If someone you know is struggling with drugs, alcohol or another addiction, you’re not alone. There are over 20 million people in the United States, who are addicted to substances or alcohol. Roughly 2.6 million people have reported that these drugs cause a dependence, while 9.4 million people have stated that they drive under the influence of drugs. Most users who begin drugs do so before the age of 18.
If you’re concerned a friend is showing signs of drug addiction, check for the following signs and symptoms:
• They mention they cannot stop using the drug.
• Your friend cannot maintain basic daily activities, cannot engage in healthy relationships, and often spends time getting the drug or partaking in its use.
• Your friend experiences withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are different for each drug but can include anxiety, depression, fatigue, vomiting and potentially seizures.
• Your friend drastically changes behaviors. These behaviors may affect their friendships, household, or professional life. Many people lose their job due to drug abuse.
What to Do If You Are Addicted to Alcohol or Drugs?
1. Seek treatment. Know that some addictions can have very dangerous withdrawals. If you are withdrawing from a drug, see if you should go to the hospital to properly detox.
2. Call 911 if you are in immediate danger of harming yourself or someone else. Alternatively, go to an urgent care or emergency room. This will help prevent you from doing something that could impact your future.
3. Look into completing a detox program. Take the time to find drug detox centers in your area to find the best one for your specific situation. This is critical to help avoid relapse. Every legitimate detox program should have trained professionals to help you recover on your journey.
4. Ask for support from friends and family. It can be challenging to go through something like this, but it is possible to recover from it. Having proper support and guidance to make it through is what will help.
What to Do Someone You Know Admits to Being Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol?
It’s difficult to know what to do when someone admits to being addicted to drugs or alcohol. Here are some immediate next steps that you can take to get them help.
1. Talk to your friend. Tell them that you are concerned. Ask them if you can be of help and how you can help. Make sure to get others involved if you can; it is difficult to have a friend who is suffering from addiction.
2. If you are worried about your friend’s immediate safety and believe they are at risk of serious harm or danger, call 911 or your local non-emergency police number and request a welfare check.
3. Talk to your friend about rehab centers. There is no shame in asking for help. Encourage your friend to seek treatment. Talk to them about the costs and have them work with the center to come up with a way to pay for treatment.
Avoiding relapse is difficult to do, but possible. The help of professionals is extremely important for someone who is looking to recover from a drug or alcohol addiction.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, get help. Help is available and affordable. Come up with a plan, find drug detox centers, and work towards your recovery.