How To Approach a Substance-Abusing Family Member

It is a well-known fact that substance abuse has many negative implications on the life of an individual. It not only destroys the individual but also creates havoc in the family of the abuser. Anybody in a family can get into this harmful habit. It can be a son, daughter, parent or spouse. Dealing with a substance-abusing family member is a very sensitive issue. Even a minor mistake can destroy the relationships as well as the individual.

Here are some ways you can approach a substance-abusing family member:

Confirm the usage – Once you observe these signs or symptoms, immediately go for drug testing to confirm substance abuse. It will be easy for you to help the individual come out of this harmful habit if you detect the drug abuse in early stages. Various easy-to-use drug testing kits are available in the market today. You can use them comfortably at your home. Remember, there are approved test kits that give accurate and quick results.

Deal with yourself first -The shock of being made aware that there’s a drug addict in your family will cause the addiction to immediately begin working at destroying the family bond, beginning with you. You will be in no position to help that family member until you can help yourself to get past the initial shock of their addiction. How you deal with your own emotions will directly affect how you approach that addicted family member, so the first thing you need to do is to get over it. You may not like the fact that your husband is addicted, but it is what it is. Now that you see the situation for what it is, move quickly to the next step.

Find middle ground -substance abuse has nothing in common with family. The two are at opposite ends of the field. Finding a place of commonality is the only way to ensure that you will be able to communicate with a drug abuser, so do not waste time finding it. Begin looking for something, anything that you might have in common with the addicted person and use it as a tool to win back their affection. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will become.

-Re-establishing a bond is the only way to bridge the void between understanding and addiction. A good place to start is by being sensitive to the strange behavior of the addicted family member. You must realize that they are not the same person you once knew because they have undergone chemical changes in their mind and body.

-Try to support the individual – If the individual tests positive for substance abuse, the most important thing you need to do is to provide him ample support in the process of quitting the habit. Drug abusers will have an uncontrollable desire to abuse drugs. Only family’s support can make their mind stay away from drug abuse. The whole family should support the individual during the recovery process.

-Work with him/her to find a solution – As a family member, you should discuss the harmful effects of substance abuse and figure out a solution to help the individual get rid of the habit. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different ways of coping with the habit and help him/her in finding the best way to avoid the harmful habit. Generally, drug abusers struggle during the recovery process. But when external support and guidance is provided, they feel confident and will overcome the habit easily. Do not go discussing their drug problem with other family members.

Lastly, if you see they are really in danger, you may want to seek professional help in the form of an intervention. It may seem cruel at the time, but in the end, you should be concerned what is in the best interest of the patient. It is better safe than sorry. Down the road, they will probably forgive give you. You will have saved their life.

Family’s support is not negotiable when it comes to dealing with a substance abuser. It is the responsibility of every member of the family to identify and help the substance abusing individual. Good support, love, care and help from friends and family can be enough to stop the train wreck before it happens. It can be enough to save a person from their own distorted desires.

How To Know Your Partner Is An Alcoholic

It is not as easy as you think to recognize that the person that is the closest to you is an alcoholic. To actually get to grips with the situation in which your partner’s drinking problem comes to light can be as stressful for you as it is for your partner admitting to his alcoholism.

The first step is looking for patterns in their drinking habits. Do they drink every day? Every weekend? Only on Sundays? Do they drink because the kids were screaming all day? Is their job particularly stressful that day?

As we all know, an occasional social drink and drinking to forget a stressful situation are two separate entities. Someone who is clearly drinking to relieve stress is to be considered a potential alcoholic. If your spouse is consistently having to have a few drinks after work just to relax, most likely they are having alcohol dependency problems.

Another common ground feature amongst alcoholics is that they will always lay the blame on somebody else for their problems. Either their boss gets under their skin, their wife’s a nag or money (or the lack of it) are just some of the common causes. The outcome tends to be to just drink those problems away instead of dealing with them, so my question to you is…”Does your spouse put the blame on others for his or her perceived problems?”

One of the sadder aspects of this disease is how it affects the whole family in general, as an alcoholic will avoid all his family commitments. If you feel that the financial burden is falling upon you and that your partner is not responding, then should just try and work out how much of the family budget is being diverted to alcohol.

