When is it time to take my child to rehab?

Having a drug addict or alcoholic can be very frustrating. Families of drug addicts and alcoholics want their loved one to change, but often feel impotent and unable to affect that change.  When there is a drug addict or alcoholic in the family, everyone suffers. Often, it is not just the addict who is dysfunctional, but the entire family dynamic that is unhealthy. Because family members love the person addicted to drugs or alcohol, they unwittingly enable that person to continue using and drinking.

If you have a child who is abusing drugs and alcohol, you may ask yourself “When is it time to take my child to rehab?” Sometimes it is hard to know whether your loved one needs addiction treatment. Drug abusers often try to conceal their symptoms and downplay their problem. There are, however, some physical and behavioral signs that it is time to take your child to rehab that you can recognize. Knowing what to look for is a huge help in determining whether your child is abusing drugs and needs rehab– If you’re familiar with the signs of drug abuse, that knowledge can aid you in you are in a better position to help them admit they have a problem.

The signs that it is time to take your child to rehab can vary depending on the substance that is being abused. Some of the common physical signs of drug abuse include:

-Bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils

-Changes in sleep schedule-staying up for days on end before crashing or sluggish behavior and sleeping constantly

-Cold, sweaty palms or shaking hands

– Extreme hyperactivity and constant talking or extreme sluggishness and laziness

-Runny nose or hacking cough

-Needle marks on lower arm, leg or bottom of feet

-Nausea, vomiting or excessive sweating

-Tremors or shakes of hands, feet or head

-Irregular heartbeat

– Puffy face, blushing or paleness

-Change in appetite-an extreme increase or decrease in appetite, or unexplained weight loss or gain

– Slowed or staggering walk and/or poor physical coordination

Behavioral signs of drug abuse are usually similar no matter what the substance is used. One big sign that it is time to take your child to rehab is a change in personality or attitude for no reason. Many people are baffled when a loved one suddenly becomes moody and angry when they don’t recognize it as a sign of drug abuse.

Another sign that it is time to take your child to rehab is that they tend to isolate. When someone who is abusing drugs does socialize, loved ones may notice that they have started to hang out with a different group of friends and/or have lost interest in activities that they used to enjoy.

Slacking off on responsibilities is also a sign of a drug abuse. It is common for someone abusing drugs to skip school or work, blow off family commitments, and neglect their house work. A person who needs treatment will usually slack off on personal hygiene as well. If your child stops caring about what they look like and begins to exhibit a messy, careless appearance, it may be time to take your child to rehab.

A sudden, excessive need for privacy could be a sign that it is time to take your child to rehab. A person abusing drugs will often disappear while they do drugs. Also, someone who is abusing drugs often becomes extremely protective of their personal space and belongings, often because they are stashing drugs.

Lying is one of the biggest behavioral signs of drug abuse. Many people abusing drugs lie to conceal their drug use, or to conceal amount and frequency of drug use. If your child is lying to you about where they are going, who they are spending time with, or what they are doing when they shirked a responsibility, it may be time to take your child to rehab.

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