How to Help a Family Member Suffering From Addiction

Suspecting that someone we love may be suffering from drug addiction is a hard concept to face. Make sure that you have witnessed valid signs that point to a dependency on drugs before making a verdict or approaching your family member.

7 Common Signs of Drug Addiction

  • Moodiness
  • Loss of interest in their usual activities or hobbies
  • Financial problems that are rapidly getting worse
  • Lack of self-care
  • Behavior that is out of character for them
  • Unhealthy appearance
  • Seclusion

If your loved one has exhibited several of these signs, they may have a substance use disorder. Speaking to others within their circle of family and friends is a resourceful way of gathering more facts to support your suspicions. Keep in mind that privacy and trust boundaries should not be crossed. The questions should be general and reflect concern. If anyone within the social circle feels that providing answers will impact their relationship with the suspected loved one, they may refrain from giving you any helpful information.

3 Questions for Those That Spend the Most Time with Your Loved One

  1. When was the last time you seen ?
  2. Do you think has been acting strange?
  3. Have you noticed any changes in physical appearance during the past year?

Together with your observations, the answers you receive will help in determining whether it is time to confront your family member about your concerns.

How to Tactfully Confront a Relative with a Drug Use Disorder

Discussing their drug addiction may be avoided due to denial, shame, or the fear of facing consequences. Your approach should be non-accusatory and non-judgmental. The goal is to provide them with a safe zone that will encourage them to open up.

3 Drug Intervention Questions to Kickstart Communication

  1. ou have been a bit temperamental and distracted for some time now. Is everything okay?
  2. I’ve noticed that you haven’t been participating in your usual activities, you look tired most of the time, and seem worn down. Are you feeling well? Have you seen a doctor?
  3. I hate to see you struggling financially. I would love to help find a way to resolve this problem. Do you know what the cause is?

These conversation starters may or may not get your family member to confess. The probability of a confession will depend on the severity of their addiction, underlying medical conditions, and current state of mind. If they are in denial, professional medical intervention may be needed. Even if a confession is obtained, your family member will require medical experts in the field of substance abuse to help them reach and maintain sobriety. The team of drug abuse experts at our Serenity Recovery Centers has successfully assisted many families throughout their healing journey for over 50 years. With over 20,000 alumni we’ve gratefully earned the trust of many. Your loved one’s treatment plan will be customized to fit their individual mind, body, and spiritual needs. The healing process includes counseling, peer support, detoxification, open communication, and outpatient services to assist with transitioning into a healthy lifestyle. If you have questions or need an experienced medical professional to speak with, give us a call or leave a discreet message.

Need Help?

Are you or a loved one struggling with alcohol or other drugs? Call us to speak confidentially with a recovery expert now: (901) 521-1131 or visit our website

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