What Can Concerned People Do?
I was asked to write a response to the above question in the Thrive Global article series, “Asking for a Friend”. This is a question that many people struggle with, not knowing what to do when there is evidence of a drinking or other drug use problem with the person they care about.
The person who asked this question was struggling with how worried after observing that the person she began dating always seemed under the influence. This was geting in the way of getting to know him. To the concerned person, it often feels like the substance, or a behavior is the primary relationship. This is confusing when the person so often has so many great qualities.
People with Substance Issues Need Assessment
The key in next steps often is sorting through where on the continuum of use the substance problems are falling. Problems can fall into heavy use, a substance use disorder, or addiction. There is a common misconception that all substance use disorders are the same as addiction. It’s interesting to note that the CDC determined that 70% of people that meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD) today, won’t meet that criteria in four years. It’s likely that the AUD falls at the mild or even moderate levels, and has not progressed to the “disease” of addiction characterized by changes in the brain.
Concerned people can’t make those they worry about get an assessment, but there are some things that person can say to express concerns. There are resources available. Below is a link to the article on Thrive Global. As always, thoughts and ideas are welcome.