Many people hesitate when it comes to talking to friends and family about a potential problem with drugs or alcohol. If this is you, then the most important thing to remember is that you are helping. If your friend was ill and needed help with shopping you would do it. If their child fell ill you’d probably be one of the first to offer support. Arguably, speaking to them about a drug or alcohol problem is more important because you could potentially be saving their life. At the very least you will improve it greatly.
If a person has a problem with drugs or alcohol they need to seek help from experts such as Drug Rehab in order to help them on the way to recovery. Your conversation could be the first step to making this happen.
How do you know if someone has a problem with drugs or alcohol?
You may suspect that something is not quite right with one of your friends or relatives, but how can you tell if the situation is caused by drugs or alcohol? There are several signs to look out for that could be an indication of a problem.
- Problems keeping up with home, work or school life.
- Personal neglect.
- Changes in behavior patterns.
- Lack of interest in things they used to enjoy.
- Changes to sleep patterns.
- Unusual weight loss or gain.
- Changes to appetite.
Of course this list is not exhaustive but it gives you an idea of the type of thing you should look out for. If you are in any doubt then it’s worth asking the question, but how do you approach a subject like this?
How to talk about problems with alcohol or drug abuse
We’ve established that you shouldn’t be afraid to speak if you think your friend or family member has a drug or alcohol problem; but how do you make the first move?
Never try speaking to them while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs; that isn’t a good idea. You can speak to them when they are sober but still feeling the effects of whatever they have taken or drunk. Sometimes this helps them to see the way their actions are affecting their health and lifestyle.
Whenever you decide to have the conversation it’s often a good idea to have someone with you. It’s ideal if the person has personal experience of the problem as they can use this experience to aid the conversation.
If you think you will have problems getting the person to listen to you, or they have already shown they don’t want to listen, then an intervention may be a good idea. This is when a group of people make a list of the effects of the person’s behavior on them and confront the person together. Often this helps the person to realize how much damage they are doing. Remember, the main aim is to get the person to seek help. If you need to speak to a professional for further advice then don’t be afraid to do so.
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