Signs to Know When It’s Time to Get a Loved One Help

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

When someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you can be the person who steps in and offers help. How can you know if they’re at the point where they need help, though? Here are some signs that it’s time to say something.

What Are Some Social Signs That Someone May Need Help?

There are many signs that you may see that make you think something is wrong with a friend or loved one. These signs aren’t necessarily suggesting that the person is using drugs or alcohol, but they can be a sign of drug or alcohol abuse.

They’re Neglecting Responsibilities

The first thing you may notice is that the person is neglecting their responsibilities. For instance, if they’re always on time for work at 8:00 a.m., suddenly rarely seeing them on time could mean something is going on. Of course, there can be many reasons for changes in behavior, so you can ask and see if your colleague, family member, or friend wants to talk. If not, look out for other signs and symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse.

They’re Taking Unusual Risks

A sign that someone is using drugs or drinking alcohol could be that they’re taking unusual risks. Some people react to drugs and alcohol by losing their inhibitions, which can make them take unnecessary risks that could result in serious harm coming to themselves or others. For instance, a person who is struggling with alcohol abuse might get into their vehicle and drive, potentially causing a drunk-driving accident. If you see this kind of behavior, it could be a sign that your loved one needs help with an addiction.

They’re Struggling with Legal Trouble

If your loved one doesn’t normally have legal trouble and there’s no real explanation for a sudden onslaught of court dates or arrests, drugs or alcohol could be the cause.

Their Relationships are Faltering

When people begin using drugs and alcohol, they tend to hang out with others who do the same. They may withdraw from their social circles and see less of their families or friends. Isolation can be a major indication that a person is struggling with addiction, so it’s something you should always look for if you’re concerned.

girl passed out with weed

What Are Some Physical Signs of Drug or Alcohol Abuse?

There are also some physical signs of drug or alcohol abuse that you can be on the lookout for. These signs and symptoms can give away the fact that someone is struggling with substance abuse, particularly if they feel the need to avoid going out for fear of withdrawal or other issues. Some physical signs include:

  • Tolerances
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Panicking without access to drugs or alcohol
  • Taking drugs or alcohol despite illness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mental health concerns
  • Unusual mood swings and behaviors

When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the first major sign is called a tolerance. This is the body’s ability to adjust to the intake of drugs or alcohol, which makes the drugs or alcohol less potent. When a tolerance develops, the person needs to use more than in the past to achieve the same high.

Another side effect of a tolerance and substance abuse is the potential for very serious withdrawal symptoms. When the body gets used to drugs or alcohol being in it, it begins to crave and even need those substances to work correctly. For example, if someone drinks four shots a day every day, his body will begin to adjust to that level of alcohol intake. After several weeks, he may find he needs to drink five or six shots of alcohol to achieve the desired feeling. Unfortunately, this adjustment doesn’t mean the body can actually handle more alcohol, it just means the physical effects aren’t as pronounced. That’s why some people who can binge drink or drink heavily may not recognize when they’ve had too much and then suffer from alcohol poisoning or overdose.

What Can I Do If Someone I Know Needs Drug or Alcohol Addiction Counseling?

If you believe someone you know is struggling with an addiction, it’s important to take steps toward helping them. It’s possible that you may be able to speak with your loved one and find out what’s going on, which works in some cases. However, if that won’t work well for you, then you may want to consider speaking to a recovery clinic about an intervention or finding out more about programs that would suit the needs of your loved one. You can visit our helpful service online at to learn more about drug and alcohol addiction, or call our specialists today to learn more by dialing 1-844-489-0836. Drug and alcohol addiction can be managed, and sobriety is possible.

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