How can I tell if a loved one has a problem with alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs?
How can I tell...
Sometimes it is tough to tell. Most people won't walk up to someone they're close to and ask for help. In fact, they will probably do everything possible to deny or hide the problem. But, there are certain warning signs that may indicate that a family member or friend is using drugs and drinking too much alcohol. If your friend or loved one has one or more of the following signs, he or she may have a problem with drugs or alcohol:
Is it always Drug Use?
Many of the signs, such as sudden changes in mood, difficulty in getting along with others, poor job or school performance, irritability, and depression, might be explained by other causes. Unless you observe drug use or excessive drinking, it can be hard to determine the cause of these problems. You might consider contacting a qualified alcohol and drug professional in your area for further advice.
Who can have a problem with Drugs or Alcohol?
Drug and alcohol problems can affect every one of us regardless of age, sex, race, or marital status, place of residence, income level, or lifestyle. If you can drink, breathe, or put something in your mouth - you can are potentially capable of having a drug problem. Other people say that since "drugs affect people's brain" then anyone with a brain could develop a drug problem... (you get the idea).
You may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, if:
If you have experienced any of the above problems, take heart, help is available. More than a million Canadians and Americans like you have taken charge of their lives and are living healthy and drug-free.
How Can I Get Help?
You can get help for yourself or for a friend or loved one from numerous organizations, treatment centers, referral centers, and hotlines throughout the country. There are various kinds of treatment services and centers. For example, some may involve outpatient counseling, while others may be 3 to 5 week-long inpatient programs (residential - where the person lives at the treatment facility).
While you or your friend or loved one may be hesitant to seek help, know that treatment programs offer organized and structured services with individual, group, and family therapy for people with alcohol and drug abuse problems. Research shows that when appropriate treatment is given, and when clients follow their prescribed program, treatment can work. By reducing alcohol and/or drug abuse, treatment reduces costs to society in terms of medical care, law enforcement, and crime. More importantly, treatment can help keep you and your loved ones together. Remember, some people may go through treatment a number of times before they are in full recovery. Do not give up hope.
Where do I start looking for help?
Each community has its own resources. Some common referral sources that are often listed in the phone book are:
Of course there are on-line resources such as the RecoveryRoadMap.com website. However you should be sure to make sure that an on-line resource is enough help. Many people once addicted or dependent upon alcohol or other drugs really do need some fairly intensive treatment. This may include inpatient residential rehabilitation services, outpatient counseling, and even community support groups.
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