Signs your loved one is addicted

Addiction is a complex disease that can affect anyone irrespective of your status, color, religion, etc.

When someone is addicted, they tend to view the world in a way different from sober people. This Is one of the common reasons why addicts are at loggerheads with their loved ones.

If your loved one is addicted, you might conflict with them. Therefore, you need to watch out for some of these signs to help them get better in the long run.

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Being secretive

One of the surest ways to know that your loved one is struggling with addiction is when they start being evasive or secretive with some of their activities. This means that when they are carrying out their addiction, they will ensure that no one knows what they are doing.

They will keep secrets from you, and give unclear answers to your questions. Similarly, they will behave in a way that is not typical of them, this will make you suspect that something is going on.

Changes in energy levels

Another way to know that your loved one is addicted is when their energy levels change frequently. This means that they can be depressed this minute and the next, they are all over the place.

It is important to mention that substances like drugs and alcohol can influence someone’s energy levels.

Changes in physical appearance

When you notice that your loved one has a different physical appearance that does not suggest they are healthy, they might be dealing with addiction. You will observe that they are not taking care of themselves like before.

Loss of interest in different things

Addicted individuals usually have a change in priorities. This means that somethings which caught their interest in the past will no longer matter to them.

You will not find them participating in their favorite activities, because they have something else taking their attention.

Other signs of addiction that you might notice are loss of memory, inability to meet obligations, financial problems, changes in attitude, etc. When you notice some of these signs, you need to take them to an addiction treatment counselor for help.


Preventing addiction in the family

When addiction is present in the family, it has the capacity to tear them apart. Therefore, it is important to prevent it from happening in the family.

Here are some tips to prevent addiction in the family

Encourage everyone to speak up

One of the reasons why addiction thrives in the family is when some people refuse to speak when they are going through something.

Whereas one of the core attributes of addiction is privacy and isolation. Therefore, it is important to let people know that they should speak up when they are facing any challenge.

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Teach everyone the meaning of addiction

Many people do not know the meaning of addiction, and this is why some of them get addicted without knowing. Hence, teach your family what addiction means so that they can recognize it even with the unlikely signs.

When people know the meaning of addiction, it would be easy for them to apply proactive steps to avoid it.

Imbibe healthy habits

One of the strongest ways to prevent addiction from happening is by applying healthy habits. When people display unhealthy living patterns, they are more likely to get addicted. In comparison, people who lead healthy lives might not get addicted.

Teach your family the essence of healthy habits so that it would help them defeat addiction triggers and cravings in the long run.

You can begin with basic healthy habits like regular exercise, a nutritious diet, sleeping for 7-8 hours, etc.

Avoid peer pressure

Some people get addicted because of the type of friends they keep. Encourage members of your family to be mindful of the type of friends they keep.

Once they recognize that some of their peers keep addictive habits, it is best to keep their distance.

If you observe that any member of your family is showing abusive habits that can likely become an addiction, it is best to seek help for them. You can recommend treatment from an addiction counselor or therapist to prevent their abuse from becoming an addiction.


WHY YOU NEED A COUNSELOR TO PULL THROUGH IN AN ADDICTION OR MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM

When an individual has addiction or mental health problem, one of the most important persons that he needs at that stage of his or her life, is the counselor. Primarily, a counselor is a professional who has a high emotional quotient.

A counselor understands the grief of addicts and those who have mental health issues, and he has a responsibility to helping them to their feet.

The high emotional quotient that a counselor has is why some people would rather opt for counseling, than discuss with their family and friends.

In the past, some people have been victims of prejudice because they opened up to their loved ones about their problem, and the treatment they received was not okay.

Counselors are great individuals; they are skilled in the act of seeing things from your standpoint. They know how you feel and they are always ready to help out. If you are not careful, you might think a counselor is a clairvoyant because of the ease they use to understand your situation.

