By now, we all know somebody with a drug or alcohol problem. It might even be you. The chances of not knowing such a person are slim, and ever diminishing. The NIH puts the number of people needing help with addiction at 23.5 million. That’s 9.3% of the US population age 12 and over. And that is just what is being reported. If you know more than ten people, you know someone who needs help with addiction.
We all know people who are recreational drinkers and drug users. What we don’t always know is when that activity crosses the line from innocent fun to problematic, to crisis behavior. Sometimes, we all need help, But how can we tell when that time has come? Here are the signs that should never be ignored:
When We Have Reached the End of Our Ability to Help:
There comes a point when we have reached the end of our rope, our wit’s end, our last straw, our breaking point, and any other metaphor that suggests we have gone as far as we can on our own. While it is a frustrating state of being, it is also one of the surest signs that it is time to seek outside help.
Sandy’s Place is a treatment center that specializes in substance abuse recovery for women. They observe the following:
The aspects of a woman’s life that lead her to seek treatment are complex and customized treatment for each individual is necessary to achieve the greatest chance of success.
There are any number of reasons that will move someone to seek treatment. A repeated failure to reach one’s life goals is surely one such factor. The inability to maintain a loving relationship has got to be another. But all of these motivations are a subset of the main issue. The person in need of treatment can’t get any further on their own.
The same thing applies to a person who is concerned about a loved one. If you have a spouse or close friend who has a drug or alcohol problem beyond your ability to help, then it is time to call in professional help. When you have done all you can, it is time to pass the baton off to someone who can do more.
When It Interferes with Your Ability to Hold a Job:
Addiction affects performance at work. Some of the early visible signs of a problem are:
- Arrives late after lunch
- Leaves work early
- Overreacts to criticism
- Always feels sick
These signs are not unique to addiction. They can also be seen in people who are unhappy with their job for any number of reasons. The point is, when someone starts demonstrating these signs, it should raise red flags. Not only should the affected person be concerned, the supervisors should be concerned, along with coworkers, friends, and family members.
By the time a person starts showing up to work inebriated, it is too late to catch the problem early. They are already into middle or even late stage addiction. For the best possibility of a speedy recovery, be ready to act at the early warning signs. Don’t wait for the problem to advance.
When Your Friends and Family Don’t Want to Be Around You:
At best, there is a diminishingly small percentage of the world’s population that will ever come to love you. That is due in no small part to the fact that only a diminishingly small percentage of the population will ever be in a position to meet you, and form a relationship with you.
It is a clear sign of trouble that the relatively few people in the world who genuinely care about you, no longer want to be around you anymore. Whether or not you want to admit it, you have a problem.
Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options. You do not have to be alienated from your family and friends forever. Sometimes we all need a little help. That time is when we can no longer help ourselves, when we can no longer hold a job, and when the people who care about us the most no longer want to be around us.