You know there's definitely something going on. Your loved one is showing signs of using or abusing a substance, but you’re not quite sure what. He or she is hiding something from you and you don’t have any “proof” to call him or her out on their actions yet.
If you’re finding yourself in the situation described above, it’s time to expose the enemy that is addiction. Here are 4 tips on how to identify what kind of drug your loved one is using so you can then help him or her stop the destructive behavior before it completely takes over.
1. Snoop around.
Sure, this may not be the most ethical approach to getting information on someone you love, but when it comes to the demon of addiction you have no other choice. What you’re dealing with is a matter of life or death. Does your teenager keep a diary or journal? Listening in on phone conversations, picking up a letter or note left on a dresser or eavesdropping might work as well.
Make sure to also check clothing pockets before you wash your loved one’s clothing. Depending on what you find, this can lead you to some answers. Don't forget their social media accounts and those people on their "friends" lists. You'd be amazed at how much you can find with a little social media snooping.
2. Observe their symptoms.
Something your loved one is doing has obviously put up a red flag for you if you are thinking they may be using drugs in the first place. So, pay close attention. What are the signs and symptoms that have led you to think something is going on? Jot them down on a list, and then see if they match up to other symptoms on the Internet.
3. Educate yourself.
Do some reading and know what the various drugs and paraphernalia look like for each drug you may be dealing with. Ask others you may know who have either struggled with addiction or have gone through this with someone else. Reach out to a professional. They may be able to pin point what substance you may be dealing with, so pay attention and then do your homework.
4. Be prepared to stand your ground.
You probably think that confronting the situation and asking straight out what your loved one is doing, would probably be best. In most situations, however, individuals struggling with addiction are not known to be honest on this subject matter. The disease of addiction won't allow it. But, eventually confronting the situation is inevitable. So, make sure you're armed with the knowledge you have gathered. Sometimes if a person knows you already know, you might just get them to admit the problem. This can be the first step on their path to healing and stopping their use. Have your list, know the signs and symptoms and be prepared to not let up on the conversation. This could be the turning point.
If confronting your loved one head on doesn't work, know that you have options to try to figure things out on your own. It may come down to a process of elimination.
Identifying the foe is key to helping your loved one overcome their addiction and get them the help they need to live a healthy life. Knowledge is power, so do your homework.