1 A public service of Drug Prevention and Rehabilitation Family Help Guide RESCUING A LOVED ONE FROM SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND ADDICTION
2 Introduction Welcome Pg 1 Introduction Welcome to the Family Help Guide from NARCONON Prevention and Rehabilitation Services. When someone in the family is abusing drugs or alcohol, don t feel alone if you do not know what to do. It may even be hard to figure out what drug he (or she) is abusing. All you may see is that there are worsening problems health, financial, educational, relationship, legal that may go on and on. Nothing seems to get better for long. A trip to rehab brings hope that is quickly lost when the loved one returns to drug or alcohol abuse. To make matters worse, your loved one may resist your efforts to help him. It s like he thinks you are some kind of enemy when all you want is his safety and happiness. This guide was created to help you find your way out of this heartbreaking situation.
3 Introduction How to use guide Pg 2 How to Use this Guide On the next page, you will learn how to start understanding your situation better. No matter what situation of drug abuse or addiction you are confronted with, there is a way to make it better. Simply follow the recommendations to determine what action is needed and then continue reading to learn how it can be improved. Your path will take you to a better understanding of your situation and a better awareness of ways to resolve it. This is not in any way a replacement for competent medical advice. This is simply an educational guide to help you get started finding competent help. You don t have to wonder or worry. Just learn and then look. Any time you need help, feel free to call Narconon at What is the NARCONON Program? Since 1966, Narconon centers around the world have been helping the addicted find lasting recovery as well as providing drug prevention classes for youth, adults, corporations and governments. If you want more information on Narconon, visit ^Find out how you can help your loved one
4 Starting on the Path Step 1 Pg 3 Starting on the Path Step 1 Click on the statement that best describes your situation and go directly to the page indicated - Do you think there might be a drug or alcohol problem but you are not sure? Do you know there is a problem but don t know what drug is being abused? Do you know there is a problem but don t know how serious it is? Are you uncertain whether or not rehab is needed? Do you need to find a drug rehab to end the drug or alcohol problem? Have you already tried rehab and it didn t work? Have you tried to get a loved one into rehab and they would not go? Do you wish to prevent drug abuse by a youth or adult by giving the person enough data that he or she can make saner, better choices? Visit
5 You think there might be a Drug or Alcohol Problem Drug Problem Step 2 Pg 4 You see signs that make you think there is a drug or alcohol problem. But you are not sure. You are not certain what you should be looking for. All you know is that things have changed for the worse and you have not been able to turn things around. Step 2 Each drug has its own particular symptoms, but there are overall signs of drug abuse or addiction that may help you determine if drug abuse is involved in the problems you re seeing. Decide which of these points are true in your situation: Negative changes in behavior or family relationships No longer respects parents, no longer considerate to spouse Neglects responsibilities including raising children Rude, withdrawn, depressed Secretive, silent, uncommunicative or withdrawn Laughter or hilarity for no reason Unusually tired or overactive Makes constant and repeated excuses, shifts the blame to others Reduced motivation, goals are abandoned
6 Drug Problem Step 2 Pg 5 Grades or job performance fall off Favorite activities or clubs are dropped Money is missing or there is too much money around Valuable items in the home are missing Bills are unpaid or accumulating Appearance is neglected, hair ungroomed, clothes dirty Housing or possessions become increasingly dirty, uncared for Queasy, nauseated, vomiting Increase in sick days Sickly appearance with numerous scratches and sores on face or skin Unexplained weight loss Keeps body fully covered and will not expose skin on request Headaches, dry mouth, constipation Red eyes or face Chemical, alcohol or sweet smells Step 2 It s always possible that stresses and personal problems can create these symptoms, but if you see several of these signs, it would be wise to consider drug or alcohol abuse as a possibility. ^Find out which drug is being abused
7 Drug Type Step 3 Pg 6 What Drug Is Being Abused? If you believe the problem you are dealing with is substance abuse but you do not know which drug is being abused, consult the chart on the next page for the most common types of drugs and their symptoms of use. Once you have determined what type of drug seems to be involved, you can then zero in more closely on the exact drug that seems to be being abused. A more detailed description of the signs of use follows this chart. Step 3 It should be noted that many people try to keep their drug abuse hidden from disapproving friends and family. A young person may leave home to abuse alcohol or other drugs. An adult may use drugs at work or with friends and not at home. You may not have a chance to view all the direct symptoms of a particular drug. Also, many people abuse more than one drug at a time. For example, a person may use alcohol and cocaine together to avoid the fatigue and drowsiness that results from high doses of alcohol. Combined drugs could make this determination more difficult.
8 Symptoms Chart Step 3 Pg 7 Drug Abuse Symptoms Chart Alcohol Marijuana-like Opiates Stimulants Club Drugs Dissociatives Hallucinogens Inhalants Depressants Effects on Mind/Emotions Depression Euphoria Irritability Paranoia Panic Attacks Unwarranted Laughter Illusion of Empathy Anxiety Increased Confidence Can Cause Suicidal Tendencies Hallucinations High Doses or Heavy Use Can Trigger Psychosis Effect on Thinking Memory Loss, Difficulty Remembering Confusion Difficulty Focusing Attention Increased Focus, Mental Sharpness Effect on Behavior Loss of Inhibitions Poor Judgment Can Trigger Violent Behavior Aggressive Behavior Slow Reaction Time Effect on Energy Drowsiness Slow Movement, Lethargy Weakness Sedation Increased Energy Awake Long Hours Step 3
9 Symptoms Chart Step 3 Pg 8 Drug Abuse Symptoms Chart Alcohol Marijuana-like Opiates Stimulants Club Drugs Dissociatives Hallucinogens Inhalants Depressants Effects on Body Loss of Physical Control Dulling of Pain Slurred Speech Sweating Increased Body Temperature Increased Heart Rate Increased Appetite Blurred Vision Muscle Cramps Muscle Tightness Nausea, Vomiting Loss of Appetite, Weight Loss Shakiness, Tremors Slowed or Labored Breathing Slowed Heart Rate Constricted Pupils Dilated Pupils Dizziness Constipation Headache Sores on Face or Body High Dosages Can Cause Coma High Doses Likely to Cause Death Alcohol Effect on Perception Disconnection from One s Body Disconnection from One s Environment Loss of Perception of Speed Loss of Perception of Distance Heightened Sensory Perceptions Marijuana-like Opiates Stimulants Club Drugs Dissociatives Hallucinogens Inhalants Depressants Step 3
10 Signs & Symptoms Step 4 Pg 9 Specific Drugs and their Symptoms of Abuse Once you have identified the type of drug being abused, now you can use these detailed symptom descriptions to zero in more closely on the exact drug that your loved one may be abusing. Alcohol Loss of inhibitions, physical control and balance. Dulling of pain. At lower doses, increase in energy and confidence, followed by fatigue and drowsiness at higher doses. Dehydration, hangover. Slurred speech, sweating, blurred vision, poor judgment. Depression. Loss of ability to determine distances and heights. Very high dosages can result in coma and death. Step 4 Marijuana-Like Drugs Marijuana and hashish: Loss of inhibitions, mellowness, exhilaration, increased sociability, unwarranted laughter. Dizziness, flushing, red eyes, dry mouth, shakiness. Distortions of time, space or speed. Loss of coordination, difficulty thinking, learning or problem-solving, loss of memory. Sudden increases in appetite, especially for sweets. Sedation, drowsiness. At high doses, anxiety, panic attacks, nausea and vomiting may occur. Red eyes. Yellow tar stains on fingers. Spice/K2/Synthetic marijuana: Euphoria, giddiness, paranoia, panic attacks. Increased heart rate and blood pressure. Vomiting, confusion, anxiety, hallucinations.
