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Signs Your Loved One is Struggling With a Substance Use Disorder

Family Recovery | February 6, 2019
A woman holding her head and looking confused

A substance use disorder (SUD) doesn’t develop overnight. Whatever the reason a person begins taking these substances, whether prescribed or recreationally, they can develop tolerance and dependence. Sometimes before they even realize it. Once a full-on dependency develops, it can be very hard to stop using substances without professional treatment. A substance use disorder wreaks havoc on both your mind and body and in some cases can be deadly. There is no shame in admitting you or a loved one need treatment for a use disorder. There are many signs that point to an individual with a substance use disorder, both physical and behavioral and the BALM is here to help you get the resources and help you need to help your whole family recover.

Physical symptoms

Some of the most noticeable signs of SUD are physical. Your body’s tolerance to a substance increases when it is used for a long enough period of time that increased amounts or strengths are needed to produce the effects. If someone is using a substance to achieve a high, they may have to increase the amount to achieve the high, risking a potentially fatal overdose. Some of these physical signs may include:

  • Glazed/bloodshot eyes
  • Dilated or constricted pupils
  • Abrupt weight change
  • Too much or too little sleeping

Physical signs may vary depending on the substance being used.

Behavioral symptoms

SUD can also lead to a significant change in a person’s habits and behavior. Certain substances impair the brain’s ability to focus and think clearly. Some behavioral symptoms include:

  • Increase in aggression or irritability
  • Changes in attitude or personality
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Sudden changes in social relationships
  • Dramatic changes in priorities or habits
  • Becoming involved in criminal activity

What to do if you suspect your loved one is struggling

Trust your instincts. If you notice a significant change in your loved one, either physical or behavioral, odds are something is amiss. As you study the BALM 7 Steps,  you will learn how to start paying more attention to little things and and how to keep track of changes over time. This can play a critical role in helping them wake up from their SUD denial.

It’s important to have solid reasoning before talking to your loved one.  Someone struggling with SUD will lie and cover their tracks to be able to keep using, so if you have the evidence in front of you, it will be easier to navigate through any lies they might tell you.  The BALM process will teach you how to believe your eyes and ears and not your loved ones words, which, by nature of their hijacked brain, will most likely be filled with untruths.

Learning to recognize these symptoms of SUD can help identify if a loved one is struggling and help prevent further progression.

Prevention is early intervention. Don’t wait until you have a medical emergency on your hands. By engaging a BALM coach and joining the BALM Comprehensive, you will gain one on one support,  along with the information and transformation that will empower you to most effectively move your family toward recovery.

Call us at 1(888)-998-2256 (option 3) to learn more about how the BALM can help you help your struggling loved ones.