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Drug and alcohol addiction affects not only the addicted individual but everyone around them - family, loved ones and friends. Knowing that someone you love has a problem with substance abuse is heartbreaking. Family and friends trying to help the individual struggling with addiction often become distressed, angry and frustrated when they are unable to succeed. Getting help for someone with a drinking problem or drug abuse problem isn't easy. But with the support of loved ones, addicts have a better chance of overcoming their problem.

Symptoms of Addiction

Symptoms of addiction vary according to the substance used. However there are some warning signs that are common to many addicts. If you suspect that someone you know is becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol, ask yourself the following:

  • Is your love one more secretive than usual?
  • Have they lost interest in socializing or hobbies?
  • Have they changed their friends?
  • Have they stopped caring about their personal appearance or hygiene?
  • Are they having mood swings or appearing irritable or angry?
  • Has their physical appearance changed?
  • Are valuable items or money going missing?
  • Are their eyes bloodshot, do their pupils appear larger or smaller than normal?
  • Are their changes in their appetite or sleeping patterns?
  • Do they have tremors, slurred speech or impaired co-ordination?

If you've answered yes to some of these, your loved one may have a drinking problem or drug abuse problem, and it's time to take action. The earlier addiction is treated, the better.

There's no easy way to help someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. If they don't want to change or don't recognize that they have an addiction, trying to force them to accept help is unlikely to work. However, there are some steps you can take which could place your loved one on the path to recovery.

Talk to your loved one about your concerns but don't be judgmental; remember that addiction is a disease. And do avoid nagging or lecturing. You want to try to establish a two-way conversation and trust. An addict is more likely to think about changing if you communicate honestly but without being threatening. You may be faced with denials but you can try to overcome these by listing examples of times when your loved one's behavior has concerned you. Here are some important guidelines to follow for families and friends who are attempting to help their loved one beat addiction:

  • Get support for yourself. Those who are caring for addicted loved ones often neglect their own needs. Join a support group or get counseling. And take time to relax. You can't be strong for someone else if you're not feeling strong yourself.
  • Don't blame yourself. You can't control a person's drinking problem or drug abuse problem and you can't force them to stop their destructive behavior. They have to take responsibility for their own actions and be ready to make the change.
  • Don't make excuses for the addict's behavior.
  • Don't collude with them by hiding their drugs or alcohol.
  • Don't try to persuade them to change while they're high on drugs or drunk on alcohol.
  • Don't feel responsible for the addict's actions.
  • Don't drink alcohol in front of an alcoholic


An intervention is the most loving, successful way of getting someone to recognize they need help for their alcohol abuse problem or drug abuse problem. An intervention is a structured process which involves friends and family, as well as the addicted individual. Florida Center for Recovery, Addiction Treatment Facility, has an experienced team of trained interventionists who will help your loved one recognize the extent of their problem and motivate them towards accepting addiction treatment.

Once your loved one has accepted they need help for their drug abuse problem or alcohol problem, they will need some form of rehabilitation. Florida Center for Recovery offers residential drug and alcohol rehab.

If our counselors find necessary for you to take part of the addiction treatment, you as a family member may be closely involved. We encourage you to be honest and open about your feelings throughout the process without criticizing your loved one. Your loved one may try to blame you for their addiction. This is a natural reaction so try not to let it upset you. Simply listen and don't get angry. There may actually be some things that you do need to change. And if you change, your loved one is more likely to want to change too.

Not only do we provide the most effective treatment for substance abuse and successful rehabilitation of complex conditions, but we achieve all this in exclusive surroundings, always with your comfort in mind.

Do respect your loved one's privacy. Don't force them to talk about things they don't want to. And don't tell others that they are in addiction treatment unless you have the individual's permission.

Be patient. Becoming an addict didn't happen overnight and neither will recovery. Recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction is a long, gradual process.

Take advantage of family support programs, such as family counseling. Family counseling provides a safe environment in which you can be open and honest, and gives you the support you need to support a loved one with an addiction.

Helping someone with their addiction problem is difficult and stressful. That's why we're here. Our trained addiction counselors will give you advice on how to help your loved one and on which addiction treatment program or alcohol addiction treatment program is most suitable for their circumstances. And we'll give you all the support you need for yourself.

Florida Center for Recovery specializes in treating substance addiction as well as behavioral and process addictions such as: compulsive gambling, eating disorders, self-harm, shopping and sex addiction. Our comprehensive Addiction Treatment Programs include the treatment of co-occurring disorders in addition to treatment of individuals diagnosed with PTSD, ADD/ADHD, Mood Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Depression and Anxiety. Therapeutic treatment includes: specialized addiction treatment for expectant mothers, relapse prevention program, family therapy, trauma therapy, art therapy, detox massage, yoga and aftercare programs which are all designed to address each client's specific needs.

For more information on our addiction treatment programs and therapeutic approaches, call toll free at: 800-960-5041. Florida Center for Recovery offers residential drug and alcohol rehab treatment through 12-Step and Non 12-Step Programs.

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