In handling the addiction and mental health problem of an individual, counselors would always advise them to open up. This is the best way to relay the disturbing emotions and thoughts that are plaguing them.

It is conventional for counselors to conduct a thorough evaluation on people admitted into their care, and the reason for this is not far-fetched.

Counselors need the assessment to proffer a treatment plan and schedule for those who are addicted and have mental health problem. This treatment plan and schedule would be used in therapy.

The counseling platform is a blessing to many addicted individuals, some of whom might have mental health problems. It is a proficient asset to have someone who is ready to listen to you and carry your burden on your shoulders.

Hence, it is mandatory for individuals who have mental health problems and are addicted, to open up fully when they are being assessed.  


ROLE OF YOUR LOVED ONES IN ADDICTION TREATMENT

During addiction treatment, one of the essential set of people that individuals need are loved ones; and they are also known as family and friends.

These are the closest set of people that have a profound say on our lives. This is why this category of people are highly sought out after when an individuals are addicted.

When people are addicted, they find it difficult to open up, even to family and friends, because they fear the stigma that would follow. Not everyone knows how to handle the news of addiction, this is why some people display prejudice towards other people who are addicted.

Hence, addicts would rather keep to themselves than discuss their addiction problem with their loved ones. This is the norm and it should be modified. The loved ones of an individual are expected to render their full support to their addicted member.

The first step to achieving this is recommending addiction treatment for them. Doing this should be centered on love and not criticism. And this can be properly achieved when the family members and friends have a good idea on the concept of addiction.

So, before addicts are spoken to, it is important to have a good idea on how addiction works first.

When they opt in for addiction treatment, they have the counselor to provide necessary help for them. The counselor also helps in strengthening the bond between loved ones and addicted individuals, by integrating them into the group sessions schedule that the individual would have to attend.

The presence of loved ones around an addicted individual has a profound say on how well their addicted fellow would recover. Each of them have a pivotal role to play and it is advised that they do this with love and nothing else.

As compulsive and chronic addiction can be, it is a disease that can be proficiently combatted and defeated if all the features are put in place.


WHY YOU NEED TO SEEK HELP IN AN ADDICTION PROCESS

For the concept of addiction, coming to terms with the fact that you are addicted is one thing, and seeking help to get better is another. Being fully aware that you are being plagued with addiction, is something which is more difficult than it seems. Addiction can be said to be a chronic disease which has the capacity to adversely affect the memory, motivation, and reward functions of the brain.

An individual who is addicted will either have cravings for a substance, or some behavioural habits. They would be blind to other aspects of their lives, which needs fulfillment or support.

An addicted individual would have no means of control, and they would be unable to break free from using the particular substance which they are addicted to, or the behaviour which they find it hard to stop.

Also, they would discover that their communication and socialization skills would be on a low ebb, as they would be unable to maintain commitments, and whatever forms of relationship which they are currently in, would be strained.

It is very easy for a healthy person to know the difference between a negative and a positive behaviour, and stay away from it. The case is very different with someone who is addicted. Instead of them to admit that the problem is in play, they would seek other means to ensure that they continue their behaviour.

It is essential for an addicted person to seek help in an addiction process, before they get to a stage where the effects become gravely detrimental.

The first basic step to getting help, is the ability to come to awareness of the presence of the emotional, mental and physical signs. Once you are able to deal with this phase, you would discover that it would get easier to cope with an addiction rehab.

With time, you would get to discover that your communication skills would be enhanced, things would go back to the way they are. Also, you need to ensure that whatever addiction rehab you opt for, they need to have plans for aftercare, so that relapse would be prevented.


You Don’t Have to Confront Addiction Alone

help confronting addictionAddiction and an overly exaggerated sense of independence tend to go together. Often, the addiction started in the first place because the person began to soothe themselves with the addiction rather than reach out to others, which would have been far healthier. In the same right, addicts tend to be more resistant to reaching out for help in general, not just with their addiction. They tend to feel that needing support is a sign of weakness, because a needy person cannot be an independent person. Essentially, addicts have skewed perceptions of what role community and support systems are meant to play in people’s lives. Breaking through this mislead perception is essential to recovering from addiction.

