A person who has an addiction cannot make a decision for himself and will not be able recognize the need for intervention or professional help. Close persons around the addict must make the call, before the addiction progresses and becomes fatal.
● Recognize the symptoms. It is especially difficult to pinpoint symptoms of addiction in teenagers so you must look for other signs such as drug paraphernalia or unusual behavior. Making a record of the unusual behavior (that can later on be discussed with a professional) helps.
● Verify the problem from the source. Talk to the person concerned without being judgmental. This may only yield a denial, but at least it can be a gauge of the extent of the problem. One can verify the problem even further by talking to friends, teachers, or co-workers who have constant contact with the subject.
● Discuss the problem with others. It is important to have a third party perspective, especially if one has doubts or if one’s impression or perception seems distorted for whatever reason. Talk to another family member, a school counselor, or an HR specialist in the subject’s company.
● Seek professional help. Scout for a suitable facility, one that has a good record and one that will tend to the needs of the patient. Better, choose one that allows the family to visit.
To keep the peace within a family or to salvage what relationship one may still have with a suspected addict, a family member will likely forego or delay seeking professional help. But the reality is addiction can only be treated if the addict seeks professional help. Seeking intervention is the best way to address the situation before it worsens or leads to further disease or even death.