3 Common Questions Asked By Families Of Drug Users


If your loved one is struggling with an addiction, it can be all-consuming. You may feel helpless at times and worry about the future of your family member’s health and your relationship. The good news is, there are steps you can take to help. Here are the most common questions families ask about addiction and what they should know.

1: How Do You Know If a Loved One Has a Problem?

Sometimes the signs are noticeable; your loved one might start missing work, borrowing money, or exhibiting physical symptoms of withdrawal when they didn’t used to. Other times it may be less obvious. If you suspect someone close to you is struggling with substance abuse, consider these signs:

  • Physical Changes:A person’s appearance may change. They may appear pale or sallow, and have bags under their eyes.
  • Behavioral Changes: Look for changes in behavior – including spending habits, social behaviors, and physical appearance. Also, look out for friends who are bad influences on your loved one.
  • Talk of Using Drugs or Alcohol:You might hear your loved one talk about their drug of choice, the desire to get high, and how they plan on doing it.

2: What Is an Intervention and How Does It Work?

An intervention is a formal process of expressing your concerns to someone, in hopes they will seek treatment. You may decide to stage an intervention if the problem has gotten worse and you feel like it’s time for them to take responsibility for their actions and stop hurting those around them. The guiding principle behind an intervention is to get your loved one to accept help. It’s important that you remain calm and let others speak during the process.

There are a few basic steps to organizing an intervention. First, get everyone together who cares about the person – including friends, family, co-workers, or anyone else who may have witnessed the effects of their addiction. Let your loved one know you need to talk and inform them of the time and place. This way they won’t feel ambushed. If you’re speaking to someone with a substance abuse problem, try and do it in a separate room away from other people (including friends) to start with.

Introduce the idea that there’s a problem and request that your loved one listens to everyone’s concerns. You should also share what you’ve seen change in their behavior or how it’s affected your relationship with them. Give options for treatment and let the person choose what they feel is best for them. If they aren’t willing to get help, try and remain calm and offer to help them find the treatment they’re comfortable with.

3: How Do You Know If Treatment Will Work?

There’s no guarantee that your loved ones will quit their addiction once they leave treatment, but it’s possible. A lot depends on the severity of their dependence and how long they’ve been using drugs or alcohol. It also depends on how ready they are to quit.

If your loved one has been abusing drugs or alcohol for a long time, it may be hard for them to make the connection between their substance abuse and problems in their life. If you’re concerned your loved one has a problem, talk to them about it. Let them know how their actions are affecting others. It will also be difficult for them to stop if they don’t feel like they have a reason to do so. You can always read more about how a holistic approach may be the best solution.


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