A person who is struggling with a severe addiction is highly unlikely to be able to quit on their own. This is because addiction is a serious disease that is capable of claiming lives. Where an addict’s thinking goes wrong is in their belief that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness. Addicts have difficulty with the concept of control, which can be seen in many areas of their life. One particularly pronounced area that an addict struggles with control is in the deluded belief that they are able to control their addiction. That would be like declaring total control over any other type of disease. It is completely illogical.

The major flaw in this reasoning is in the belief that people successfully get through anything difficult alone. This is not how human behavior works. Trying to be more independent than nature intended us to be is counterproductive. We are creatures that require relationship on many levels, not the least of which is in recovering from disease, mental or physical. When you look at models of highly effective people, you do not see them closed off from help. You see them open to help and able to trust others with matters close to their heart. This type of thinking enables a person to be mentally healthy where as secluded coping with significant challenges always results in failure. If you want to have success in defeating your addiction, invite trustworthy people into it. The brief blow to your independent ego is absolutely worth the lifetime of happiness that recovery can offer.


When Intervention is Necessary

addiction interventionAddicts do not tend to appreciate being called out on their addiction. It is typically a source of shame and deeply seeded self-loathing. But, many addicts are still capable of listening to reason over time and finding their way back from addiction or finding their way into a recovery program. There are some addicts, however, who are particularly stubborn in their addiction and reject anything their loved ones have to say to them about quitting. This type of person will continue to pursue their addiction even into failing health and total dysfunction. For this type of addict, there is intervention.

Intervention is highly stereotyped based on old conventions and media portrayals, but intervention is much more complex than simply a weepy get together. Intervention is a coming together for deliberate communication and a breaking of denial. It is warranted when a person is showing obvious signs of not being able to take care of themselves and putting themselves at risk. The traditional format of an intervention is where a mental health professional, typically a professional interventionist, leads group communication between an addict and their loved ones for the purpose of helping the addict understand how out of control their addiction has become. Denial is powerful and it can take a great deal of persuasion to bring it down.

Interventions have been found successful because the strength of multiple family members opinions leave little room for the addict’s denial to survive and tend to inspire a sense of accountability within the addict. The role of the interventionist is to mediate exchanges and facilitate good communication by making sure exchanges stay healthy and productive. They are an important part of the intervention because they keep things from descending into anarchy and out of control emotions. If you have an addict within your support system who is strongly resisting opinions that recommend quitting their addiction, it could be that an intervention is the appropriate next step. Do not attempt to arrange an intervention without the help of professionals. Interventions can become out of control and a mental health professional can mean the difference between success and failure.


Reaching Out for Addiction Help

addiction helpAddiction is considered a legitimate disease by medical and mental health professionals. This should make it clear how serious addiction is, and how difficult it is to overcome. When you are addicted to something, your brain chemistry is literally working against you to crave the object of your addiction and motivate you to seek it out. Quitting without any outside help is nearly impossible. You need to be prepared to think and act differently, which is not something people are typically able to pull off without the help and accountability of others. There is no shame in reaching out for help. It is only natural that undertaking a task of this magnitude would require support from other people.

When you reach out for help with addiction, you should be able to expect certain things. First of all, your immediate support system should meet your requests for help by lifting you up and sacrificing of themselves to get you the treatment you need. Not everyone’s situation is ideal, however, and sometimes the addict needs to take it upon themselves to find treatment on their own. The most important thing for an addict to do is connect with top quality addiction treatment in their area or in another location. This often consists of support groups, organized recovery events and sponsors, but also occasionally free counseling services. If there is money available to spend on addiction treatment, this is highly recommended. Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation is statistically the most successful form of addiction treatment there is.

