20 February 2014

Telltale Signs Of A Substance Addict

Photo credit: newrelevant.com

I have the misfortune of seeing the ugly face of substance addiction first hand. My brother fell prey to the bad effects of substance abuse and we did not even know it until it blew out of proportion. It hides in plain sight at first. Then it slowly destroys everything in its path, one by one, claiming the decent normalcy of our family life with a blink of an eye.

I do not know how my brother’s addiction started. He was a happy fellow, full of vivacity. He had plenty of good friends. He had a charmed life. He had everything a person could ask and hope for. However, he later confessed after his stint in the rehab that during those dark times, something seemed to be missing and he could not define what it was.

My brother’s life started to go out of control and we knew something was wrong. These were the telltale signs that he was into substance abuse:

· He was not sleeping like a normal person would. He was awake like a night owl on most consecutive nights without getting tired. His sleep pattern changed drastically.

· His behavior from being happy changed to being volatile and aggressive.

· He started lying under our noses even if we already saw paraphernalia in his room. He would stick by his lies and denial.

· He started stealing our money and valuables to buy the substance he was hooked on. There was that unexplained need for money all the time.

· He distanced himself from his real friends and started associating with those who dragged him to the bottomless pit of addiction.

· He had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.

· He made himself scarce by not coming home on most days. He stayed with his so-called friends and would only come home when he needed to change and get money.

If you do not know my brother and would just read the above description, you might think he is such a bad person. The problem was, he was not that person I described. He was just weak and succumbed to the false promises of getting high on substance to fill a void he could not explain.

It was just too much for us to see him not manage his own life. Our love was not enough to save him from the tangled mess he got himself into. We needed help too and the only way to save him was to put him in a treatment facility.

He was resisting the idea at first but we need to intervene, lest we see him next in a coffin. And for some reason, he changed his mind, crying one day and begging my parents to put a stop to his addiction by entering a rehab center.

He stayed there for half a year and we could only visit once a month. It was painful to see him suffer but we all knew it was for his own good. He knew it too and it was the only way to redeem him from the mistakes he had done and the pain he had caused to himself and those he loved.

Many years after leaving the rehab, he is now a fully functional man with a loving wife and 2 kids to make him complete. He is now happy, healthy and enjoying life. Sometimes, I test him and ask if the opportunity presented itself and he be given an access for free to claim the substance he once used, would he take it. I am happy that his response is a resounding “no.” He said, he had seen the wicked side of substance abuse, the pain it had caused everyone he loved and he would never go back to that dark place in his life where he thought it was the end.

Addiction is a serious matter and life threatening when not addressed and curbed on time. My family and I are very thankful to the rehab center that took my brother in that time and helped him become whole again. The treatment facility where my brother stayed helped him regain his self-confidence and a fighting chance to a better life afterwards. It was his second lease in life, a clean bill of health served on a silver platter.

If you or someone close to you is manifesting signs of addiction, do not wait and address the problem right away before it becomes too late.

There are rehab centers all over the world whether you are in London, Sydney, Manila, New York or even in New Jersey where numerous NJ drug treatment centers can be found. Seek help and get it done fast.

You may also read about drug or substance abuse from the Internet or visit the Advanced Health and Education site for more information on how they can help and how the treatment facilities can assist you and your love one cope and curtail the bad effects of addiction.


  1. It breaks the heart of the family when a member succumb to any kind of addiction. I'm glad that your brother is now clean a a whistle and that he was able to move on after that phase of his life.

  2. I could agree with you on this more, its nice to learn more thing about what we don't know.

  3. I am glad your brother got help and got fully recovered from the addiction. We all could make mistakes, sometimes, we learn the hard way like your brother, but God is so generous He gives us time to redeem ourselves and start anew. I love your very honest sharing Ria, may many find this post and enlighten them about addiction, especially for family who has one, because, like what you said, those who succumbed to addiction are not bad person, they were lost, and they need our support to get healed.

  4. Both hubby and I had a family member who died from an alcohol related accidents so this issue is really important to me.

  5. That's sad to know about what your brother went through. Addiction can strike anyone. I applaud you and your family's strength to help your brother come off the addiction. I really think that recovery from any addiction will be successful with full support from family members. God bless.

  6. I can relate to what he's going through before, but at present, I'm glad that he chose the right path. I salute for him...good choice indeed.

  7. Being an addict is a bad thing but as long as we support our family like your brother Sis, his life will go back to normal. Putting them to rehab is an excellent idea. It will get rid of the toxins that are inside his body. He will come out clean after finishing the program :-)

  8. It's really sad that there are many people including your brother whose lives were destroyed by substance abuse. It's a good thing that you brother has recovered and is back to normal life now. Rehab treatments really help a lot.

  9. Hayyyy addiction... it took a life of famous actors as well. One of my them is my all time love Cory Monteith. And now my addiction with Glee unfortunately is not the same :( Well I'm glad your brother recover from this serious illness sis.

  10. We have the same misfortune sis, sakin naman is my father./ It wasn't a drug addiction but it is as bad as any other addiction. I do feel that if we could have got him help with his alcohol addiction, he's probably alive until now. Glad that your brother has recovered from it.

  11. our brother was cured out of his addiction because of the love and support you gave him. I'm glad he's recovered well.


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