How Do I Know if Someone I Love is Abusing a Substance?

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How Do I Know If Someone I Love Is Abusing A Substance?

When dealing with someone that you love, there can often be some unintentional blindness. You may not want admit that they have an issue that they need to work through. They probably don’t want to acknowledge their struggles either. Denial is a strong feeling that all parties involved struggle with. 

The first step for you, the caregiver, is acknowledge that there is an issue. This issue is bigger than you — you alone cannot fix it. Once you realize that your loved one may have an issue, there are signs you should be looking for. Of course, signs will vary from person to person, but there are a few major signs that are common (from drugabuse.gov):

  • Impaired speech and motor coordination 
  • Bloodshot eyes or pupils that are larger or smaller than usual
  • Changes in physical appearance or person hygiene
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
  • Changes in mood or disinterest in engaging in relationships or activities

Besides these initial symptoms, there are negative consequences of continued substance use. Besides the deterioration of physical and mental health, the person using may go into major debt because of their substance use. Their job and relationships may also suffer because of their substance use. Your loved one may even find themselves in some legal issues because of their substance use. 

Once you realize your loved one has an issue, you may be questioning whether or not they are truly addicted to a substance. American Addiction Centers lists the following abuse symptoms:

  • Appearing intoxicated more and more often
  • Developing problems with cognition and memory
  • Being lethargic, sleeping more, sleeping irregular hours, or appearing unwell or tired
  • Developing problems at work or school; possibly losing one’s job or dropping out of school
  • Attending social events only if drugs or alcohol are available; becoming intoxicated before the social event; or attending fewer social events specifically to drink or use drugs
  • Stealing money or valuables to pay for drugs
  • Lying about the substance or how much they are using
  • Becoming angry, sad, or lashing out when questioned about their substance abuse
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to take the drug
  • Neglected appearance and poor hygiene

If these things sound like they fit your loved one’s situation, it’s time to think about finding help for their addiction. They may not want your help. They may even believe that they do not have an addiction that needs help. Urge them to seek help for their addiction. Although difficult, sobriety is attainable. Pinnacle Recovery is here for you during your sobriety journey. Let us help you. Call today at 1-866-301-0573. 

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