Noticing that a loved one may be struggling with addiction or mental illness can be difficult and heartbreaking. However, recognizing key signs of substance abuse early, including tizanidine side effects, is crucial for getting them the help they need. This guide covers common red flags to watch for if you suspect a friend or family member may be developing an addiction or mental illness.
Changes in Behavior and Appearance
Some of the most telling signs of addiction are changes in your loved one’s normal behavior and physical appearance. Look for irregular sleep patterns, sudden weight loss or gain, lack of interest in their personal hygiene, and unusual laziness when it comes to responsibilities at work or home.
You may also notice bloodshot eyes, shakes, or dilated pupils. They may appear anxious, irritated, or emotionally volatile for no clear reason. Pay attention if a normally social person becomes withdrawn and isolated. These could all indicate drug or alcohol abuse.
Using Drugs and Alcohol as a Coping Mechanism
Many who struggle with substance addiction use drugs or alcohol as a means of coping with stress, difficult emotions, or trauma. Notice if your loved one seems to drink or take drugs to deal with grief, loneliness, depression, or anxiety. This dependency can quickly spiral out of control.
Increasing Tolerance and Withdrawal Symptoms
As addiction progresses, your body builds up tolerance, requiring more and more of the substance to get the same effect. Take note if your loved one needs to take higher doses or if they exhibit nervousness, nausea, headaches, or tremors when not using – these are signs of withdrawal. Getting emergency addiction care like PHP For Drug & Alcohol Addiction may become necessary as their dependency grows.
Money and Legal Issues
Substance abuse often goes hand-in-hand with financial and legal troubles – yet another reason why early intervention is vital. Look for things like your loved one asking to borrow money, valuables disappearing from your home, or them getting calls from bill collectors.
You may also discover legal issues like DUIs on their record. They may joke about their drug use or addiction, attempting to normalize or downplay their behavior. These could all signify an emerging substance abuse problem.
Changes in Social Circles and Habits
When addiction sets in, the people and habits in your loved one’s life often shift as well. Take note if old sober friends have fallen away, replaced by a new group they are secretive about. You may also catch them lying about their plans or activities.
Pay attention if new drug paraphernalia appears around the home, rooms start smelling like smoke or other chemicals, or you notice small folded papers or plastic baggies. This points to active drug use. They may even joke about addiction or drug use in a way that normalizes the behavior.
Have Compassionate Conversations
If you believe your loved one is struggling with an addiction, approach them with compassion about your concerns. Focus conversations on specific behaviors you’ve noticed while expressing worry, not judgment or anger.
You can’t force someone to get help, but you can offer resources and emotional support when they’re ready. With loving intervention, many recover from addiction to lead happy, fulfilling lives. Be patient, but persistent. Their health, safety and even life may depend on getting substance abuse treatment.