How to Tell you or a Family Member has a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

We’ve all seen commercials or billboards about addiction or alcoholism. We all have heard of AA or rehab. We have watched celebrities talk about their own personal experiences with addiction and have seen them bravely go to rehab. We have seen countless stories about drug related overdoses or fatal accidents involving alcohol. But what happens when we suspect a family or friend is going through addiction? What are we supposed to do? How do we help them without alienating them? Or if we are going through it ourselves, how do we bravely accept it and try and go get help? This isn’t easy to do. It takes a lot of courage to seek the help that we need. But if we are able to, our lives can change for the better. Below are some telltale signs that you or a loved one may have a drug and alcohol addiction.

 Signs to help identify an issue with drugs and alcohol.

  • Spending excessive money on substances– If you have ever spent your bill money or grocery money on drugs that is a big sign that drugs and alcohol might be taking control of your life.
  • Going out of your way to get drugs or alcohol- When addiction takes hold of our life we are willing to do anything to get that fix. If you are driving long distances to get that fix or doing something that morally you would never do, that may be a sign that this ugly disease is trying to get a hold of you.
  • Missing work or family functions because of drugs and alcohol- Another major and scary sign is if you or someone else you know is constantly showing up to or missing work or missing important family functions such as a holiday or birthday, that could be a major issues and sign that something is not right 
  • Cravings intensify- When you become addicted to something your body and mind crave it. So what does a craving look like? They are different for some people. But cravings can include excessively thinking about a drink or a drug, having withdrawals which we will get more into next, feeling itchy or hot.
  • Withdrawals- Withdrawals can be extremely dangerous. Depending on the substance they can even be life threatening. A withdrawal is when your body is needing a substance or drink. Withdrawals can look like extreme sickness or extreme irritability. It is recommended that you seek medical attention if you are withdrawing from a substance. There are several doctor recommended treatments to help you with withdrawals. It is also recommended to stay at a facility while you are withdrawing so you can be looked at by a licensed professional.

What to do now

So we have a little understanding about some of the signs of possible addiction. Now what do we do? Remember it is best to always seek advice from a professional as they have the most knowledge of what to do in these situations. But we also want to act quickly simply because addiction does not wait for anyone. If you are suffering from the chains of addiction it is best to look into a detox or outpatient facility. Most places do accept major insurance which will save you a lot of money and is a great way to start your new life addiction free. There are also 12 step programs such as AA or NA and there are therapists who specialize in addiction. This step might seem scary but it really is not all that scary. It’s what can help save your life.

David van der Ende is a full-time blogger and part-time graphic design enthusiast. He loves to write about a broad range of topics, but his professional background in both legal and finance drives him to write on these two subjects most frequently.