Ever since the onset of the pandemic, the number of addiction cases is on the rise, along with a spike in alcohol sales and a staggering increase in overdose cases. When it comes to recovery, all of this makes for a very dangerous situation.
Without regular meetings or opportunities to have face-to-face encounters with friends and family, it might be tempting for your loved one to indulge in the impulse to use because it’s so much easier to conceal the addiction.
If you are concerned that your loved one is falling back into addiction, know that there are signs to look for and ways you can address them. If you suspect they are using, do not wait until after your loved one has succumbed to their addiction to intervene — act now.
Maintaining recovery comes with many challenges and sometimes a fair amount of stress. When goals are set and not met, this stress could escalate. Given the current circumstances, your loved one is likely under an unusually high amount of stress that not only exists from meeting the challenges of recovery, but concerns for their health, career, and having no regular outlets to manage their emotions. This stress can be damaging to their mental health, and ultimately alter their behavior.
If your loved one is exhibiting erratic mood swings, i.e., chatty and energetic at times, then lethargic, agitated, and even hostile at other times, it is a good indication that substance abuse could be occurring frequently.
Withdrawing from Others
Another telltale sign that addiction has made a return is if your loved one has withdrawn from interactions with friends and family. This could be a result of being too intoxicated or high to maintain consistent contact or the fear of being too intoxicated or high while you are together. The risk of being caught is reason enough to not interact at all.
Finally, a point might have been reached where the substance comes first. If your loved one is pushing themselves further into isolation, confronting the issue now could prevent further escalation of the situation.
Much like erratic mood swings, it is likely that after a period of use, your loved one’s physical appearance will begin to transform and look unhealthy. Different substances can cause differing physical ailments, including weight loss, weight gain, lethargy, bloodshot eyes, poor hygiene, and sores on their body.
If your loved one is exhibiting any sort of physical deterioration, this is a strong indicator that their addiction has become a serious threat. When these signs are evident, seek help from a professional right away.
Don’t Take It Personally
What often makes this experience most difficult is the deception and denial involved. If you are watching a loved one deteriorate and lie to you and themselves, it can be very easy to take things the wrong way. Understand that it is the addiction that has taken hold of them, and that these lies are not a personal attack on you.
They do not see you as a gullible fool — rather, the addiction is lying to them and validating their lies as truth. However, you do not need to accept these lies, because when you do, you begin to become affected by the sickness, too. When you refuse to accept their lies, you are choosing not to become an enabler and not to make excuses for your loved one. It is an act of love in order to protect them.
Ways to Intervene Amid the Pandemic
When a loved one gives you cause to become concerned about their health, it’s time to intervene. If you are worried or health-compromised or do not feel comfortable in a physical setting, there are many alternatives for intervention currently being offered online. These interventions can be arranged so that a professional therapist and/or counselor can be present to guide the intervention.
Within state regulations, friends, and family who are comfortable can be there in person with your loved one, while others can join in via Skype or Zoom. The treatment facility is likely to provide a ride service if your loved one will be needing treatment. So, never use the current situation as an excuse to not act.
Your loved one’s recovery should always come first. When circumstances make it hard to connect with your loved one and you suspect they are succumbing to addiction, it’s time to seek help. True Recovery offers 24/7 care and works closely with families to set up a support network that functions and communicates toward the pursuit of recovery. We believe in alternative care and in our patients and their families as well. Working together, we can help your loved one fight their addiction. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.