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Signs of Addiction: How To Help Your Loved One Recover

When your loved one is sick in the hospital and you see them suffering in pain, you simply feel helpless.  Being a deadly disease, addiction works the same.  Whether you are questioning if your loved one is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, or if you have known for a while but have failed at every attempt to help them recover, you want to understand the signs of addiction and how you can help your loved one without unintentionally enabling their addictive behaviors.

Signs Of Addiction


If you are not sure as to whether your loved one is abusing or addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, you may want to learn more about the signs and symptoms of substance abuse.  Doing your research will give you the opportunity to compare the information with your observations of your loved one’s regular actions, so that you can evaluate the situation through the signs of addiction.  This will also allow you to have some type of foundation for your theory.  Try not to overdo the investigating; accusing your loved one could push them further away and do more harm. Instead, take the time to search out different treatment options, whether it involves a drug rehabilitation residential program, outpatient treatment program, attending Alcoholics and/or Narcotics Anonymous 12-Step Meetings, seeing a therapist, etc.

Talk to an outside source

Throughout the process of trying to come to your definite conclusion of whether or not your loved one is abusing drugs and/or alcohol, you may feel it is necessary to speak with someone.  This can be tricky and although discussing the stress and worry over the situation may prove to be helpful, you will want to be wary of your trusted confidant’s words of advice.  It may be beneficial to speak with your parent, sibling, close friend, doctor, or substance counselor. This is also a good time to attend a 12-step support group like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon, which were both created to help family members and friends cope with the addict/alcoholic who suffers from signs of addiction.

Discuss your concerns with your loved one and intervene

Convinced that your loved one is abusing or addicted to drugs and/or alcohol due to the signs of addiction, you yearn for the next step to take in order to guide them toward recovery and feel that it is time to be upfront about your worries. There’s no easy route to discussing the heavy topic of addiction, but it would be great preparation to know what you want to say to your loved one in order to convey the appropriate message, voicing that your honest concern about their signs of addiction is purely for their well-being.  Keeping your voice calm and using non-accusatory statements may help avoid a horrific argumentative confrontation.  Be sure to tell them that you are bringing this up because you care about them and do not want them to suffer from the signs of addiction.  It would be ideal if the conversation ends with them admitting they have a problem and would like to accept your support in seeking help for the signs of addiction, but this is not always the case.  You may encounter complete denial on their part, but don’t get too upset over this.  It is not unusual for an addict to decline treatment and to go on living their lie.  If speaking with your loved one ends like this, you may want to reconsider your next approach.  An intervention with the appropriate family, friends, therapists, and/or doctors may assist in the next attempt to bring their addiction to light.

Here are steps that you can take to help your loved one get help for their addiction: How To Have An Intervention

What to do when your loved one does not want help?

It may be extremely difficult to hear that your loved one is not interested in getting any kind of help for their signs of addiction.  Unfortunately, you can’t always get through to your loved one and set them up with the treatment they need if they are not willing.  At this point, there are still some actions you can take to show that you want them healthy and do not support their habit.  You may need to cut them off financially wherever possible because when you aid them in this aspect of their life, you could be enabling their use.  It might be useful for you to subtlety remind them during the appropriate time that their use will only further them down a darker road with greater consequences. You should also not try to make excuses for failing to abide their responsibilities like work, as covering for them may just prolong their use.  You need to be sure to set a boundary that entails how you will not be in support of their use, but let them know you will happily assist them in seeking help to combat their signs of addiction.  Be mindful, however, that these still may not be enough to impact your loved one’s choices.

As much as we want to see the people we love do well, we have to accept that for our loved ones to recover from the disease of addiction, they must grow to have honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness.  You can support your loved one’s recovery along the way, but you cannot do it for them.

Still have more questions about the signs of addiction or need help and want to talk to a professional? Call now: 1-800-439-5959

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