• They are hyper, euphoric, irritable or anxious.
  • Also look for weight loss, dry mouth and excessive talking that are followed up by either depression or sleeping at odd times.
  • Long periods of time without sleep or eating might also happen.

It may be hallucinogens like as LSD and PCP if…

  • They have sudden changes in sleep and appetite patterns.
  • Weight loss or gain.
  • Slurred speech or troubled coordination.
  • Absence of grooming habits.
  • Unusual smells on breath, body or clothing.

Recognizing the signs of addiction may be a lot easier than actually confronting a loved one about it.

“I think so many individuals and family members really struggle with how to begin the conversation,” said Audra Stock, division director for the division of services improvement at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Stock, who is also a licensed professional counselor and a master addictions counselor, recommended rehearsing your approach with love and respect in mind. “It’s really important for family members to not approach the person when they might be high or intoxicated. So choosing the time to have the conversation is also important.”

The nature of addiction can involve resistance and denial, and it’s essential to stay encouraged even if initial talks are unsuccessful, or if there is a reluctance to discuss any issues, she added. “It’s important to set limits and not do what we’ve seen in some of the popular shows like interventions where it’s all or nothing.”

It’s also important to be aware of your own sense of safety, physically and emotionally, Stock said. “If their loved one tends towards reactivity or violence, choose a time they think they can be safe to have the conversation.”

Keep in mind that your loved one may be feeling shame or insecurity because of their drug addiction and your approach should be calm and collected. A strong and confrontational approach may prevent them accepting help and could be counter-productive.

“It’s important to set limits and not do what we’ve seen in some of the popular shows like interventions where it’s all or nothing. We don’t want someone to think that their loved one has to hit rock bottom before they get help. That a miss. The sooner someone can get help, they sooner they can start beginning their process of recovery.”

Treatment does work. However, it isn’t always a one-size-fits-all proposition that yields immediate results, according to Stock.  “Recovery is a complicated, twisty path. So just because someone is open to help initially, doesn’t mean that’s going to automatically change, and that they’re going to be better all of a sudden. It takes a while, and it might take multiple times.”