If you have witnessed someone near and dear to you fighting drug addiction, you must try to help them in their journey. Overcoming an addiction to alcohol, drugs or other substances is not easy. While many choose to ignore or look the other way, being responsible and showing an interest in someone’s recovery can help them in multiple ways.
Lecturing an individual who is already fighting addiction is not the best way to proceed. Getting into altercations, arguing, or demeaning them will not help. While the road might be tough, the only thing that can help is positive words of encouragement and motivation. In this article, we will look to cover the following major topics-
- Looking for signs that someone is addicted and needs help to aid their recovery
- Tips that can help you extend support to someone with a drug addiction problem
- Things that you should not say to an individual who has an addiction problem
- The Final Takeaway
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Physical Signs that can prove someone is addicted to drugs
According to leading rehabilitation experts, careful observation can help you notice whether someone you love is fighting an uphill battle with addiction. Many agree that a lot can be understood by paying close attention to their behavior, changes in physical appearance, additions to friend circles, etc.
Let us try to look at some of the major signs below-
- Behavioral Changes-
One of the easiest giveaways is noticing sudden changes in an individual’s behavior. Look for signs like anxiety, short-temper, frequent and unavoidable mood swings. Drugs tend to alter our feelings and emotions drastically. If you notice someone behaving differently, maybe they are taking drugs, or looking for ways to overcome it.
- Sudden Isolation-
People that engage with drugs and similar substances know that their actions are not socially acceptable. This makes them become isolated and withdraw themselves from their immediate family and friend circles. They do not like visiting social events and tend to keep themselves aloof. Isolation also results in them losing touch with old friends, peers, and other colleagues.
- Lack of Self-Care and Attention-
Another tell-tale sign that experts point out is little or no emphasis on personal grooming. While this might sound trivial, this is a sign that you need to watch for. Unkempt hair, shabby clothes, no interest in shaving, or taking bath has been closely associated with individuals that are doing drugs. If you spot someone you care about doing this, maybe it is time to intervene.
- No Hobbies or Personal Interests-
Most of us have some hobbies or self-interests at any given point in time. This can be anything from baking to gardening. A loss in hobbies and self-interests shows that the same has been replaced by something else. If your friend or relative has completely given up on an interest that they were earlier fond of, you should note that something is wrong with the individual.
There are some tangible physical signs that you need to watch out for as well. These include red eyes, a constant runny nose, fidgety behavior, sudden weight gains or losses, and even nosebleeds.
Tips to help someone fighting a drug addiction problem
If you thought you would easily be able to help someone overcome an addiction problem, think again. The process is tough not only for the individual going through the same but also for someone who is trying to help.
In the following section, we list down some of the top tips that can help you in this regard-
- Start by educating yourself about drug addiction problems-
Before you start extending help, make sure you are completely educated about the problem at hand. This means doing your own research and attaining knowledge from credible sources. Fighting addiction is a complex battle and you need to think of it more as a process. You need to be patient, take your time and gather the literature that can help you.
- Offer unconditional help and support to the individual-
People who abuse drugs often become guarded about their activities. You need to ensure that you are being polite, understanding, and cordial. The affected individual should never feel that you are judging them. Sit down with them and start with positive words of encouragement. Say you will be there to help them get over this issue and that they can depend on you for help.
- Help them check in with recovery, detox, and rehabilitation experts-
The first steps are often the hardest. In this case, the first step involves getting in touch with trained and experienced professionals who can help. Make sure that you are doing this on behalf of your near and dear one. They might feel hesitant to reach out to an expert for help. In a majority of cases, it is the family or friends who help individuals check into facilities.
- Be patient throughout the length and breadth of the recovery process-
The recovery process is going to be difficult. There will be days when your friend will be making progress, and then there will be periods when nothing will seem to work. You need to control your emotions and not take it out on your friend who himself is going through a lot. Please understand that this might be a long and arduous process and you need to stick through it.
Things that you need to avoid saying to someone fighting drug addiction
Communication is a very important part of the recovery process. You might lose your cool, or use some words and terms casually. All this can have a detrimental impact on the affected individual and impair their recovery.
Here are some of the terms, words and phrases, you should look to avoid at all costs-
- Never use the word ‘addict’ in any sense. This carries a lot of negative connotations. Try to instead go for terms like ‘patient’. The same applies to words like ‘junkie’ or ‘crackhead’. These are derogatory and should be avoided.
- Make sure that you are never placing blame on your friend who is fighting an addiction problem. Never tell them ‘It is your fault’, or that their ‘family is suffering’ for their actions. This can lead them to take drastic steps that can prove to be fatal.
- Always be positive and happy when you are with the person. Positive energy and vibes make them feel that things are alright. Try to use as many positive words of encouragement and motivation as possible, when you are with them.
The Final Takeaway
Helping a friend fight a drug addiction problem is not easy. The journey is complex and problematic. However, by paying attention to the list of information mentioned in the article, you can help your friend with recovery. Drug abuse can affect anyone. It affects teenagers, young adults, or even senior citizens. If you have any other questions, or doubts you would like us to address on the topic, please let us know in the comments below. We would be more than happy to help you out.