Drug abuse is more common than many people think, and the fastest-growing type of substance abuse is prescription drug addiction. This chronic disease has absolutely no regard for age, gender, race, religion or economic stature. No one wants to think that their loved one is abusing drugs or may need addiction treatment, but educating yourself about it will help you recognize the signs and symptoms if they occur.
Signs Your Loved One Is Abusing Drugs
The following are some common behavioral signs that your loved one is abusing drugs.
- Mood swings
- Failing to meet obligations at work or at home
- Being secretive or evasive
- Loss of memory
- Lying frequently
- Anxiety or paranoia, with no apparent reason
- Complaints from co-workers, supervisors or teachers
- Lack of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
- Changes in appetite
- Deterioration in personal grooming
- Changes in sleep or energy levels
- Injuries or accidents when your loved one won’t tell you what happened or how they occurred
- Seeing more than one doctor to get prescriptions filled
- Taking more medication than his or her doctor has prescribed
Here are some common physical signs that your loved one is abusing drugs.
- Bloodshot eyes or pupils that are either smaller or larger than normal
- Fluctuations in weight
- Seizures where there is no prior history of epilepsy
- Unusual smells on your loved one’s breath, body or clothing
- Frequent nosebleeds (could be a sign of snorting drugs)
What To Do If Your Loved One Is Abusing Drugs
If you suspect or know that your loved one is abusing drugs, the worst thing you can do in this situation is ignore it and hope that it will simply “blow over” or go away on its own. Your loved one will only fall deeper into his or her sickness if you pretend that there is not a problem or enable them by doing things to make their life more comfortable, such as cleaning up after them, giving them money or calling into work and telling the supervisor that they are ill when they are actually sleeping off a drug binge or have a hangover.
Professional help is needed to move your loved one back into a sober lifestyle.
Individualized Residential Outpatient Treatment In MD
At Maryland Recovery, we offer individualized treatment programs, including residential outpatient treatment in MD where clients stay in one of our safe and comfortable residential homes and go to customized treatment during the day at our outpatient facility.
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To Dealing With Substance Abuse
Dr. Bhalavat is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, and provides inpatient evaluation and consultation services at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital, Maryland Recovery Partners, and Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Bhalavat’s background includes treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, substance abuse and dementia.