Handling An Alcoholic Spouse

Alcoholism doesn’t only affect the person experiencing it but the individuals who are surrounding him as well. Having a member of the family who’s under the power of alcohol is not easy especially if he’s your spouse. You can’t force him to stop even if you are his wife. The best way to deal with it is via therapeutic communication.

1. Always bear in mind that your spouse has become a slave to alcohol. It’s a craving he can’t stop without help. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcoholics need to drink alcohol as they need to drink water. Understanding your husband’s situation is the key to a successful intervention.

2. Be honest about your spouse’s condition. Don’t cover up his/her weaknesses to other people. Do not let one draw the conclusion that you support him/her in his/her addiction. Let your partner face the results of his/her actions. This will help him/her realize that he/she has a problem.

3. Tell your partner how his/her drinking problem affects you and your relationship. Tell him/her about how you feel about it. Do this when your partner is sober. Always assure him/her that you care so much for him/her that is why you are telling this to him/her.

4. Motivate your spouse to receive treatment. After explaining about the positive results of the treatment process, ask him/her if he/she wants to seek help. Your spouse could meet with a counselor or he/she could be admitted in any alcohol rehab centers near you. Talk to a self-help group like Alcoholic Anonymous which could help your partner in his/her journey to recovery. This could help one remain sober through the aid of people who have the same experiences.

5. Visit a psychologist to aid you in the recovery from mental or physical abuse that your alcoholic spouse has given you. Do this even if your partner isn’t receiving treatment. It will help you cope with the stressful situation you are now and help you communicate effectively to your partner.

6. To know what your partner is going through is to attend Alcoholic Anonymous or go to alcohol rehabilitation centers. You will listen to the experiences of alcoholics about what they feel thus giving you a clearer picture of what your partner is experiencing.

7. Give yourself a break. Do not let your spouse’s alcoholism hinder you from being happy. Go out and enjoy the company of your loved ones and friends. You can do outreach programs or perhaps help your community in a project. Do not concentrate on your stressful situation.

Ways To Tell if Your Employee Has a Substance Abuse Problem

1.Becoming unsociable. Heavy drinkers are not generally social consumers; rather, they want to drink alone. The general population who are living with a heavy drinker would in some cases see that the desire to drink has turned out to be strong to the point that the alcoholic thinks that it’s difficult to center or consider whatever else. Truth be told, they may abstain from hanging out with family and companions unless the occasion or festivity really includes liquor.

2. Changes in appearance and wellbeing. When living with a heavy drinker you should recall that liquor is a medication and for drunkards, the cerebrum winds up plainly subject to the medication after some time. As the yearnings propel nausea, tremors, touchiness, loss of coordination and other physical alcoholic symptoms may happen. The eyes can end up plainly indented and red-rimmed while the skin can end up noticeably pallid and can include dry layered patches. Numerous heavy drinkers will lose a lot of weight. Heavy drinkers additionally tend to disregard their physical appearance and may have shaggy whiskers, raggedy hair and wear crumpled ill-fitting cloth.

3. Dangerous practices. As the illness advances, you can see changes in the conduct of somebody in the holds of a liquor abuse. These adjustments in conduct are certain indications of liquor abuse. They may get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence even when they are dealing with legal consequences; they may neglect to appear to work or get the children from school and will regularly not have a substantial purpose behind their nonattendance.

4. Loss of memory. This is one of the propelled indications of liquor addiction. When drinking a lot of liquor, somebody with a liquor habit can end up noticeably oblivious and will frequently wake up with no thought of what they did. Some may recollect their activities yet feel remorseful or remorseful over what their fixation on liquor drives them to do. While under the grasp of the medication, a heavy drinker’s identity can change, making them turn out to be verbally or physically forceful.

Identifying Employee Substance Abuse

As a business owner or supervisor, you should have the ability to identify people subtly. At times you’ll find dealing with many different employee personalities can be chaotic. Even more so, being busy with so many daily tasks you may be missing the warning signs of substance abuse by one of your workers.

