What Should I Do if I Suspect My Loved One is Using Drugs?

Loved one with addiction

Nobody wants to believe someone they love could be using drugs. It’s easy to let panic set in and worst-case scenarios take over your mind. 

Thinking about everything that might go wrong can be scary, but it’s important to remain calm and not let your fears take over. 

Here’s what you should do if you suspect your loved one is using drugs.

Look For the Signs

If you’re suspecting drug use in your loved one, you’ll want to first look out for the general signs. There are both behavioral and physical signs that can indicate drug use or abuse. 

Do you see any physical marks that may have come from injecting drugs? Are their pupils dilated, or do you find them sniffing or sneezing more than usual? Maybe you’ve noticed some changes in their eating or sleeping habits. Perhaps their circle of friends has changed suddenly, or they’ve become a bit more moody or distant than they were before.

On their own, none of these signs necessarily mean an addiction or even drug use is present. However, if you notice a few of them together, it’s something to keep an eye on.

Talk to Them Calmly

If you’ve noticed multiple indicators of drug use in your loved one, you’ll want to confront them to find out what’s going on. Remember, the way you approach the conversation will determine how well it goes.

Don’t accuse your loved one of anything, and do your best to avoid letting the conversation turn into a fight. Letting fear control your tone will only succeed in making things worse.

Instead, approach the conversation positively, respectfully, and calmly. Communicate to your loved one that you care about them, and you only want to see them happy and healthy. If your partner chooses to open up to you, listen.

If the conversation doesn’t go well and your loved one starts to get defensive or you start getting angry, know when you need to take a time out and come back to it another time.

Encourage Them to Get Help if Needed

If your loved one has admitted to using drugs, work with them to determine the severity of their problem. Figure out whether they require some sort of help or treatment. If they don’t seem to be in control of their actions and can’t stop using whenever they want, they’re likely addicted.

Treatment is needed to cure an addiction, and can help your loved one recover for life.

However, encouraging your loved one to seek treatment is another difficult conversation that must be approached delicately. You can’t force him or her into treatment – all you can do is encourage them to decide for themselves whether they want to get help for their addiction.

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