Posted on March 31, 2020 by Origins Behavioral HealthCare
Alcoholism, drug addiction, and substance use disorders lead to – and flourish in – isolation and secrecy. But, as people with addiction are forced to quarantine with their loved one, signs of substance use that may have been hidden from view come to the forefront. Substance use is often the central organizing principle of a person’s life, and this does not stop when liquor stores close, drugs are less accessible, or social distancing orders are put into effect. Friends and family who do not share the addiction may begin to question their loved one’s actions and lead to a crucial moment of realization about their loved one’s mental health. Today we will look at some of the behaviors you may recognize and address the vital question: “Should I still help my loved one seek treatment during COVID-19 pandemic?”
Recognizing an addiction problem in someone you love can be harder than it seems. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction as a chronic disease that affects the brain’s reward, motivation, and memory functions. Someone with an addiction will obsess about their substance of (no) choice, and their behavior will reflect this overwhelming desire – even amid a national health crisis.
These signs are often linked and can be intertwined. Depending on the intensity of each sign, it may indicate how long the addiction has been going on.
In the early stages of substance use or milder forms of a substance use disorder, a person might not show prominent signs of a full-blown addiction. These behaviors may become more easily recognizable when you spend the entire day with a person.
Although behaviors such as drinking seem to be socially common, it is crucial to determine if the underlying cause is an experimental phase, form of stress management, or something greater. A true substance use disorder, if left untreated, can develop into the debilitating mental health disorder of addiction. If you begin to notice some of these signs, reaching out to a mental health professional can be a necessary first step toward recovery for your loved one.
As substance use progresses, what might seem infrequent at first can rapidly develop into something more noticeable. Over time, a person with addiction will most likely exhibit extensive personality or behavioral changes that may be more noticeable.
As the healthcare crisis forces people close quarters, hiding an addiction becomes increasingly difficult. You may notice your loved one‘s mental health deteriorate as the days stretch out. An increase in unhealthy or isolative behaviors – even within the home itself – can become the norm. Watch for these changes and prepare to take action.
Origins Behavioral HealthCare is a well-known provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 844-843-8935.