11 Signs & Symptoms Step 4 Pg 10 Opiates (including pills) This class of drugs includes heroin, morphine, opium and prescription painkillers like OxyContin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, codeine, oxymorphone, methadone, meperidine and others. Sluggish movements, pupils stay very small, flushed face and neck, constipation, nausea, vomiting, slow breathing. Person may dope off or be very drowsy and hard to rouse. Euphoria, sense of well-being, reduced stress or anxiety, pain relief. Apathy, inability to focus attention. Step 4 Stimulants This class includes both prescription and illicit stimulants. Prescription stimulants could include: Adderall /Ritalin : Excitement, stimulation, artificial sense of confidence and self-worth, unusually increased energy, loss of appetite. Awake for long periods, unusually focused. Temporary effect of slurred speech or drooling at times. Dilated pupils. Highdose use can result in aggression, panic, suicidal or homicidal tendencies. Paranoia and hallucinations may also occur. Termination of use may be followed by depression and fatigue.
12 Signs & Symptoms Step 4 Pg 11 Amphetamine/Desoxyn : Excitement, stimulation, greatly heightened but artificial sense of confidence and self-worth, unusually increased energy that is sustained over time, suppression of appetite and awake for long periods. Temporary increase in mental sharpness and focus. Increased body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. Dilated pupils. Highdose use can result in aggression, panic, suicidal or homicidal tendencies. Paranoia and hallucinations may also occur. Termination of use always followed by depression and intense fatigue. Illicit stimulants may include: Cocaine or crack cocaine: Rapid onset of effects with a short duration. Excitement, stimulation, delusionally amplified senses of confidence and self-worth, unusually increased energy, loss of appetite, awake for long periods, unusually focused. Dilated pupils. Dry or cracked lips. High-dose use can result in aggression, panic, suicidal or homicidal tendencies. Paranoia and hallucinations may also occur. Termination of use may be followed by depression and intense fatigue. Many users binge on this drug. Step 4 Bath salts (new type of synthetic drug): Agitation, insomnia, depression, irritability, decreased ability to think clearly. Severe effects include paranoia, delusions, suicidal thoughts, psychotic and violent behavior. Bizarre choices like stripping one s clothes off in public.
13 Signs & Symptoms Step 4 Pg 12 Methamphetamine: Excitement, stimulation, exaggerated sense of confidence and selfworth, sustained increase in energy, suppressed appetite and wakefulness for long periods. Temporary increase in mental sharpness and focus. Dry or cracked lips. Dilated pupils, increased body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. High-dose use can result in aggression, panic, suicidal or homicidal tendencies. Termination of use always followed by depression and intense fatigue. Chronic abuse may result in memory loss, severe weight loss, a psychosis that includes paranoia, compulsive picking at one s skin, violent behavior and hallucinations. Overheating and irregular heartbeat may result. Most users binge on this drug and stay awake for days. Khat (plant substance chewed by Middle Eastern immigrants and others): Delusional mania of self-worth, paranoia, nightmares, hallucinations, excessive energy and activity. Increased blood pressure and heart rate. Brown staining of teeth, insomnia, stomach upset. Chronic use can result in exhaustion. Step 4 Club drugs Illicit drugs commonly used in nightclubs, dance venues or at parties. Ecstasy (MDMA): Increased energy and activity, particularly dancing. Increased wakefulness, heart rate, blood pressure. Raised body temperature (sometimes to dangerous levels). Artificially increased empathy and sexuality which may lead to unwanted sexual activity. Increased sensitivity to touch, sound, light. Muscle tension, tremors, sweating. Users may clench teeth uncontrollably, leading to the use of baby pacifiers to prevent the teeth from grinding. It is easy to dehydrate and overheat after taking this drug. When drug use is terminated, a person may become severely depressed.
