Thursday, November 13, 2014

Do You Have a Loved One Suffering from Addiction? Here's How To Help

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By Jenna Brown

We women are known for our intuition. Whether it's trusting our gut feelings or acting as human lie detectors, most of us have finely-tuned instincts that help us out in our everyday lives. But what about those of us who weren't blessed with super-powered female intuition? What if something serious is going on, right before our very eyes, and we can't see it? Take addiction, for example.

It often happens that women and men alike are blindsided by the addictive behaviors of partners or loved ones. Even when the signs are obvious, we may fail to see them. And until we recognize the signs and symptoms of addiction, a loved one's life may hang in the balance.

Thankfully, when armed with the right information, spotting the signs of addiction is less of a challenge. Keep reading for everything you need to know about identifying the symptoms of addiction, as well as recommending treatment for loved ones suffering from this illness.

Spotting the Signs of Addiction

In the beginning stages of substance abuse and addiction, the signs and symptoms may be subtle. What's more, the symptoms can vary on an individual basis, making addiction even more difficult to spot.

However, individuals struggling with addictive tendencies often display symptoms like the following:

- Changes in eating and sleeping habits.
- Physical signs like bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, difficulties with balance, etc.
- Unexplained absences from work or school.
- Social withdrawal.
- Changes in daily routine.

As addiction progresses, the sings may become a little more obvious. It's not uncommon for addicts to experience symptoms like the ones listed below:

- Problems within relationships, be they personal or professional.
- Mood swings and, in some cases, aggressive or violent behaviors.
- Increased withdrawal from friends and loved ones.
- Financial problems. These can include frequently borrowing money, spending large sums of money with nothing to show, filing for bankruptcy, etc.
- Legal issues, including being charged with crimes relating to drugs or alcohol.
- Changes in appearance. These can be extreme, and typically include weight loss and an unkempt appearance.

The onset of withdrawal symptoms when drug or alcohol use is discontinued. These include runny nose, body aches, digestive problems, profuse sweating, chills, and other flu-like symptoms.

Recommending Treatment
If someone you love is suffering from the effects of substance abuse or addiction, recommending treatment can make all the difference. However, addiction is a sensitive subject, and many people find it difficult to approach. With tips like the following, you can simplify the process.

Don't judge or accuse. Instead of pointing fingers, come from a place of love and respect. Show you care by listing all the things you love about the person in question, as well as all the ways addiction is hurting him or her. Although addiction is difficult to understand, make an effort to avoid judgmental or accusatory statements.

Do your research. Before having a discussion about treatment, researching rehabilitation facilities can be extremely helpful. Since the most effective form of rehabilitation is one that suits a person's unique, specific needs, be sure to consider all the variables. For example, for men suffering from a specific addiction, such as addiction to heroine, male-only rehabilitation centers can provide effective treatment in a safe, comfortable atmosphere conducive to healing and recovery. notes that approximately 23-percent of all individuals who try heroin ultimately become dependent on it at some stage in their life, making it one of the most addictive drugs there is.

Call for Backup. In some cases, it's a good idea to call on mutual friends and family members for support. Since addicts often feel isolated and misunderstood, love and support from a larger group of people can be extremely beneficial. Plan ahead, with each member of the group practicing what they want to say, and stand united in your efforts to aid your loved one in his or her recovery.

Stand your ground. In some cases, addiction calls for tough love. Although you don't want to give ultimatums, standing firm is essential. Be prepared for a difficult road ahead, even if your loved one agrees to seek treatment.

Addiction is a powerful, often life-threatening, disease that affects millions of people each and every year. If someone you love is suffering from addiction, use the information here to identify the problem and recommend treatment. You'll be glad you did.

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