Substance abuse is an ever-growing concern, with nearly 19 million United States adults suffering some type of addiction. Unfortunately, for many people struggling with addiction, the problem is further complicated by co-occurring disorders. Combined, the two issues frequently lead sufferers to make rash decisions. These negatively impact friends, family, home life, work commitments, and many other life obligations. If you suspect you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, pay attention to habits and behaviors. Knowing the signs of addiction is the first step in learning how to help an addict take back control of their life.

Warning Signs of Substance Addiction

When someone is living with addiction, they typically exhibit several red flags that, if you pay attention, are easy to spot. However, some individuals may take the opposite route, hiding their addiction from friends and loved ones for fear of discovery and judgment. Though certain warning signs may not be observable because they are internal experiences for the affected individual, highly evident warning signs include:

  • Neglecting work duties, schoolwork, family obligations, or finances
  • Stealing property or money to purchase drugs or alcohol
  • Lying about substance use or quantity of use
  • Significant negative emotional response when friends and family inquire about the person’s substance use
  • Appearing under the influence of a substance more frequently than normal
  • Poor hygiene and neglected health
  • Withdrawal symptoms when the person is not able to acquire the substance

Do any of the above warning signs sound familiar, either for you or someone you love? If so, you’ve likely wondered—probably daily—how to help an addict. Good news! Below, we’ve listed three things you can do immediately to help yourself or a loved one begin the process of recovery.

#1: Make Trust the Foundation

Trust is a foundational pillar of addiction recovery, so the first thing you must do is develop a sense of trust, either with the person you’re trying to help or with yourself. Establishing trust helps the affected individual begin to think about change in a new light, which ultimately allows the person to move toward the healthy habits necessary to overcome addiction.

To establish a strong sense of trust, avoid damaging behaviors such as criticizing, lecturing, nagging, yelling, controlling, and name-calling. These actions destroy trust while simultaneously creating stress that may further the addictive behavior, especially if the person turns to drugs or alcohol to handle stressors in daily life.

#2: Communicate Clearly

Be honest when you communicate with someone who struggles with addiction. Ultimately, the person cannot make a change unless they truly desire to change, but it’s 100% okay to express the fact that you’re worried about their well-being!

Those struggling with addiction are much more likely to consider changing or getting help when you express—honestly, and from the heart—that addiction is a serious, potentially life-threatening problem. And, more importantly, changing the behavior is critical for their long-term health and happiness.

#3: Reach Out for Professional Help

If you’re wondering how to help an addict, the best way to do it is to reach out for professional addiction treatment. At a dedicated recovery center, professionals with extensive experience in psychology, medicine, therapy, and healthcare work as a team to help the affected individual regain control of their habits and their life. At Westwind Recovery®, we’re committed to helping individuals overcome their addictive behaviors through a variety of specialized treatment programs, including:

Wondering How To Help an Addict? Get the Help & Support You Need at Westwind Recovery®

If you or someone you love struggles with addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team at Westwind Recovery® is ready to help. You don’t have to live another day grappling with substance dependence. Our compassionate team is here to guide you on your healing journey every step of the way. At Westwind Recovery®, our mission is to make recovery possible for everyone. So no matter what you’re struggling with right now, we can make recovery possible for you, too.  To learn more about our addiction treatment programs and how we can help you take back control of your life and happiness, give our team a call at 855.340.8832.