Dr. Cali Estes - The Addiction Coach ®

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How To Spot Drug Abuse in a Loved One

“What are the signs that I can look for that my loved one may be heading down a long road of drug abuse? ”

There are many different signs pointing to this abusive behavior but I would like to focus on a few of the beginning signs.

The first sign, in my opinion, that shows itself is the change in personality.  In the case of a teen beginning to experiment with drugs or alcohol he or she may begin to alienate themselves from social groups that they were once happy to be a part of.  The young user often times will also become very secretive in what they are doing and with whom they are doing it.  Another change in the person’s personality is becoming easily agitated or irritated.  These signs in personality changes in young people are harder to isolate because they are much the same as if the youngster was going through puberty.  These personality changes are the same in adult users and are much easier to isolate and identify because the adults personality has been primarily the same for a long period of time.

The next sign to look for would be sudden and unexplainable money issues.  For example, a young man making $60,000 a year with a rent payment of $1000 and no kids shouldn’t be constantly broke.  “Money in…..Money out.”  It’s that simple.  Monitor your young loved one’s request for cash as much as possible.

The biggest signs in my opinion are the physical ones.  The obvious weight loss sign is a biggie.  Sudden and unexplainable weight loss goes hand in hand with cocaine, meth and a lot of the uppers.  On the flip side, sudden and unexplainable weight gain can also be a sign of opiate abuse.  Skin blemishes are another big physical sign.  Certain opiates and narcotics make the skin itch, especially on the arms.  Meth causes the user to “pick” at themselves, usually their face.  This makes me think abuse is easy to spot.  Keep in mind that once you start seeing physical signs of drug abuse this abuse has been going on for some time.

I started with the personality changes because that is what is usually seen first.  Then comes the financial issues that seem to be unexplainable and followed by the physical signs that tell me that the abuse is far into its pattern.  Keep an eye out for these signs if you suspect your loved one of using drugs and contact a professional to help you in your fight to keep your loved one clean and alive.

Reach Cali Estes, The Addictions Coach at 1.800.706.0318 or visit www.theaddictionscoach.com

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