It is very hard and stressful to watch a loved one’s life being affected by drugs and/or alcohol. You are worried if your loved one has a substance abuse problem (meaning prescription drugs, illicit drugs, or alcohol) or even an addiction. You may have even tried to discuss your concerns with your loved one but the discussion was not productive as the person denied any problem, became angry with you, or even turned it on you as you were crazy and you were the one with a problem.

So here you are…concerned and worried and still not sure what to do. You are asking yourself is their substance use normal, a phase, or is it a problem that needs to be addressed instead of just foolishly watching the substance abuse problem progress. Try to sit down with your loved one and answer these questions provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse regarding identifying a substance abuse problem. If your loved one won’t answer these questions with you, try to answer them yourself.

Signs of a substance abuse problem

1. Does the person take the drug in larger amounts or for longer than intended?
2. Do they want to cut down or stop using the drug but can’t?
3. Do they spend a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from the drug?
4. Do they have cravings and urges to use the drug?
5. Are they unable to manage responsibilities at work, home, or school because of drug use?
6. Do they continue to use a drug, even when it causes problems in relationships?
7. Do they give up important social, recreational, or work-related activities because of drug use?
8. Do they use drugs again and again, even when it puts them in danger?
9. Do they continue to use, even while knowing that a physical or mental problem could have been caused or made worse by the drug?
10. Do they take more of the drug to get the wanted effect?
11. Have they developed withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the drug?

Seek professional help

If the answer to some or many of these questions is yes, talk with a medical professional who specializes in drug treatment or screening. If you aren’t sure because you just don’t know the answers to the above questions, please refer to signs of drug abuse and alcohol abuse.

You may be asking yourself, how did this happen to us? It is important to realize that a substance abuse problem or addiction can happen to anyone. Therefore, If affects people from all backgrounds, race, incomes and age. If someone you love may have a problem, get help. Asking for help is the first important step. Contact New Day Recovery, we are happy to discuss with you drug abuse screening and treatment alternatives. So many family members and those suffering from substance abuse don’t ask for help because of embarrassment and worry that others may find out. Your calls are completely confidential.