How to Tell if Someone Has a Drug Problem

young woman with a drug problem

One of the most common things that happens with the families of drug users is that they think there is a problem, they’re sure there’s some kind of problem, but they can’t identify it. A drug user will exploit their uncertainty to deny everything and continue to use drugs.

This really is a strange phenomenon. One might think that when a drug user starts running into problems caused by the drugs, they might lay off the drugs or ask for help. Well, a few do. But when a person is truly gripped by addiction and driven by cravings, it’s very common that they cover up their drug use and manipulate those around him (or her).

Even if a family finds drugs on the person or in the home, the user will still try to manipulate the situation. “Those don’t belong to me,” or “I only did it this once.” Or maybe, “Yes, I was using a few pills (plus cocaine plus marijuana plus heroin that go unmentioned) but I can quit.”

This is one of the saddest things about addiction. The condition itself prevents the person from getting help. It’s like addicts become wired to prevent detection or recovery.

Certainly, there are a few exceptions. But when this deception exists, it can delay rehabilitation by years. Meanwhile, the problems get worse and worse. Families are mystified as to why the person’s life continues to fall apart.

Helping Someone Overcome Addiction

To help families deal with just this situation, we have a wealth of information on our website. Wherever you are in the whole process of getting help for someone, our guides can help you find your way. It starts at “I think there’s a problem but I don’t know what it is,” proceeds through “What drug are they using?” and “Are they addicted?” and winds up with advice on how to find the right recovery help.

At Narconon, we have seen how hard it is for everyone involved in addiction and we want to help. It is our hope that you will find advice here that can help you better understand where things are at and what to do.

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Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.