14 Signs & Symptoms Step 4 Pg 13 GHB (a steroid): Lightheadedness, loss of physical coordination, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, headaches, vomiting. Low blood pressure and slow breathing. May cause either reduced anxiety and sleepiness or excited, aggressive behavior and hallucinations. Euphoria. Often used in sexual assaults as the drugged person may be defenseless and not remember the event later. Increase in libido. Rohypnol : Loss of physical coordination, weakness, headache, slowed breathing. Relief of anxiety, sleepiness, may cause amnesia. Euphoria. Often used in sexual assaults as the person given the drug may be defenseless and not remember the date rape later. Dissociative drugs Ketamine: Pain relief, loss of identity or sense of one s own body, hallucinations. Some people use the drug to the point that a near-catatonic condition is reached while eyes may still be open. Agitation, depression, amnesia, difficulty thinking clearly or problem solving. Dilated pupils. Stiff muscles, nausea. May be used for sexual assault. Step 4 PCP (Angel Dust): Increased heart rate and blood pressure, dilated pupils. Distortions of time, shape, color or sound. Total suppression of pain. Flushed skin. Violent hallucinations may occur. Weeks or months later, there may be flashbacks. Salvia: Very short-lasting effects include perception of bright lights, vivid colors and distortions of objects. Fear, panic, uncontrollable laughter, hallucinations. Loss of coordination, dizziness, slurred speech.
15 Signs & Symptoms Step 4 Pg 14 Cough medicine/dextromethorphan (DXM): Euphoria, laughter, hallucinations involving sight and sound, confusion, agitation, paranoia, sense of floating. Lethargy, loss of coordination, slurred speech, sweating. Eyes may move around spasmodically. Certain preparations of DXM may also cause vomiting, seizures, rapid heart rate and coma. Hallucinogens LSD: Increased heart rate and blood pressure, dilated pupils. Distortions of time, shape, color or sound. Loss of appetite, sleeplessness, hallucinations. Impaired perception of current dangers that can result in injury or death. Weeks or months later, flashbacks may occur. Heavy use may result in psychosis or severe depression. Bizarre choices like stripping one s clothes off in public. Step 4 Mescaline/peyote (cactus buttons): Hallucinations, altered perception of time, space or one s own body. Euphoria, anxiety, nausea, vomiting. Increased heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. Headaches, weakness. Psilocybin (mushrooms): Hallucinations, inability to tell real from inactual events. Panic attacks and psychosis, particularly after large doses. Nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, poor coordination. Inhalants Inhalants include paint, glue, solvent, computer dust-off, butane, fabric protector, vegetable oil sprays, hair spray, whipped cream cans, CO2 canisters, refrigerants, gasoline, propane, degreasers, paint thinners and more.
16 Signs & Symptoms Step 4 Pg 15 Weight loss, muscle weakness, depression, irritability. Slurred speech, lack of coordination, euphoria, dizziness. Lingering headache and disorientation. Drowsiness and lack of attentiveness. Red marks or sores around the nose and mouth. Drunk or dazed appearance, smell of chemicals. A person inhaling paint fumes may have paint stains on face or clothes. Prescription depressants other than opiates Ambien : Sleepiness, sedation, memory loss. When coming off high doses of this drug, a person may experience panic attacks, psychosis and suicidal thoughts. Barbiturates like phenobarbital, Seconal, Tuinal : Lightheadedness, loss of physical coordination, blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting. Low blood pressure and slow breathing. Temporary relief of anxiety, sleepiness, may cause amnesia. Euphoria and lack of inhibition. Poor judgment. Dangerous to withdraw from. Step 4 Benzodiazepines like Valium, Xanax, Librium : Lightheadedness, loss of physical coordination, blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting. Low blood pressure and slow breathing. Temporary relief of anxiety, sleepiness, may cause amnesia. Euphoria. Hostility, irritability, unpleasant dreams. Withdrawal can result in extreme anxiety. Soma : Confusion, sleepiness, loss of coordination, slow reaction time. A person driving or operating machinery may be at risk. Dazed expression, hallucinations, disorientation. ^Learn the actions you can take to help
17 Taking Action Step 5 Pg 16 Learn About Your Best Course of Action Now you have an idea of what drugs might be being abused by your loved one. You need to understand the actions you can take to make your situation better. Here are a few facts that might make it easier to take your next steps: 1. Realize that drugs take control of a person, his (or her) mind, body, decisions and thoughts. The brightest, most caring person in the world can turn into someone else when drunk or high or after using drugs. He can become abusive and frightening or lethargic and apathetic. When addiction takes over, his entire personality can change until he is someone you don t know any more. Realize that the drugs are making this change. That person you knew is still there and in most cases can come back, if he gets the right help. Step 5 2. Many families are shocked and ashamed when they realize that they need to find drug rehabilitation for a loved one. But consider this: More than two million Americans per year entering drug rehabs means that this is a broad social problem. Many of today s drugs are so highly addictive that it may only take one or two mistakes for a person to start experiencing cravings that lead straight into addiction.
