Not all drug and alcohol use indicates that there is a problem and not all drugs are addictive.
For most adults and young people drug and/or alcohol use is often recreational and does not develop into an addiction or dependency. However, there can be some keys pointers that may suggest that the drug use has moved from recreational use to a more addictive and habit forming pattern.
- Has the person’s mood, sleep, appetite, appearance changed?
- Has the person done things they would not usually e.g. lie/steal?
- Has the person failed to stop using the drug e.g. beginning to use during the week?
- Has the person become secretive, confrontational, withdrawn?
- Has the person got less money, in debt?
- Has the person got new friends?
- Stop and think about what you want to say as to avoid a confrontation or to appear that you are ‘nagging’
- Give examples about the changes you are seeing e.g. I notice that you rarely have money straight after pay day
- Be open and honest about the impact their drug use is having on the family, friendship etc
- Be supportive & listen
- Get support for yourself – we offer a family support service countywide. Please refer to the centre closest to you for more information.
Recognising the Problem
Not everyone with a drug and/or alcohol problem will be able to recognise it; they can be in denial or simply don’t believe that it’s an issue. This can be a worrying and frustrating time for family and friends, you may not always know what to say or do for the best. The person with the problem may not want to listen to what you have to say which can be very difficult and lead to arguments or stress within the relationship.
Getting the right help & support
With the right help and support, many drug and alcohol users are able to make changes to their drug and alcohol use before any serious harm has been done to them, or to their family and friends. Other drug and alcohol users have to hit rock bottom before they can see the harm and damage they are doing and start addressing their drug use. Change looks different for everyone and the time is takes to make changes can also vary from person to person.
There are a number of ways to get the information you need to help your friend.
You or your friend can call any of the Cadas Centres for confidential advice, to find out what services we can offer and how to access them.
Tel: 01228 544140
Tel: 01229 811111
Tel: 0300 111 4002
Tel: 0300 111 4002
OR e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You may want to know more about the drug by exploring FRANK’s A-Z of drugs or explore the links to other national and local organisations which may also be able to help: