Family Support


What can I expect from this programme as a family member?

This programme is designed to help family members understand what recovery is about and what to expect their loved ones to go through. During the course of this programme family members will be educated on different topics such as addict behaviours, types of drugs and their effects and how to support the addict in a loving and understanding way. This programme also aims to teach family members how to implement boundaries and how not to enable the addict which often happens.

How do I arrange to attend this meeting?
either call Brad on 074 265 6628 or EMail: info@addiction-counselling.co.za

Understanding signs of addiction

Physical Changes

Perhaps the most noticeable for anyone is the physical changes that alter an individual as they abuse drugs. What you must understand is when a person is addicted; their mind is centered on obtaining and using their drug of choice. Things like eating regularly, dieting, hygiene, and exercise can all go by the wayside. You may be able to see this in an individual with weight loss or gain and personal hygiene changes. Side effects of drug abuse can also lead to change in skin colour, complexion or with the development of sores on the body. You may see these physical changes in a loved one struggling with drug addiction.

Change in Behaviours
Behavioural change in a drug addict is a very broad subject. There are many ways that a person can change behaviourally when addicted to drugs. They can lose interest in things that once was very important to them. Active people can become very lazy. People that at one time were very upbeat on things can be very depressed and have a negative outlook. Others that are usually pleasant people can have serious and scary swings in moods. Now this can be normal behaviour for many folks, but with a drug addict it can be very often, can change at the drop of a hat, and can seem out of the ordinary. It can also be important that professional help is brought in to help with behavioural struggles, which can be pretty serious.

Sleep Habits
Daily routines and sleep habits can be very erratic in someone who is abusing drugs. Depending on a drug of choice, these habits can result in the person keeping very odd hours, or even falling asleep in the middle of a conversation. Stimulant drugs, such as methamphetamines or cocaine tend to keep a person awake. Large amounts are needed to help individuals avoid a crash, which keeps them from sleep entirely. Opiates, like heroin and prescription painkillers tend to slow down the functions of the body and induce the effects of sleep. Erratic changes in sleeping behaviours can be an indication of drug addiction in some.

Changes in Performance
The behaviour of seeking and using that drug of choice can result in changes and neglectful actions in other aspects of life. The drug addict can shirk in their responsibilities around the home, at school or at work. Those who were once dependable can be difficult to trust when addicted to drugs. They can lose jobs, get kicked out of school or struggle with other aspects of regular daily life that come in the way of getting that next high.

Getting into Trouble
The behaviours and activity of drug addiction can lead to trouble in different ways. When a person is addicted, this trouble can be very frequent in nature. Seeking and using drugs oftentimes involve doing a number of things that are against the law. Illegal activities can lead to criminal offences, fines and confinement. The abuse of drugs can also lead to trouble in a different way, medically speaking. Over time, the body can develop a tolerance to that drug of choice and more can be needed to have the same desired effect. This can lead to medical problems, including overdose.

Typical addict behaviours can be explained and identified as below:

(Avoidance) – Skating Off The Walls: I know I’m using denial when I refuse to directly answer a question and keep trying to change the subject.

(Denial) – Saying It Isn’t So: I know I’m using denial when I tell people that I don’t have a problem even though I know deep inside that I do.

(Minimising) – Saying It Isn’t That Bad: I know I’m using denial when I admit that I have a problem, but try to tell people that it isn’t as bad as they think it is.

(Rationalising) – Giving Good Reasons: I know I’m using denial when I try to convince people that there are good reasons for me to have the problem and that because there are good reasons I shouldn’t be responsible for having to deal with it.

(Blaming) – Saying it’s Not My Fault: I know I’m using denial when I try to blame someone else for my problem and deny that I am responsible for dealing with it.

(Comparison) – Criticising Others: I know I’m using denial when I point out how bad other people’s problems are and use that as am reason why my problems aren’t so bad.

(Manipulating) – Getting Over On Others: I know I’m using denial when I try to get other people to handle the problems for me.

(Compliance) – Being A Good Little Boy: I know I’m using denial when I start telling people what they want to hear to get them off of my back.

(Flight Into Health) – Suddenly Cured: I know I’m using denial when I believe that my problems have suddenly gone away without my doing anything to solve them.

(Democratic Disease State) – I Have My Rights: I know I’m using denial when I tell other people that I have right to use alcohol and drugs regardless of what happens and that they have no right to try and stop me.

(Intellectualisation) – I Don’t Feel Anything For It: I know I’m using denial when I can tell someone about a very traumatic event without any emotional reaction or if I refer to myself in the third person while recalling my experiences.

Addicts need our help, together we can achieve more then alone, if you or a loved one need help please don’t hesitate to contact us on:  Phone: 074 265 6628 | Email: info@addiction-counselling.co.za