18 Taking Action Step 5 Pg For every person who finds rehab help, there are ten more who don t find the help they need. By taking action to help your loved one, you show that you care enough to make sure that they avoid arrests, overdoses, losses, emergency room visits and other desperate effects of addiction. 4. In most cases, your loved one will make it to rehab because of your efforts, not just her own. Yes, some addicted persons do ask for help. But most of the time it is their families who make rehab happen or start the process and carry it through to arrival at a rehab center. Addiction is overwhelming. She (or he) needs your help. Don t give up. And don t be afraid to start the process. You may run into protests of innocence and denial. Things may get noisy but a life is at stake. What s Next? Step 5 This guide will next help you look for the signs that substance abuse has progressed to addiction. If you do not see signs of addiction in your situation, you might be able to prevent further drug abuse problems by using the drug prevention tools provided by Narconon International. You can find these tools at: ^How to tell if your loved one is addicted
19 Addiction Severity Step 6 Pg 18 Is Your Loved One Addicted? To see where things are truly headed in your loved one s life, you need to estimate his level of addiction. As a person becomes addicted, he loses control of his own life. The drugs take over. You will need the help of a competent rehab program to put him back in control. Saving a life is worth the effort. As you read in the headlines almost every day, the outcomes of addiction are lies, losses, crime, jail time and overdose deaths. The points below will help you estimate the severity of the situation you are confronting. Is your loved one still abusing street drugs, prescription drugs, inhalants or alcohol even though he (or she) has: Step 6 Tried to quit or promised to quit and then returned to drug or alcohol abuse? Suffered damage to health? Been arrested once or more than once for DUI, DWI or drug possession? Been arrested for crimes he (or she) committed to get money for drugs or alcohol? Suffered serious damage to family life?
20 Addiction Severity Step 6 Pg 19 Suffered severe financial damage or ruin? Overdosed once or more than once and needed emergency medical help? Abandoned goals or educational plans? Suffered significant personality changes that could include aggression, paranoia, dishonesty or loss of motivation? Created suffering for those around him due to neglect, physical or mental abuse? Been seriously affected by substance abuse in other ways? Already been to rehab one or more times and relapsed every time? Or has this problem been going on for years? If you have answered yes to even one question above, you need to immediately find a drug rehab program before things get worse or end in tragedy. Step 6 As many families realize, the next day could bring an overdose, arrest, accident caused by drug impairment or even death. You may not have time to waste. ^Finding effective rehabilitation help
21 Effective Rehab Step 7 Pg 20 Effective Rehabilitation Help What makes drug rehabilitation work? What makes it fail? These are essential questions if you are going to protect both the life of your loved one and see a lasting benefit from your investment in rehab. Here are the types of changes that must occur during rehabilitation for it to be effective and lasting. Effective drug rehab must repair the types of damage done by addiction. A person must find relief from the incessant, intense cravings that make sobriety difficult or lead to repeated relapses. He (or she) must overcome the depression that accompanies addiction. He must gain more self-control and improve his perception of his current environment. He must also find relief from the guilt that results from addiction. He must regain a sense of morals and personal responsibility. He must learn the life skills that make it possible to maintain a sober path toward success after he returns to his usual life. In other words, he must feel better and more competent after rehab than before it. When you look at this list, you are probably looking at the changes and life skills you hope to see in your loved one. The Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program can help you bring your loved one back to the way he was before addiction stole him away. He (or she) may even develop the abilities to live a better life than ever before. Step 7
