If you worry your loved one has been fostering a substance abuse issue, you’re not alone. Addiction has been sweeping across the country for years; in 2017 alone, over 20 million Americans developed an addiction, yet only a tenth received treatment . It can be harmful in all areas of life, from personal to professional. For many, substance abuse can cause a downward spiral in life, bringing an end to one’s career and reputation, which can significantly decrease the chances of finding a job in the future and securing a stable livelihood. If you’re concerned about whether a loved one is struggling with addiction, don’t be afraid to speak up and reach out for help.
Signs Your Loved One May Have an Addiction
There are many different types of addition—illicit drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, even the internet—but they all show themselves through similar signs. If you’re concerned your loved one may have a substance abuse issue, it is important to identify it early while they’re still living well. By catching addiction issues early, you give you and your loved one a chance to salvage things before the addiction takes hold and causes permanent damage to both their health and career. Be on the lookout for these signs:
- Distancing themselves from friends, family, and coworkers
- Bloodshot eyes
- A loss of interest in things they’ve always enjoyed
- A sudden change in weight
- “Hiding” and trying to cover things up
- Legal trouble
- Financial struggles
- Poor physical appearance, a lack of good hygiene
- Disregarding normal responsibilities
- An unusual, unpleasant smell
- A change in sleeping patterns
- Slurred speech
If you’ve noticed one or several of these signs, it may be time to begin an open discussion regarding drug use and addiction. While you may feel hesitant to do so, as these conversations can be awkward and uncomfortable, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s for the greater good. Having the conversation now can save your loved one from future degradation, so they can continue living well and finding success both at home and at work.
Substance Abuse and Their Career
As mentioned before, the side effects of substance abuse can seriously affect your loved one’s career. Actions such as neglecting to carry out daily duties, showing up late for work with bloodshot eyes, and slurring their speech can raise red flags for employers. If your loved one is using an illegal substance while at work, this can result in a loss in production, damaging actions, theft, injury, and even job loss.
Substance abuse can lead to irritable or inconsistent behavior which could cause your loved one to become alienated by coworkers. In some cases, their judgment can be impaired and may result in them being injured on the job, which can lead to heaping medical bills and a loss of income during recovery. Even worse, though, these actions can also result in their employer firing them which can harm your loved one’s chances of landing another job in the future.
If your loved one has been abusing any substance, it is likely hurting their career in more ways than you may be currently aware of. Because of this, it’s crucial to speak to them before it’s too late and keep in touch to ensure they are on the right path.
Difficult Conversations Lead to New Beginnings
Though it may be difficult, talking to your loved one about substance abuse can save them from losing their career down the road and jeopardizing their professional future.
It’s important to first find an appropriate time to broach the subject. Don’t just jump into it; timing is everything. You need to make sure you begin in a comfortable setting with plenty of time to discuss the issues you are seeing. When approaching the subject, it is important to be as compassionate as possible. Don’t blame them for their actions; but instead, convey your sincere concern for their wellbeing. Remind them how much you care for them, love them, and only want the best for them. Then, allow them to talk about what’s truly going on in their life.
Avoid pushing your loved one into talking. Let them do it on their own terms. Once they open up, simply listen to them. Remember that even though it is important to preserve your relationship with them, your main concern is their overall health and future. Often substance abuse is brought about to cope with stress, both personal and professional. Is your loved one struggling at work? Identifying why your loved one turned to addiction is often a key component in the process.
Admission is always the first step towards recovery, so once the substance abuse problem has been identified, you can begin to talk about what comes next. It is crucial to get a clear idea of what drugs have been consumed and in what time period. Abused substances can easily be identified via a simple drug test; however, your loved one may be reluctant to go to a clinic for testing. In this case, you can suggest a home drug test, which is both convenient and anonymous for your loved one.
Following the results, it’s time to talk about where they will recover and the repercussions this may have on their career. Will they need to speak with their employer about their addiction and request time off? For some mild addictions, individuals may be able to stay at home while receiving treatment, but often recovery centers cultivate much more success. Being surrounded by others who are going through treatment at the same time can create a strong support system in which your loved one can thrive. These types of friendships and accountability partners are like no others, and they often last a lifetime.
There are many recovery centers across the country that allow a person to recover while living well and even remaining in their daily environment which includes going to work. However, finding the right recovery facility that offers the best form of treatment is a vital part of your loved one’s therapy. Once they receive much-needed support and treatment, they can truly begin to heal.
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Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 602-346-9142.