study titled, Psychological Correlates of Codependency in Women, they state:
An association was demonstrated between codependency and parental alcoholism, or history of childhood abuse, or both.
These early childhood experiences may increase a persons likelihood of developing codependent relationships. Early turmoil can instill a deep sense of distrust and relational insecurity.
Psychologists refer to this relational style as anxious attachment. Inconsistent displays of affection in childhood may result in a child being generally anxious, fearing potential abandonment. In adulthood, this results in distrusting others while simultaneously craving intimacy.
The lack of secure attachment can result in persons being highly dependent on relationships, often concerned about abandonment from a romantic partner. Rather than getting to the root of the issue, persons with this type of relational addiction seek short-term reassurance at the expense of long-term relational health and security.
Some of these short-term behaviors include the following:
- Trying to impress others to get their approval
- Trying to fix others
- Doing things to be perceived as the hero
- Excessive gift-giving
- Constantly adapting to fit in
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