22 Effective Rehab Step 7 Pg 21 This level of repair takes longer than twenty-eight days. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a rehab program of ninety days or longer is recommended for the best chance of success in rehabilitation. The Narconon program is long-term, giving a person the time to recover from the destruction that occurs during addiction, and enabling him to learn and practice sober living skills. There is no fixed time limit for completing the Narconon program. A person graduates when he demonstrates that he is prepared for the challenges of staying sober and living an ethical, more productive life. There are no drugs administered as part of the Narconon Program Instead, the program uses drugless methods of detoxification and life skills training, along with healthful nutrition and exercise to result in: Step 7 Lasting sobriety Responsibility for self and others Productivity Morality in decisions and actions Life back under control ^Help a person who refuses help
23 Offering Help Step 8 Pg 22 When A Person Refuses Help Even when an addicted person refuses the most sincere offer of help, there is a way for the family to succeed in saving his life. Here s how you can accomplish this despite resistance. Step One: Talk to an addiction counselor who can help. This is a time that experience counts. You don t have to face this on your own. A Narconon intake staff member can help you understand your situation better and work out a way save your loved one s life. You can reach Narconon intake staff by calling Step Two: If, despite your best efforts, your loved one fails to accept your offer of help, an interventionist should be brought in to help. This is exactly what interventions are for. There are many different models for interventions. They all have the same goal enabling the addicted person to start the rehab program that can save his life. When you talk to a Narconon intake staff member, he can help you understand the intervention process and locate an interventionist to help you. Many rehab centers have relationships with professional interventionists they consider reliable and effective. When you talk to an interventionist you are referred to, get a thorough briefing on their method of performing an intervention. Make sure they use a procedure that is acceptable to you and the other members of the family. Discuss costs, as an intervention is normally an extra, paid service that is not part of the rehab service you may be considering. Step 8 ^Rehabilitation Service Help
24 Rehab Locator Rehab help services Pg 23 Drug Rehabilitation Services Help For immediate help for a loved one, call Narconon at today. We understand how hard it is to deal with this kind of problem on your own. We have been supporting families as they faced this problem for more than forty years. Our intake staff will help you like you were part of their own family. They can help you understand the problem and also help you plan out the steps you need to take to get it under control. If the Narconon program does not fit the needs of your loved one or your family, we can help refer you to one that does. Don t Wait to get Help Addiction is a complex condition composed of physical, mental and social problems. Perhaps the most important factor in helping your loved one is not to wait any longer before seeking competent professional help. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the stresses related to this problem. This guide was assembled to help you start knowing more about what to do and where to look for answers. Now that you have begun your education on this subject, you can find much more assistance on the Narconon International website. On the next page, you will find more resources to help you understand the problem of addiction and how it can replaced by lasting sobriety. ^Additional Resources
25 Resources Rehab help services Pg 24 Additional Resources Repairing the physical damage done by addiction and relieving cravings through the Narconon detoxification step: Alleviating the depression that accompanies addiction: Restoring self-control and perceptions: Lifting the guilt that results from addiction: Rebuilding morality and personal responsibility: Gaining competence in living a sober life: Get Help Today Help for parents: Information on commonly abused drugs: Signs and symptoms of drug abuse: Drug education and prevention with free downloads: Narconon drug rehabilitation program features: Narconon facility locator:
26 Learn more about Narconon or locate your nearest Narconon Rehab Center or Drug Prevention Group There are Narconon rehab and prevention centers located in cities across the US including Florida, Michigan, California, Colorado, Nevada, Louisiana, Oklahoma. Internationally, there are centers in Sweden, Italy, Hungary, Russia, Israel, Australia, Taiwan, South Africa, Mexico, Colombia, and many other countries Drug Prevention and Rehabilitation 2013 Narconon International. All Rights Reserved. NARCONON and the NARCONON logo are trademarks and service marks owned by the Association for Better Living and Education International and are used with its permission. Other trademarks of the property of their respective owners.
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