How to Identify Drug Abuse in a Family Member

For many people, drug or alcohol addiction starts innocently with experimental use in social settings. Family members typically don’t worry about some experimentation, as this can be a ‘normal’ part of growing up. However, some teens are at a higher risk for addiction and gradually move past normal experimentation and into more regular drug use.

If this is the situation you’re facing, you’re probably wondering how you can identify drug and alcohol use in your loved one. After all, people who are addicted can be very effective manipulators. They lie to cover up their behavior and avoid facing their addiction.

Let’s look at some of the ways that you can identify substance abuse in your family member. It’s important to get the facts before confronting them about a Newport Beach drug detox program.

How Does Drug Use Typically Start?

Substance abuse typically begins in adolescence when teens start experimenting with various drugs and alcohol in social settings. Some children start abusing drugs before high school, around the ages of 12 and 13. Sadly, the sooner a person starts using drugs, the higher their risk for addiction.

The most commonly abused drugs among preteens and teens are marijuana, alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs like anti-anxiety meds and sedatives. For some teens, their substance use progresses to other drugs like cocaine or ecstasy.

Opioids are a bit different. This addiction usually starts with a prescription painkiller, such as after a procedure or sports injury. The person will then start taking higher doses of pain medication to get the same effects. When they can no longer get prescription opioids, some move onto harder drugs like heroin.

What are the Signs that Someone is Abusing Drugs?

It’s important to know how drug use progresses because this will help you understand the trajectory that families go through. No one wakes up one morning and discovers that their loved one is suddenly using drugs. It’s a progression that starts with some experimentation (which you may or may not be aware of) and evolves into more frequent and debilitating drug use.

When looking for signs of drug abuse in a person, it’s helpful to know that there are physical, emotional, behavioral and social changes. These signs and symptoms may vary based on the drugs the person is using. For example, methamphetamines give the body a rush of energy, pleasure and euphoria. Alcohol is a depressant that causes people to feel drowsy and uncoordinated.

Below are some of the signs that your family member may be ready for a luxury drug rehab in Newport Beach.

Physical changes

Physical changes are often some of the first signs that something is wrong. As a person spends more time using drugs, they begin to neglect their hygiene habits, as well as their sleeping, eating and exercise routines. As a result, you may notice that your loved one looks malnourished.

Let’s look in more detail at some of the physical changes to be aware of:

  • Glassy, red eyes, a lack of motivation and periods of laughter can indicate marijuana use.
  • Drugs like cocaine and crystal meth often cause patterns of euphoria and hyperactivity, followed by excessive sleep or feelings of depression.
  • Drugs like barbiturates, tranquilizers and alcohol often cause coordination problems, slurred sleep, a lack of judgment and overall tiredness.
  • Heroin is a hard drug that typically results in sweating, twitching, vomiting, a loss of appetite and unusual sleeping habits. Needle marks are also common.
  • Hallucinogens like LSD generally show up in behavioral ways, such as paranoia, aggression or confusion. A person might also have dilated pupils.

Behavioral and psychological changes

Behavioral changes are common with addiction because drug use affects the brain. In fact, repeated drug use can cause long-term brain damage, making it difficult to quit. Keep in mind that behavioral symptoms can also be a sign of a co-occurring mental health condition. The addiction may be the driving force behind it, or the person may be using drugs to cope with the symptoms.

Common behavioral changes in people with addiction are:

  • Losing interest in hobbies and activities that were once important, as well as a change in friends
  • Becoming depressed and developing a negative outlook on life
  • Uncharacteristic mood swings and personality shifts, including nervousness, anxiety, irritability and emotional outbursts
  • Changes in work or academic performance
  • Secretiveness and dishonesty, especially when being questioned about their whereabouts
  • Attitudes of combativeness and defensiveness

Where to Find Help for a Person with Drug Addiction

It’s important to point out that addiction treatment in Newport Beach is continuum-based, meaning that you don’t have to wait until your family member hits rock bottom to access care. Even if your loved one has a mild addiction, they can still enter a treatment program and get the support they need to kick their habit and lead a healthy life.

Newport Beach Recovery Center provides detox, residential and outpatient treatment services. As clients progress through our program, they can “step down” to lower levels of care. Everything is done under one roof, giving you the peace of mind that your loved one is receiving personalized and consistent care from one dedicated treatment team.

