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How do I know my loved one needs treatment?

You can look for a number of indicators if you are concerned about a loved one.

It can be unsettling when you sense a loved one may need treatment. You may wonder if they are just experimenting with a substance, or if they are going through a temporary mood change.

This can be tough to discern because not all who occasionally consume alcohol or another substance become addicted, and not everyone who feels down is depressed.

“No one wants to think a loved one is going through something like this because we naturally want to believe the best in the people we care about,” said Raymond Garcia, M.D., Medical Director of the Rosecrance Harrison Campus. “That is when you need to trust your gut feeling and look more closely for signs that they need help.”

If you are concerned about a loved one, you can look for a number of indicators:

  • Social withdrawal – A loss of interest in social activities, hobbies or spending time with friends or family.
  • Decreased functionality – An unusual drop in functioning at school, work or social activities; such as quitting sports, failing in school or difficulty performing familiar tasks.
  • Negative changes in personal habits such as sleeping, eating, or hygiene.
  • Persistent feelings of sadness, anger and guilt.

Should these signs persist, it may be time for a conversation. If that makes you nervous, Rosecrance has an interventionist who can walk you through the situation. In addition, the Family Program is a safe space in which to ask questions of professionals and develop a support network of others in similar situations.

“Being honest about your concern and sharing a willingness to support your loved one are important when you have that dialogue,” Garcia said. “By talking about a behavioral health concern, you push against the stigma. People will become more open to sharing their struggles and seeking help.”

Also, know that recovery is possible. Millions of Americans are living fulfilling lives in recovery from mental health or substance use disorders thanks to support of caring friends, family, and treatment providers. To honor the spirit of National Recovery Month this September, consider taking the first steps toward a new life in recovery or encourage loved ones to seek help.

Rosecrance is proud to provide hope every day through a full continuum of behavioral health services. As one of the few providers to specialize in both mental health and addiction care, our evidence-based treatment is designed to meet all the needs and goals of each client.

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