Let’s be positive and bring some clarity to this. If you suspect an employee of substance abuse, find out what led you to such a thoughts? On a close check, you may find issues such as absenteeism, risky behavior, unusual physical signs, etc. Below are ways to tell if your employee has a substance abuse problem.

i) Declining work performance.

Healthy employees, both bodily and mentally fit, are a boon to your business because of their performance at work. A healthy employee abides by the employee code of behavior set by the company. However, everything goes astray once your employee’s overall performance fades. You might be upset at such a drop in production and would be forced to take it with more caution. The employee who was reliable is now a late-comer, remains absent for many days or leaves earlier, takes long breaks for taking meals, likes staying alone, cannot concentrate on work, makes wrong judgments. All this leads to a drastic drop in production – a warning sign of drug and substance abuse.

ii) Increased and unreasonable absenteeism.

An employee stays away from the workplace in a day or during a shift, and you do not get a reasonable explanation for it. The employee fails to account for his character because his general temperament becomes unpredictable; may lie to the supervisors and reply awkwardly; finds fault with others including his/her spouse. Such unusual practice should lead you to suspicion of drug and substance abuse.

iii) Engaged in risky behavior.

Another sign is that the worker becomes highly annoying, disregards social habits in the amity of co-employees as well as at work; ignores safety measures; tends to be risky being reckless while at work and therefore endangering the life of all. He accuses co-workers and superiors of frustration or problems at the workplace.

iv) Keeping a distance other workers.

Substance abusing employee distance himself co-workers. Puts justifications in the case of failure on any count – be it work or home. This is because the recent changes might be recognized by others for which he feels embarrassed. The general personal behavior becomes awkward. It is a caution sign of substance abuse on the first sight as you find it entirely different from what you had seen earlier.

v) Lack of Personal Care.

Substance abusing employee suddenly starts quarreling, scolding and shouting at others. He neglects personal cleanliness, the dress code at a workplace. There is a drastic drop in body weight because of loss of appetite. Personal grooming is poor. He becomes tired of the effect of drug desists.

vi) Secretive Use of Substances and Drugs

When an employee secretly drinks alcohol, he/she may have developed a dependency on the substance. Individuals who don’t want their employers to know about their alcohol consumption may be afraid of being confronted or criticized. Usually, alcoholics deny their alcohol issue and will always have reasons and excuses to justify their actions.

vii) Consuming Substances First Thing in the Morning

An employee may be struggling with drug addiction, and the first thing he does when he wakes up is to take drugs. He may have reasons for this action such as to calm his nerves, to manage pain and alleviate shakiness.

viii) Frequent consumption of substances

Some inpatient drug and substance rehabilitation specialists say that if someone consumes drugs regularly, he/she will acquire a tolerance which results in the need to consume more drugs to feel the same effect. When not able to consume, the drug user may undergo withdrawal.

ix) Hiding Use of Alcohol

When people secretly drink alcohol, they may have developed a dependency on the substance. Employees who don’t want their employers to know about their drug consumption may be afraid of being confronted or criticized. Usually, substance users deny their issue and will always have reasons and excuses to justify their actions.

When you mark these symptom(s), you ought to be proactive. Ask your human resources managers and take the required measures immediately. We would recommend insisting on the suspected employee taking and required to pass a hair drug test. This is crucial as apart from affecting the performance of the individual employees; it is likely to bring out in its wake some legal, health, financial associations and a decrease in the profitability and repute of your company in the business world.

5 Reasons why a rehabilitation centre may not always help an addict

Not all addicts will benefit from treatment in a rehabilitation centre. The treatment can only be as successful as the person’s attitude towards the treatment.

The following five reasons may explain when drug rehab does not always work:

Wanting to please family/spouse

The addict should undergo the treatment because he/she chooses to do it.

To go for treatment just because your family ask you to, will not work as you are not motivated enough.

You have to go for treatment out of your own free will.

Lack of honesty

You as the addict may say and do what treatment professionals expect of you, without being honest about your own involvement in the process.

You have to be honest about your addiction to yourself. If you are in denial, you will not benefit from any treatment.