If you believe that your family member is abusing drugs, contact Newport Beach Recovery Center today. We can verify your insurance and prepare you for the intake process so that you can confront them with confidence.

Can Family Visit Me in Residential Drug Treatment?

Residential treatment is a great option for individuals suffering from addiction. Unlike outpatient treatment where clients return home in between treatment sessions, residential rehab requires clients to stay at the facility. Clients generally reside at the treatment center for about one month and have access to around-the-clock care and supervision.

There are many benefits to choosing a residential treatment center in Newport Beach. The setting provided is safe and supportive, and it removes common triggers that can set people in recovery back. Clients are able to focus all of their attention on getting sober while working through some of their issues in therapy.

Even though there are many advantages to choosing a residential rehab, it is a commitment in terms of time and cost. One of the first questions that clients ask is if their family can come and visit, and if so, how often. This is a great question to ask, as family participation is a key part of the recovery process.

Are Family and Friends Allowed to Visit Me?

Each Newport Beach drug rehab program is run differently, so it’s important to check with their rules first. But in general, most residential treatment centers allow visitors during certain times. Typically, it’s only immediate family members that are allowed to visit, but some rehabs welcome friends as well, providing they are approved by the client and therapist.

While treatment facilities are generally welcoming to visitors, there are some restrictions to be aware of. First, family members will only be allowed during visiting hours. Many treatment centers offer these hours on a set day each week. They don’t typically offer them on a daily basis because this would interfere with therapy.

Second, treatment centers reserve the right to accept only those who are a good influence on your recovery. If your therapist feels that one of your family members is upsetting you, they may no longer be able to visit. Again, this depends on the treatment center, but do keep in mind that only people who support your recovery should be coming to visit.

Lastly, your loved ones will have to follow the drug rehab’s rules. Usually this includes:

  • Getting the visit approved (this is typically done by your therapist)
  • Staying in the designated visitor areas
  • Smoking only in the designated areas (if allowed)
  • No drugs or alcohol allowed

Also check with the latest coronavirus policies, as these can change at any time. If visitors are restricted due to coronavirus, the treatment center should offer an alternative so that you can see your loved ones face to face, such as telephone calls and videoconferencing.

How Soon Can My Family Visit Me?

Most treatment centers do not allow family members to visit right away. If you are going to need drug or alcohol detox, you won’t be able to have visitors during this time due to the nature of the withdrawal process. This process is physically and emotionally exhausting.

Also, some detox centers in Newport Beach also have a ‘blackout period’ where family and friends are not allowed to visit. This period usually refers to the first few days at the treatment center when you are getting acclimated to your new environment. Again, the purpose of restricting visitors is to allow you to adjust to treatment without any distraction.

Newport Beach Drug Rehab and Family Therapy

Family plays a significant role in the addiction recovery process. However, in order for family members to be a positive influence on their loved one’s recovery, they must be able to maintain a healthy role within the family unit. This is where family therapy can be very helpful.

Addiction doesn’t just affect the individual – it affects the entire family. For this reason, families need therapy, too. They need to assume healthy roles and behaviors that encourage and support recovery. Most treatment facilities offer family therapy, which is another opportunity for families and loved ones to come together and work through their challenges.

Be sure to ask your drug rehab about family therapy and how often it’s offered. Generally speaking, family therapy is provided once a week.

When Visits are a Bad Idea

There are some instances where getting visits from a friend or family member is not a good idea. Avoid visits from anyone who is currently abusing drugs or alcohol. Staying clean around you is essential.

Also, your therapist may not approve a visit depending on how you’re progressing through the program. This is not to ‘punish’ you but rather to allow you to focus solely on your recovery. Sometimes, therapists find that having visitors does more harm than good.

Getting Help for a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Family support leads to improved outcomes for people in recovery. Therefore, most treatment centers are welcoming to immediate family members (and sometimes close friends and extended family members). However, it’s important to follow the rules and be respectful of changing policies due to coronavirus.

Newport Beach Recovery Center is an inpatient drug rehab in Orange County. We know how important family is, and we welcome them during our visitation hours. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment program and how we can help you overcome your addiction to drugs or alcohol.