How Do I Know If Someone Needs Help For Their Drug Or Alcohol Use
It can be difficult to tell if a person is consuming harmful levels of drugs or alcohol, especially if theyre trying to hide their drug or alcohol use.
Some drugs can result in noticeable physical symptoms, including:
- pupils that are larger or smaller than normal
A person may be misusing drugs or alcohol if their use leads to:
- difficulty keeping up at school or work
- relationship or family problems
- legal or financial difficulties
- injuries for example, due to accidents or violence after using drugs or alcohol
If you know that someone is using drugs or alcohol, they might be at risk of developing a problem if they:
- find it difficult to cut down or stop using
- spend a lot of their time trying to find or use drugs or alcohol
- use increasingly larger amounts of substances over time
- use substances more often over time
- have unpleasant symptoms when stopping or cutting down on drugs or alcohol
However, not everyone who misuses drugs or alcohol wants help.
Its also important to know that people may experience symptoms similar to those listed above but for reasons that arent related to drug use. This is especially true of young people coping with the challenges of adolescence.
If you arent sure whether a person is misusing drugs or alcohol or needs help, start a conversation to see if theyre OK.
What If The Person Doesnt Want Help For Drugs Or Alcohol
Ultimately, its the persons decision whether to seek professional help. Many people who misuse drugs or alcohol find it hard to ask for help at first, but may want to reach out later on. Be careful not to nag the person, since this might discourage them from opening up in the future.
In the meantime, encourage them to use safely to minimise the risk of harming themselves for example, through needle and syringe programs or opioid replacement programs.
To find a local needle and syringe program, use the healthdirect Service Finder. Select By name and type needle into the search bar.
Clearly state any behaviours you expect, or wont tolerate, from the person. You might not accept drug use in your home, for example.
Its important to know that you cant force the person to stop using drugs or alcohol. Only they can choose to change.
What Do These Two Signs Really Reveal
Maybe the addiction isnt actually with another person, but in our steadfast attempts to keep the status quo, to be needed, and to avoid frustration, sadness, or loneliness.
If you struggle with the two big signsnot completely experiencing your feelings, or frequently ignoring boundariesit’s likely deep-seated in your person. But youre certainly not alone. Maybe youre even thinking at this point, I get it and great, Im not alone. But what do I do now? If so, I have some great news for you, but some tough news too.
Theres relief to be found ahead, but theres also a little soul-searching to be done.
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Who Is At Risk For Developing A Drug Addiction
Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted, but there are certain factors that put people at a greater risk for developing an addiction.
Family history of addiction: Addiction has a genetic component so if your parent or sibling has a drug or alcohol addiction, you are at increased risk.
Trouble at home, with friends, or at work: Being in an unhappy place in life might cause some people to seek out drugs as a way to deal with their problems.
Starting drug use at an early age: Drugs affect how young bodies and brains function and grow. This increases the chances of becoming addicted as an adult.
Mental health disorders: People with untreated mental health needs, like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder have a higher chance of becoming addicted because they may use drugs as a way to cope. Drug use and mental health disorders affect the same parts of the brain.
Physical health problems: In the event of an injury or surgery, pain medication, such as OxyContin, Percocet, or Vicodin, may be prescribed for short-term use. However, these opioid drugs can be highly addicting.
Peer pressure: Hanging around other people who encourage drug use can be a strong factor in developing an addiction.
Type of drug used: Using certain drugs like stimulants, cocaine, or opioid painkillers, can develop an addiction more quickly than other drugs.
Signs Of Marijuana Addiction
The first step on the journey to recovery is recognizing that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Sometimes, though, its difficult to be objective when gauging your own drug use or that of someone you love. To know if you are addicted or in the beginning abusive stages of drug use, its important to understand the signs of addiction that are associated with specific drugs.
Today, we start with 10 signs of marijuana addiction. If you recognize any of the signs in yourself or someone you love, an addiction to marijuana could be present.
1. Marijuana tolerance and withdrawal: Just like any drug, regular use of marijuana leads to a tolerance for it. This means that you need more and more of the drug in order to achieve the same high. If you need more and more of the drug to get high you are building tolerance. If you begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms or tolerance you could be addicted to marijuana. Signs of withdrawal include loss of appetite, irritability, insomnia or anxiety.
2. Using more marijuana than intended: You may start out thinking, Im just going to take a couple hits. But end up smoking the whole joint by the end of the night. If this happens regularly its a sign of addiction.
3. Unable to cut down or stop marijuana use: You may be trying to stop your drug use. But, you may find yourself unable to stop when youre trying to quit. Being unable to stop your use means you probably need help in getting clean.
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Dont Talk Negatively Or Accuse Them
Will you accuse a cancer patient of developing the disease in their body?
No! Right, then why will you accuse or talk negatively to an individual with addiction issues. Addiction is not a bad habit.
The surrounding situation or mental conditions creates a tendency of taking some harmful additives and developing addiction in individuals. So, next time when you are talking with a person with addiction issues, talk gently and with a lot of positivity.
Material Signs Of Drug Addiction
Physical clues may be evident of substance misuse. Take note of any paraphernalia that you encounter, such as:
- Pill bottles for someone elses prescriptions
- Baggies or containers used to store or transport substances
If you have concerns, ask questions. Taking an open, curious, and compassionate approach to discuss your concerns can foster supportive conversation. Prioritize safety and set firm limits to protect yourself, your family, and any other people who may be affected by your loved ones substance use or addiction.
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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:
Learn About Heroin And Substance Abuse
Heroin addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that is characterized by changes in the brain and uncontrollable drug-seeking behaviors despite the negative consequences. Heroin is a synthesized opioid analgesic that comes from the Asian opium poppy plant. When used, heroin converts to morphine in the body. This substance is used on the streets as a recreational drug, also commonly called black tar, smack, brown, or tar. Upon initial use, people who use this drug feel a rush of pleasure, a sense of wellbeing, and joy. These strong feelings associated with the drug leave a user wanting more, which quickly leads to tolerance and addiction.
Heroin can be abused in a variety of ways it can be injected intravenously, inhaled in powder form, or smoked. Each method of use quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier.
When heroin enters the brain, it is converted back into morphine, binding to opioid receptors that are located throughout the brain and body. Opioid receptors are involved in pain perception and reward, which is why using heroin increases pleasurable feelings and decreases pain.
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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
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.
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Option 3 Talk To Your Boss
Should you tell the boss? In some situations, you might have to. But its important, whatever size company you work for, to consider the most professional way to approach a coworkers drug problem and one that doesnt compromise anyones safety.
Someone who is obviously impaired and operating dangerous machinery needs to be reported immediately, and so should any other situation where safety might be an issue. Many companies have protocols for reporting these kinds of concerns anonymously, if necessary.
Drug addiction in the workplace can affect everyone, not just the addicted individual. Knowing how to tell if someone is addicted to drugs can save jobs, money and lives.
Xanax Abuse And Xanax Addiction: Whats The Difference
Although the signs and symptoms of Xanax abuse and Xanax addiction are the same, there is a difference in being addicted to Xanax or abusing Xanax. When someone is abusing Xanax, they are often taking it during a specific period of time, perhaps during a stressful situation or for a specific occasion. When someone is abusing Xanax, they can likely stop at any time. When someone is addicted to Xanax, they cant control their intake of Xanax, and they have a compulsion to take it regardless of the consequences. An addict needs Xanax to function normally and cannot manage daily life without it. Needing Xanax to function is when the line from substance abuse crosses into substance use disorder.
When someone addicted to Xanax stops taking it without medical supervision, they can go into life-threatening drug withdrawal. There is a treatment program near you for Xanax addiction.
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Effects Of Orally Ingesting Cocaine
Some people take cocaine orally by rubbing it on the gums or mixing it in a drink. Others wrap powder cocaine in a small piece of toilet paper or tissue and swallow it. This method of use is sometimes called parachuting or bombing.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, consuming cocaine by mouth can cause severe bowel decay.
Cocaine smugglers and drug dealers sometimes swallow large amounts of cocaine in condoms or balloons to hide it from law enforcement. The packets can easily break open inside the body and cause a fatal cocaine overdose.
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:
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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.
You Dont Feel Good When Your Partner Is Not Around/ You Feel Jealous Easily
One of the most common signs of being addicted to a person is that you feel bad when your partner is not around which leads to feelings of paranoia that maybe he is with someone else. If they left the house to go out for a drink with his guys and you feel anxious about what might happen, then you should know that you are addicted to them. And the biggest problem is that they wont realize what it means to be attached to someone like that.
Your partner will never be able to understand you, neither will they know how much you suffer when they are not around. And you will totally lose yourself over the man who doesnt love you as much as you love them. This will also result in you overthinking that if theyre hanging out with someone from the opposite sex, theres something going on. Thus, you may grow irrationally jealous at times. So, you better think twice if that is what you really want!
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Common Signs Of Drug Use And Addiction
The editorial staff of Rehabs.com is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands of pages for accuracy and relevance. Our reviewers consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA, NIDA, and other reputable sources to provide our readers the most accurate content on the web.
Substance use disorders are a complex condition in which a person cannot control their use of a substance despite having negative consequences.1 Individuals with an SUD are often focused on using a specific substance to the point where their use affects their day-to-day life.1 The most severe form of SUD is addiction.1
SUDs can lead to problems at home, school, or work and can have devastating effects on ones emotional and physical wellbeing. If you are worried about your own or a loved ones drug use, knowing the common signs of drug use and treatment options is important. Read on to learn about the behavioral, emotional, and physical changes that may occur from specific drugs.
How Can Workplaces Help Addicted Employees
Because workplace addiction takes such a severe toll on morale, safety and revenue, companies both large and small are taking steps both to prevent addiction at work and help employees who have addictions.
Strict, written policies on drug abuse can protect companies and clarify expectations about employee behavior. Whether the penalty for coming to work under the influence is immediate dismissal or referral for counseling, making those expectations explicit can help to shape employee behavior.
Pre-employment drug testing, along with testing in specific circumstances such as after a workplace accident or in the event of reasonable suspicion, can also help to reduce the impact of drug abuse on the workplace as a whole and identify at-risk employees.
Employee Assistance Programs and other kinds of support can help an addicted employee start the journey toward recovery. EAP programs are in place in many companies, offering confidential referrals to counseling, rehabs and support groups for substance abuse and many other kinds of problems that might affect an employees performance on the job.
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Recognizing An Adderall Addiction
Prescriptions written for Adderall increased by nearly fivefold from 2002 to 2012, making it easier for people to get the drug from a friend or family member. Compared to that of other drugs, use of Adderall is rarely stigmatized as such, many people dont recognize when a loved one has a problem. People addicted to Adderall have even been known to fake the symptoms of ADHD to get their own prescription.
Not everyone who abuses Adderall has an addiction. Although it is a slippery slope, simply taking an Adderall from time to time to stay awake or increase productivity is not the same as needing the drug to function. The key to recognizing an Adderall addiction is spotting certain behaviors. Those who are addicted to Adderall prioritize using and obtaining the drug over all else because they cant function without it. Addicted people have trouble controlling how much Adderall they take and may start ignoring important social or familial obligations.