No one wants to get ‘that call’ telling them that their loved one has passed away from a drug or alcohol overdose. Unfortunately, it happens all too often in today’s society and the time when families and friends step in to say something to a drug or alcohol addict, it’s too late. Individuals who suspect or have positive confirmation that their loved one or friend has a drug or alcohol addiction should learn what the signs and symptoms are, and then get help. With the right information, they may be able to discover how they can help by staging an intervention without enabling future use or pushing the addicted individual into a stressful situation.
Statistics show that men have a higher death rate than women when it comes to drug overdosing as reported by the CDC and the highest age bracket for overdosing aren’t young adults, but individuals who are between the ages of 45 to 54. This is a scary statistic knowing middle-aged adults are more at risk of overdosing on drugs or alcohol than a teenager or an adult in their early 20’s.
Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse
Individuals suffering from a drug addiction often deny their addiction, and yet secretly feel they cannot wait until they can get their next fix. Eventually, they may forgo all their daily responsibilities at work and home as their primary thoughts surround when they will be able to use or acquire more substances that give them that “high” feeling. Those that suspect a loved one using illegal or prescription drugs (including alcohol) should become aware of the common symptoms and behaviors that result from an addiction.
Physical Signs and Symptoms
Several physical signs and symptoms drug addicts have that are easy for individuals to see include:
- Bloodshot eyes, large pupils
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Awkward smell or odor coming from the addicted individual’s breath, clothing, or body
- Slurred speech, tremors, seizures, low coordination
Behavioral Signs and Symptoms
A list of behavioral signs and symptoms associated with those abusing drugs may include:
- Poor attendance and performance in school and work
- Intense need for money or continual financial issues
- Suspicious and secretive behavior
- Causing fights and getting into trouble frequently
Emotional Signs and Symptoms
There are several emotional signs and symptoms a drug addict may experience including:
- Appearing anxious or fearful without having a reason
- Change in personality
- Mood swings, angry outbursts
- No motivation
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
Unlike drug abuse, alcohol abuse is often easier to identify as an alcohol addict typically consumes large quantities of alcohol every day. Alcohol addicts may deny having an addiction problem until they hit rock bottom and face losing everything, including their family, home and job. Those who know or suspect their loved one has an alcohol addiction should first learn all the signs and symptoms before intervening.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Dependency
Some signs and symptoms of alcohol dependency may include a combination of the following:
- Sudden changes in personality
- Continual drinking or denying the individual has a drinking problem
- Poor coordination
- Low self-esteem
- Slurred speech
- Reduced inhibitions
- Withdrawal symptoms-including uncontrollable shaking, irritability, fatigue, nausea
- Drinking alone or at home
Tips on How to Stage An Intervention
Families who notice these signs and symptoms of either alcohol or drug abuse can help their loved ones by understanding the best way to have an intervention without the addict feeling threatened. Several tips on how to approach a drug or alcohol dependent individual include:
- Determine who should be present at the intervention and why; Close family members, spouses, and close friends are encouraged to be a part of an intervention.
- Contact a professional interventionist to help organize and manage an intervention and use the staff’s experience to discuss the various treatment options that are available to the addict.
- Keep an open mind and don’t force the addict into something they don’t want to do. Ask the addict to listen to what everyone has to say. It is important for them to know why they want their loved one to receive the treatment they need to overcome their addiction.
- Be ready to provide moral and emotional support through all stages of the treatment process if the drug or alcohol addict chooses to receive treatment.
Don’t feel regret by avoiding the reality of drug or alcohol addiction. With a loved one’s help that those struggling with addiction can see the permanent effects substances can have. Contact Best Drug Rehabilitation today to find more on scheduling an intervention that addresses the needs of the addicted individual.