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Location :: Blog » Helping a Friend or Family Member » What to Do If You Suspect a Friend or Family Member Has a Drug or Alcohol Problem

Helping a Friend or Family Member

What to Do If You Suspect a Friend or Family Member Has a Drug or Alcohol Problem

posted on: August 2nd, 2012
Drug and alcohol addicts tend to know that they have a problem a long time before they’ll ever admit it to someone else, or even consciously to themselves. This is when they start to hide what they’re doing from those around them, and many can function for quite a long time without anybody detecting that there’s an issue. Understanding and recognising the problem is one of the best ways of dealing with it, so here are our tips for concerned friends and family members.

People can turn to drugs or alcohol for many different reasons. It may because of peer pressure, through curiosity, to relieve pain, stress or depression, or just for fun. It is important to understand that taking a drug or drinking alcohol does not necessarily mean an addiction. Addiction comes not through using frequently or in large quantities, but when the person can no longer live without the substance and the results of either taking it or trying to live without it (or even both) then cause problems.

Addictions vary between people for a number of factors. Traumatic experiences, mental illness and family history can all be contributing factors, as can how early one gets involved with drugs or alcohol. Addiction is created in the brain, and everyone’s brains work in different ways. This is why our drug and alcohol rehab centres offer bespoke rehabilitation programmes which look at individual triggers, cravings and history.

Common signs that a loved one may have a drug or alcohol problem are that they are starting to neglect their everyday responsibilities, such as work, family or education. They may demonstrate changes in behaviour and attitudes, becoming secretive and defensive when questioned, paranoid and suddenly lethargic or hyperactive. There may well be physical signs, such as weight loss or gain, bloodshot eyes, a deterioration in personal grooming, a lack of coordination and unusual smells.

If you recognise these signs in someone you know, then it may be time to take positive action and consider sending them to a drug or alcohol detox facility. The support offered by drug and alcohol rehab clinics is necessary to really overcome that addiction, but you play an important role in supporting the addict too. Talk to them about your suspicions and offer them your help, love and support. Present them with the evidence that makes you think that they are abusing drugs or alcohol and wait for their response. You may well hear plenty of excuses and denial, but these don’t mean that the person can’t benefit from attending rehab. Even those who are forced into treatment or have visited rehab before can still recover with the right support from professionals and friends and family.

Our rehab centres in Cheshire, Yorkshire, Berkshire and Surrey look at the underlying reasons behind the substance abuse and focus on making changes in behaviour which will provide a strong boost to recovery. Individuals are led to accept responsibility for their behaviour, admit they have a problem and why, and build on resolving the resulting problems, such as deteriorations in personal relationships.




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