It can be a scary feat to come to terms with the fact that a near and dear one is suffering from drug addiction. It is confusing for us, because we see them messing up their life, and want to help but don’t really know how to. Often we are scared that confrontation will just make things work. But that is not always the case.
The first step is to identify that your friend, family member or even colleague is, in fact, facing the problem of drug addiction. These are the most common tell-tale signs of a drug addict.
Also read: Easy Ways To Quit Smoking
Glassy blood shot eyes with erratic pupil behaviour
Sleeping too much or sleeping too little
Rapid weight loss or weight gain
Giving little effort to groom themselves, they generally remain dishevelled
Weird and unusual odour present in their breath and on their clothes
Difficulty with speech and co-ordination
Neglecting responsibilities and missing school or work
Poor performance of the tasks at hand
Secretive behaviour and always locking themselves in their room
Change in friends circle, and don’t want to discuss their new friends
May constantly borrow or even steal money
Frequently getting into fights and arguments
Sudden and unexplained change in their personality and attitude
Constantly moody, irritable and gets angry at the drop of a hat
Either hyperactive or extremely lethargic
Appears to be anxious and on guard all the time
Also read: Tips To Get Rid Of An Addiction
If you can relate a few of the above signs to your loved one, then chances are they are suffering from drug addiction. Here’s how you can help them –
If you are afraid to confront them or don’t want to interfere in their issues, just remember that drug addiction is a major cause of early untimely death. Talk to other members of your friend circle or your family and tell them about the issue at hand. Get their advice on the matter. And talk to the addicted person together.
Don’t Wait For Too Long
Don’t wait for support from others for too long, if it doesn’t come. The sooner you help the addicted individual the better it is. It is much more difficult to help them, and for them to accept the help when they have hit rock bottom; but even then, there is always a way.
Avoid The Blame Game
At no point should you blame yourself for their addiction. It is never your fault. At the same time you can’t blame the addicted loved one either. Be caring, understanding and helpful instead. Playing the blame game will benefit no one.
A person who is addicted often doesn’t understand how their actions, when they are under the influence of drugs, affect others. They might become aggressive or even violent if they don’t agree to what you say. It is for this reason that you need to protect yourself. Don’t bring up the topic of addiction when they are high. Wait till you have sufficient time to talk and when their last intake of drugs has worn off.
A good way is to seat them in a familiar area surrounded by people the individual loves and respects and then talk to them about their problem. However, if you have to do it alone, search for a public place for the discussion. Just make sure there is no alcohol available at the place you choose.
Get Professional Help
The addicted individual might never fully accept that they have a problem, so don’t expect them to. To them drugs aren’t a problem, they are rather a solution to whatever is hurting them or stressing them out. You alone can’t help them leave their habit. You will need professional help from doctors and other experts in the field; don’t hesitate to get it, for fear of society.
Talking to them about their problem and getting them external professional help doesn’t mean that they don’t need you. Be there to help them when they need you. Be their friend during this tough phase of their life, because as easy as it is to get addicted to drugs, it is just as difficult to get over them.
Don’t Give Up
The road to recovery is not easy. Chances are that they may go through a relapse. However, a relapse doesn’t mean that the treatment and your efforts did not work. It just means that you have to try again. Not giving up is the key.
In the end, always remember, a person who has a drug addiction might not come up to you and ask you for help upfront, but, they do need all the help you can give them.