Addiction can strip a person of everything they love when it is allowed to thrive, but it cannot take a person’s free will and agency in choosing recovery. An addict always has the option of reaching out for help. An addict should always feel supported by their family, but regardless of if they do or not, they need to find their way to see mental health professionals or at least addicts who have long been taking their recovery seriously to have proper guidance through their own recovery. Addiction is not meant to be defeated alone. There are loving, supportive communities everywhere who have come together over addiction recovery, and they are waiting to care for you in your time of need.


What to Look For

addiction signsIdentifying an addict in your life can be easy or it can be difficult, even if the addict is yourself. Addicts can be masters of hiding their problem, from themselves and from others. It is the nature of an addict to not want to be caught. This is why assessing addiction can come with a number of challenges. However, addiction is dangerous to a person’s life and their livelihood. Whether they know it or not, their health, relationships and responsibilities will all improve if they get rid of their addiction. An addict may resist intervention, but do not ignore the signs and do nothing. Confront the addict or hire a professional interventionist to confront them if you observe the following behaviors:

  • Secretive behavior. Addicts do not want to be caught, and they will put careful thought into hiding their addiction from the people in their lives. Typically, an addict cannot be spotted in a passing glance. One has to know them fairly well or know what to look for in order to identify their addictive behavior.
  • Deteriorating physical health. One obvious tell of an addict is changes in their health, particularly when they are abusing a substance. Addiction to a substance will inevitably take down anyone’s health if it is allowed to persist. Even addictions with less immediate threats to the addict’s health will damage a person’s health over time.
  • Mood swings. Addicts often become emotional, aggressive or defensive about their addiction when it is attacked, threatened or inhibited. If someone is acting out inappropriately over something they are drawn to, it is likely a case of addiction.
  • Changes in appearance. Addiction tends to make people look different, particularly an addiction to a substance. As the person’s health becomes worse, they will often have bags under their eyes, unhealthy looking skin, bloodshot eyes and weight fluctuation.
  • Lack of interest in former passions. Addicts tend to give up on what they love and replace it with their addiction. Jobs, schooling, vocations, hobbies, exercise, eating right and time with the people they love are all sacrificed to their addiction.
  • Evidence of addiction artifacts. If you live with someone you suspect of being an addict and you begin finding evidence to support your theory, such as empty alcohol bottles, needles or pornographic material, your suspicion of an addiction problem is warranted.


The First Step is the Hardest

addiction first stepNo one wants to admit that they are an addict. Confronting that truth is scary and difficult, and it acknowledges the necessity of change in one’s life. It can also be wounding to the ego, because admitting that you are an addict means admitting that you are not in control of yourself. But rest assured, taking the first step of admitting to your addiction and reaching out for help is the hardest part. Changing the tides and direction of your life is jarring, and everything from there on in offers you increasing positivity and optimism.

Denial is the hallmark of addiction. A vast majority of addicts experience denial before they look to recover from their addiction. Denial sets in for a number of reasons. It may be part of a defense mode that the addict excerpts if they feel like their addictive tendencies are under attack. Or it may be a way for the addict to run and hide from the truth: that the addiction is consuming their life. Usually it is a combination of both. Denial can have a strong hold on a person, but when they are personally ready to change, denial will crumble like a house of cards.

There is nothing to fear in admitting to being an addict. Chances are your loved ones have been hoping you will admit to being an addict and seek treatment. A person’s addiction is very hard on the people who care about them, and it is highly likely that the addict’s support system will be happy to give of themselves to encourage the addict toward treatment and recovery.

Once the initial “coming out” has taken place, the addict can seek whatever kind of addiction treatment they need. This may be as simple as a support group or private counselor in cases of mild addiction, or it may be as big a commitment as inpatient rehabilitation for cases of severe addiction. Rehab is statistically the most successful type of addiction treatment, but the addict should discuss which treatment option is right for them with their physician and their family before committing to any treatment plan.