When should action be taken?

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When should action be taken?

by Richard


At what point should action be taken when drug abuse and addiction warning signs are present?

Comments for When should action be taken?

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Often hard to know what action to take and when it should be taken.

by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Richard,

You’ve asked a question that many loved ones have struggled with. They believe that they’re seeing the signs of addiction or alcoholism but they’re not sure and they don’t want to overreact and make an already bad situation worse.

These are questions that often come up about addiction:

– When does recreational use start to become addiction?

– When I see concerning symptoms should I say something or will this just blow over?

– I know if I say ANYTHING it is going to cause a fight and I don’t want them to get angry at me?

– When is enough, enough and I MUST say something and take action before the situation gets out of control?

All of these are extremely difficult choices and there are no easy answers. Drugs and alcohol often attack the brain and the reasoning of the addict convincing them that there is no problem.
If you say anything about their symptoms they will usually get anger and deny that there are ANY issues.

Even with this reaction I would try to start the conversation GENTLY right away. You could say something like:

“I’ve noticed these warning signs and I’m very concerned about you and want to help you to avoid becoming addicted, what are your thoughts?”


“Have you noticed that you have been having some signs of addiction like(name warning signs), I’m concerned, what are your thoughts?”

I would begin pointing out the signs and symptoms you’re concerned about and try to enter into a dialog, not and argument about these issues. If it starts an argument don’t argue about it and wait and bring it up at a time when you can have a calm discussion about it.

Also, try to enlist the help of others and have them try to begin to have the same discussions in a calm constructive manor.

You may also want to gently recommend counseling, because drug abuse OFTEN co-occurs with some other emotional disturbance which counseling can be helpful to address and is a good starting point for treatment.

Good Luck!


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