The best way to know when help is needed for our loved ones is noticing the various signs they display as the addiction progresses. Addiction is like a disease; it affects its victims physically, emotionally, mentally and even socially.
Identifying the symptoms of addiction is an imperative step in determining the best type of intervention for the person involved. If not noticed in time and treated fast enough, the addiction can wreak havoc in that person’s life and hinder their personal development, since many addicts often deny being addicted in the first place.
Some of the symptoms of a serious substance abuse problem, which requires intervention, include:
- Several Attempts to Leave Drugs – Here, addicts try severally to quit using alcohol or drugs, but fail to because they lack adequate support.
- Numerous Changes in the Person’s Appearance – Drug addicts often display an unkempt appearance, especially after a drinking spree. They also seem to suffer continuously from a series of inexplicable illnesses that recur.
- Problems at the Workplace – Drug-reliant people usually seem unfocused at the workplace. They cannot perform their responsibilities as expected without first using their drugs. People who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol usually seem unfocused at the workplace.
- Legal Trouble – The most common example of an alcohol-related clash with the law is driving under the influence, which can destroy people’s property or seriously injure others while under the effects of drugs or alcohol. When this occurs more than once, it is a classic sign that it is time to get treatment.
- Relationship Problems – More often than not, alcoholism is a big challenge for families. Drug addicts have a big problem either building or maintaining close relationships with family members, friends and colleagues at work. In extreme cases, physical conflicts could arise. Seeing someone still using drugs, even when faced by these problems, is a sign that they actually need help, and fast.
- Financial Problems – Drug addicts normally find it very hard to explain how they use their money. This is mainly because while they spend heavily to purchase alcohol and other substances, they tend to hide it from their families and friends. They are always in dire financial constraints or severely in debt. Even if the addict is very rich, the problem may take a long time to be noticed, but in the end, it will. During the intervention, addicts can be asked to use the money used on funding the addiction towards seeking treatment instead.
- Withdrawal – Addicts prefer to stay alone for most of the time. They slowly stop doing things they used to do with their friends and family, such as going on family outings and even avoid attending important family gatherings. Such people associate only with fellow drug users who they feel are able to understand them more. Breaking the isolation is one major goal of the intervention procedures.
- Temperamental Changes – Addicts display absurd behavior and severe mood swings. They react excessively whenever confronted about their drug usage and become defensive. These changes in attitude are based on the last time they used the drug, how much of it they took, and if they are dealing with a withdrawal or hangover. Accessibility to drugs or the lack thereof can also have an emotional impact on them.
- Forgetfulness – Heavy drinkers or substance abusers tend to forget things that occurred to them or that they did when they were high on alcohol or drugs. A good example is when you try to remind them of what they did at a party they attended a night earlier and they are surprised. This is a warning sign that something is terribly wrong and can be used during the intervention process to force them to get treatment.