When To Seek Professional Help For A Loved One With Substance Use Disorder

Intervention gives the opportunity to make positive changes. When a loved one has a Substance Use Disorder (SUD), it impacts not only their lives but the lives of those around them.

There is no fast and easy way to help a loved one with SUD, as it requires a lot of determination and willpower. Knowing when to seek professional help for a loved one with a SUD is just the first step of many to help them get back to a healthier life.

Recognize The Symptoms Of a Substance Use Disorder

Recognizing the symptoms of a SUD will help you, friends and family know when to seek professional help. Signs of a SUD include:

  • Taking progressively dangerous risks
  • Using a substance for a longer period of time than intended
  • Wanting to cut back or stop substance use and not been able
  • Continuing to use despite awareness that substance use is creating an increase in physical, psychological problems and/or social problems
  • Neglecting responsibilities or unable to fulfill obligations
  • Lack of interest or no longer engaging in activities that had been important or enjoyable
  • Strong desires or cravings to use the substance
  • Having to use more of a substance to achieve the desired effect
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms from the substance
  • Financial difficulties
  • Behavioral changes
  • Sleeplessness
  • Appetite changes
  • Change in appearance

Please remember that symptoms of a SUD can vary from person to person and substance to substance. A person with a substance use disorder will find it difficult to control their use, even if they wish to stop.

They Are Neglecting Friends, Family, Work, & Other Responsibilities

Is your loved one spending a lot of time trying to get access to a substance and neglecting friends, family, work, and other responsibilities? Have they lost interest in hobbies and other activities that they were once was active in?

If so, seek professional help. Neglecting responsibilities can lead to an unhealthy home environment, loss of work, and even trust amongst friends and family.

They Are In Worsening, Dangerous Situations

Those suffering from a SUD may find themselves in worsening, dangerous situations, and taking more risks to obtain the substance(s) they are using. This can possibly lead to legal and financial issues.

Other risky, dangerous behaviors can include driving while under the influence and acting out impulsively.

Remember That Return to Substance Use Does Not Mean Failure

Recovery is an arduous journey that may take several steps forward and several steps back. If your loved one returns to using a substance, know that it does not mean failure. Often times those with a substance use disorder who are seeking recovery may return to using a substance more than once before they are stable in their recovery process.

Remember To Take Care Of Yourself

When seeking professional help for a loved one, remember to take care of yourself too. SUD affects everyone, and neglecting to care for yourself can create stress which could lead to both physical and mental health symptoms. Take time for yourself and care for your needs. It is also essential to establish and commit to healthy boundaries, avoid blame, and remember that you cannot control, convince or make the family member with a SUD seek treatment and/or recovery on your own.

Seeking assistance is beneficial not only for those suffering from SUD but also for their circle of close family and friends. Support can be found from trusted friends and family, community support groups, and if needed, a therapist who specializes in your specific needs.

PreventEd is dedicated to helping individuals and their families find the appropriate resources they need to battle a Substance Use Disorder and get on the path to recovery. We are here to answer any of your questions, set up an assessment, or schedule an intervention.

Need To Help A Loved One With SUD?

Contact A PreventEd Counselor Today

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