Since graduating from Walden House, I have gone on to become a successful non-profit leader and helped to raise millions of dollars to support human service and youth development organizations in our community. In my personal life, I am a loving husband and proud father of twin boys. I am a home owner, volunteer and mentor. Without Walden House, this would not have been possible.
If you or a loved one needs help, please contact us today, or call:
Watching someone you care about abuse drugs or alcohol can be very difficult. HealthRIGHT 360 knows how emotionally wrenching it is to watch a loved one engage in the self-destructive, harmful behaviors resulting from substance abuse. Drug and alcohol abuse can have an effect on everything from family dynamics to health to financial stability. If you suspect your family member or friend may be dealing with drug or alcohol dependency, look for the following warning signs:
• Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual.
• Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
• Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits.
• Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
• Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination.
• Behavioral signs of substance abuse
• Drop in attendance and performance at work or school.
• Unexplained need for money or financial problems. May borrow or steal to get it.
• Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.
• Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
• Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities).
• Psychological warning signs of substance abuse
• Unexplained change in personality or attitude.
• Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts.
• Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness.
• Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out.”
• Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason.
Marijuana: Glassy, red eyes; loud talking, inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness; loss of interest, motivation; weight gain or loss.
Depressants (including Xanax, Valium, GHB): Contracted pupils; drunk-like; difficulty concentrating; clumsiness; poor judgment; slurred speech; sleepiness.
Stimulants (including amphetamines, cocaine, crystal meth): Dilated pupils; hyperactivity; euphoria; irritability; anxiety; excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times; may go long periods of time without eating or sleeping; weight loss; dry mouth and nose.
Inhalants (glues, aerosols, vapors): Watery eyes; impaired vision, memory and thought; secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth; headaches and nausea; appearance of intoxication; drowsiness; poor muscle control; changes in appetite; anxiety; irritability; lots of cans/aerosols in the trash.
Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP): Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self or other objects, slurred speech; confusion.
Heroin: Contracted pupils; no response of pupils to light; needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting; coughing, sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite.
If you suspect that a friend or family member has a drug problem, here are a few things you can do:
• Speak up. Talk to the person about your concerns, and offer your help and support, without being judgmental. The earlier addiction is treated, the better. Don’t wait for your loved one to hit bottom! Be prepared for excuses and denial by listing specific examples of your loved one’s behavior that has you worried.
• Take care of yourself. Don’t get so caught up in someone else’s drug problem that you neglect your own needs. Make sure you have people you can talk to and lean on for support. And stay safe. Don’t put yourself in dangerous situations.
• Avoid self-blame. You can support a person with a substance abuse problem and encourage treatment, but you can’t force an addict to change. You can’t control your loved one’s decisions. Let the person accept responsibility for his or her actions, an essential step along the way to recovery for drug addiction.
• Attempt to punish, threaten, bribe, or preach.
• Try to be a martyr. Avoid emotional appeals that may only increase feelings of guilt and the compulsion to use drugs.
• Cover up or make excuses for the drug abuser, or shield them from the negative consequences of their behavior.
• Take over their responsibilities, leaving them with no sense of importance or dignity.
• Hide or throw out drugs.
• Argue with the person when they are high.
• Take drugs with the drug abuser.
• Feel guilty or responsible for another's behavior.