How do I know if my loved one has a problem?
You will want to look for some signs of substance dependency which are:
Tolerance means that, over time, you need more drugs to feel the same effects. Do they use more drugs now than they used before? Do they use more drugs than other people without showing obvious signs of intoxication?
As the effect of the drugs wear off, the person may experience withdrawal symptoms: anxiety or jumpiness; shakiness or trembling; sweating, nausea and vomiting; insomnia; depression; irritability; fatigue or loss of appetite and headaches. Drug use to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms is a sign of addiction.
- Loss of Control
Using more drugs than they wanted to, for longer than they intended, or despite telling themselves that they wouldn’t do it this time.
- Desire to Stop, But Can’t
They have a persistent desire to cut down or stop their drug use, but all efforts to stop and stay stopped, have been unsuccessful.
- Neglecting Other Activities
They are spending less time on activities that used to be important to them.
- Drugs Take Up Greater Time, Energy and Focus
They spend a lot of time using drugs, thinking about it, or recovering from its effects.
- Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences
Many people will encounter personal problems in addition to legal problems. If you notice they are having marital/relationship issues, family issues, they have lost their job or have been missing work those can be potential signs of addiction.
To gather more specific information about what the signs and symptoms are of drug or alcohol abuse look to our web links page ». Many of those websites have information specific to which substance is being used.
What can I do to help my loved one?
You can be a great support system for your loved one. Recovery is a long process and it is not easy. With the help of a support system, your loved one will have another tool in place to help them stay sober. You can encourage your loved one to enter treatment or other services to get the help that they need and upon completion of a program, you can be an emotional supporter for them.
What is enabling and what is its impact on my loved one?
When family, friends, and associates of a chemically dependent individual allow that individual to continue the addiction to alcohol or drugs, their behavior is called enabling. When repeated, enabling behaviors become ingrained in the chemically dependent person’s family, job, or social structures.
Examples of Enabling Examples of enabling behaviors include:
- Making excuses for the addict/alcoholic (calling the alcoholic’s boss to say they are sick with the flu, when they are really hung over, or referring to your teenager’s drug use as ‘just a phase’)
- Paying their bills
- Bailing them out of jail
- Making rationalizations for their irresponsible behaviors
- Ignoring the problems caused by the addict’s use (financial, employment, legal)
- Accepting their excuses or believing their lies
- Not discussing the problem of their chemical use
- Not getting help for yourself
The Effects of Enabling As addicts/alcoholics are rescued from the consequences of their using and drinking, they learn to rely on their enablers to continue their addiction. Enabling behaviors directly and indirectly support the vicious cycle of never-ending problems and pain of addiction. When we stop enabling, we allow the addict to experience the consequences of their out-of-control behavior. We stop shielding them from the consequences of their behaviors. Enabling behaviors can be changed, and recovery is possible.
*Al-anon is a great resource for families who have someone they love struggling with addiction. It will allow you to have an outlet to deal with the effects the addiction has had not only on your loved ones life but on your life as well.
Can I communicate with my loved one while they are in treatment?
At Twin Lakes Center there are multiple ways that you can communicate with your loved one. We conduct family sessions on an individual basis and that would be arranged between your loved one and their counselor. You can also leave messages for your loved one at any time. To do this, you would simply call into the facility and anyone can take the message. You are able to send mail and packages to the facility. If your loved one has signed consent for you, you can call in to the facility and speak with your loved one’s counselor. If a consent form has not been signed, we will not be able to confirm or deny any information on your loved one.