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Prevention is the best way to stop our serious nation-wide issue of drug addiction. It is important to openly discuss concerns about drugs with your family, especially your children. Emphasize that the “feel good” reaction of using alcohol and drugs can turn into addiction. Genetic and environmental factors cause drug use to progress to addiction in some people. If you have a family member who has drug addiction or alcoholism it may run in your family. The environmental factors can involve negative influences from family and/or friends, life stresses (money, relationship problems) and more.
Here are some warning signs of addiction to look for:
- Withdrawal from friends or family
- No longer taking joy in activities or events that used to be fun for the person
- Sudden change in friends
- Disconnection and disinterest (“blah” attitude)
- Secretive behavior, disappearing for extended periods of time at family or social events
- Sudden mood swings and unpredictable behavior
You’re probably thinking this list describes most people at one time or another, especially teens. The important thing to remember if you answered “yes” to any items above and your loved one’s behavior changed suddenly, it is worth further investigation. If you suspect drugs or alcohol are a problem, talk to your loved one about your concerns – you might just save a life.
If you or anyone you know needs help, you can find that help right here in Addison County:
Counseling Service of Addison County (CSAC) – (802) 388-6751
CSAC offers specialized services for mental health and substance abuse issues for children, youth and adults of all ages.
Bristol Internal Medicine (BIM) – (802) 453-7422
BIM helps determine if Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the right support to help people eliminate their addiction to drugs. If it is, BIM will provide or refer to the most appropriate MAT services.
Turning Point Center of Addison County – (802) 388-4249
Turning Point offers support for people who have addiction and their families with numerous support groups, recovery coaching and education about addiction.
Dial 211 to speak with an I&R professional about recovery programs and hundreds of other important community resources.
The objective of all these support organizations is to help recover the lives of those suffering from the disease of addiction.