Blaming and giving excuses for your addiction will also add to the failure of your treatment.

Belief that you are different

If you believe that you are different from other addicts, you may feel that the treatment is not applicable to you.

You may want special attention or no attention at all.

You may expect that the treatment professionals should make exceptions for you.

No after-care

If you go back to the same situations as before the treatment, you may find it difficult to apply your newly learned skills.

You will have to change some of your circumstances like your friends or stop visits to bars.

No commitment

You as the addict need to be committed to stay away from alcohol or drugs. If you are not committed, you will find that you will quickly relapse.


You may often sabotage yourself and fall back to your old ways. Poor self-image and low self-worth lead to little motivation to stay sober or to improve your circumstances.

You may believe that you are not strong enough to stay sober which leads to a relapse.

You have to be honest, committed and motivated to benefit from treatment in a rehabilitation centre. The treatment is just the start of the process. The rest of the journey is up to you.

5 Ways in which alcoholism affects the non-drinking spouse

Alcoholism affects the whole family.

The spouse of the alcoholic is very close to the addicted person and it directly influences him/her.

Let us look at how it affects the spouse and the negative effect drinking has on a marriage:

Physical health

The constant worries and financial pressures lead to exhaustion, constant tiredness and even illnesses.

The spouse neglects his/her health in trying to coping with the situation. They often do not eat or sleep well anymore.

Late nights anxiously waiting for the alcoholic have a huge impact on the health of the non-drinking spouse.

Intense feelings

The spouse of an alcoholic may have the following intense feelings: hatred towards the spouse, self-pity, helplessness, disappointment, anger, depression and the feeling of being overwhelmed.

They struggle with their ambivalent feelings towards the alcoholic.

The alcoholic is often a loving spouse and a good parent when he/she is not drinking, but a very different person when drunk. This creates conflict in the mind of the non-drinking spouse.

Take the roles of both parents

The non-drinking spouse starts to do the work of both parents. He/she may try to cope but frequently neglects the children in the process. They then feel extremely guilty.

Marital problems

There are intense arguments, promises from the alcoholic, and more arguments. The more the alcoholic drinks, the more they drift apart. Divorce is often the result.


The spouse of the alcoholic often becomes co-dependent. This means that the person tell lies on behalf of the addicted person, clean up for him and keep him away from family and friends.

The spouse often does not have a life anymore and forgets about their own needs and desires.

Alcoholism affects the non-drinking spouse in very negative ways. In his/her efforts of coping with the demands of the household, the children and the finances, he/she often burns out. It is important that the spouse of an alcoholic get an objective picture of what is going on in their lives.

7 red flags if you suspect your teenager is using drugs

Sometimes parents get suspicious about their teenager’s behaviour. There are definite warning signs parents need to watch out for if they suspect that he/she might be using drugs.

If your teenager start behaving in the followings ways, especially if there is no other explanation for the behaviour, you may need to get some outside help:

Emotions like irritability/huge mood swings

Sudden noticeable changes in your child’s emotions may be important. If there are no other obvious reasons for the emotions, start looking closer at the teenager’s behaviour.

Destructive behaviour/violence

Teenagers who are abusing drugs may become very destructive or violent for no reason.


You will detect that your teenager is dishonest and tell lies about his/her whereabouts, spending of pocket money, etc.

Money and other valuable items may be missing from the house.

Lack of motivation and concentration

It is a sign of possible trouble if your teenager has suddenly no motivation or concentration.

Poor school reports give further confirmation that something is wrong.

Withdrawal from family

Teenagers who are involved with drugs withdraw from their families and are very secretive about their whereabouts.

They have a sudden urge to go out more often and stay out very late.


These teenagers have a “don’t care” attitude, even towards siblings and pets that they used to love a lot.

Lack of responsibility

If your child suddenly has no responsibility, it might be a red flag for you as a parent. They often do not even care about their own safety.

For you as a parent to conclude that your teenager is possibly using drugs, there need to be a combination of signs. If there is only one of these red flags, it might be for some other reason. When your child is showing many or all of these behaviours, you may need to consider getting the help of a professional.

Infographic by: