Being a good friend comes with responsibility, and part of that responsibility is making sure the person you care about isn’t being destructive to themselves or others. Yet even the closest of friends can hide secrets. If you suspect that your friend is using drugs or alcohol, it’s important to address the problem rather than brushing it under the rug. But before you do, prepare yourself with the signs and symptoms of substance abuse as well as what to say to the person in your life.
Early Warning Signs Of Drug/Alcohol Addiction
Identifying signs of addiction isn’t always clear cut, especially in the beginning. You may notice that something is amiss but can’t exactly put your finger on it. And, if you’re against using drugs and alcohol, your friend may take extra lengths to keep their abuse well hidden.
Let’s discuss some of the early warnings signs of drug addiction.
- Being particularly drawn to an activity or substance
- Seeking out situations where the activity or substance is present
- Episodes of binging or losing control
- Alienation from other friends
- Deteriorating health (physical, emotional and mental)
- Defensiveness or making excuses
What To Say To A Friend If You Suspect They’re Using
If you suspect that drugs or alcohol are making their way into your friend’s life, it’s important to find out if it’s experimentation or addiction. Both situations are bad, but your friend will need more support if they are addicted. Don’t expect them to admit the issue, though. It’s never easy for anyone to accept that they have a drug or alcohol problem. Be patient, and follow these tips.
- Learn as much about addiction as you can. Familiarize yourself with the early warning signs of drug addiction, and understand that addiction is a brain disease that requires medical intervention.
- Tell your friend that you are concerned. They may not want to be lectured, but they will appreciate your consideration.
- Assure your friend that they are not alone. Millions of people suffer from drug addiction and are able to get the help they need.
- Inform your pal of the many options available for treatment when they’re ready. An intensive outpatient program allows them to complete treatment without having to leave their job or family, for instance.
When a person you care about makes poor choices, it’s natural to feel frustrated. Still, you need to be there for your friend. Sometimes you do need to take a step back until the person is ready to accept help, but you should be prepared to support them in their journey when they are willing.
Unique Treatment Options For Unique People
Here at The River Source, we offer a number of treatment options for people dealing with substance abuse. Between our intensive outpatient program, day treatment program and residential inpatient program, we have treatment options for every circumstance. Call us today to learn more about our integrative approach toward addiction treatment.
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