Several key signs indicate your loved one needs professional help

Deciding when to discuss addiction treatment with someone you care for who is struggling with substance use can be stressful. Below is a list of things to watch out for as you ponder your decision.

They’re causing harm to themselves or others

Addictions require treatment because they result in harmful behaviour.

That harm is seldom limited to just the person with the addiction; it weaves a web around them that catches almost everyone else in their lives.

The harm they’re causing is getting worse

The damage that a person with an addiction can leave in their wake often escalates over time. 

As the addiction is the underlying cause of this destruction, it is unlikely this cycle will cease until the person enters recovery.

They’re ignoring individually voiced concerns from friends and family

There is a certain amount of living life with ‘blinders on’ that is required to maintain an addiction.

This disregard causes the individual to become increasingly isolated and those around them to become increasingly resentful.

They deny they have a problem

Denial is the go-to for many people with an addiction.

The insistence that “there’s nothing wrong with me”, “I’m just having a little bit of fun”, “I’m not as bad as so-and-so!” are all phrases that avoid accepting the reality of their situation.

They’re unwilling to do anything about their addiction

The most frustrating point is when they dig in their heels and become adamant that they will not commit to making a change.

This insistence can also be the most hurtful as it may deliver a message that they don’t care enough about you and others to get better.

Other troublesome signs at work, in studies, or in life

If your loved one is starting to have problems in other vital areas of their life due to their addiction, such as their work, studies, or health, treatment may be in order.

Some specific signs at work or school may include a drop in overall performance, frequently showing up late, or failing to complete projects or assignments on time. 

Unexplained and frequent borrowing of money, stealing, and secretive behaviour are also signs an alcohol or drug problem may be getting worse and should be addressed as soon as possible.

What to do first

The first step in planning this conversation is to get help; you cannot do it on your own. 

Start by talking to the person’s other family members and friends to see who would be interested in supporting you. 

Find and consult addiction professionals who can help you learn more about addiction and treatment options. This could include addictions counsellors, social workers, psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and medical doctors specializing in addiction treatment. 

Facing this discussion with someone you care for can be daunting. But with preparation and the support from others that care for your loved one along with professional guidance, you’re much more likely to be successful.

We Can Help You

Ledgehill’s two facilities in Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, provide gender-specific treatment for men and women who need to heal in a peaceful, supportive environment free from fear or distraction. If you’d like to learn more about the addiction and mental health treatment programs provided by Ledgehill, enrol yourself in one of our programs, or refer someone else, please call us at 1-800-676-3393