More often than not, alcohol and drug addictions start with an experimental use in social situations. And for some people, use becomes more frequent. As time passes, a person may feel the need to use more to get their desired effect, and soon a person may need the alcohol or drug to simply feel “good.”
When we see this happen to a loved one, we do everything we can to help. But sometimes, our unconditional love simply isn’t enough.
Signs and symptoms of recent use include:
- Feeling of exhilaration and excess confidence
- Increased alertness
- Increased energy and restlessness
- Behavior changes or aggression
- Rapid or rambling speech
- Dilated pupils
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Irritability or changes in mood
Relational trauma is the term that Tian Dayton, PhD, TEP has used to describe the effects of alcohol and drug use on the family (Dayton, 2015). Addicts are not the only ones who suffer through addiction. The wreckage of the addicts past can be clearly seen in the live of those around them.
“The alcoholic / (addict) is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he remarked, “Don’t see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain’t it grand the wind stopped blowin’?” — “Alcoholics Anonymous” (AA’s Big Book) Chapter 6, ‘Into Action,’ pg. 82
Counseling along with other supports can be helpful in navigating through the struggle of taking part in the life an addict. Guidance may come in the form of planing an intervention, or just learning to cope with the hurt and learning how to set appropriate boundaries withing the relationship.