Home Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy 5 Signs a Loved One Needs Substance Abuse Treatment

5 Signs a Loved One Needs Substance Abuse Treatment

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With so many young people and adults struggling with substance abuse, it is extremely important to be aware of when to get someone you love help. The worst-case scenario is to wish you had seen the signs before addiction becomes too much to handle. Although often the signs of drug addiction can be very clear such as finding drugs or obvious intoxication, there are also signs that are difficult to see or understand.

f you are specifically on alert and know what to look out for, you might save someone you love from a terrible fate. By finding support in the substance abuse treatment community, you can navigate the road to recovery not only for your loved one, but for everyone involved. 

Changes in mood or behaviour

One obvious sign of drug or alcohol abuse is through mood or behaviour changes. Drugs influence different people in different ways, and even once emotionally stable individuals can become very unpredictable and irrational, especially when addicts come down and experience withdrawal symptoms.

Your loved one may show signs of depression, be combative, or paranoid, they can also become withdrawn. If you are experiencing recurrent arguments that seem out of the blue, this can be a sign of addiction due to displaying withdrawal symptoms. It is also important to look out for any signs of unusual excitement, sociability, or energy. 

Poor academic or work ethic 

Drugs can cause those who abuse them to forget about their responsibilities. This means that someone who was once an hard working student or passionate worker can lose their ability to continue their work on this level. Even if your loved one can finish their studies or make it to their place of employment, addiction will impair their performance. 

Secretive behaviour

Often, those struggling with addiction place a huge amount of energy on keeping this addiction hidden from others. This might include lying about where they spend time, who they spend their time with, and how they spend their money.

You might catch them in these lies. While it can be easy to let these lies go and rationalise them, but it is important not to live in denial. 

General loss of interest

Addiction makes itself the centre of the addicted person’s life. The addicted individual’s life will fully revolve around drug use. They will spend their time doing the drug of choice, think about the drug when not using, figure out how to obtain money for the drug if necessary, think of new ways to obtain the drug, and recover from not having the drug. Because of this, you might notice your loved one losing interest in other activities they used to enjoy doing such as hobbies and spending time with friends or family.  

Physical symptoms

There are many signs of substance abuse that are obviously physical. These symptoms can include dramatic weight changes, withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, stomach problems, and tremors, or neglect of self-care and grooming.

Despite this, physical symptoms are not always present. If you believe that your loved one may need help, contact Stout Street, an affordable substance abuse treatment centre. We can help you find the tools to confront your loved one and get them into treatment before it is too late. 


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Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg. He interviews people within psychology, mental health, and well-being on his YouTube channel, The DRH Show.


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