17642228_sWhen the news broke of Cory Monteith’s recent death, it took many people by surprise.  The Glee actor seemed to have the world in his hands – good looks, a budding career, love, and a fresh start after a stint in rehab this past April. But shortly thereafter, Monteith, just 31 was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room after consuming a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin.

Monteith’s death is a wakeup call regarding the serious nature of addiction. Addiction isn’t something that a person simply outgrows – it persists for life.

While there are ways to manage that addiction through individual and group support and treatment, without assistance the symptoms may only worsen over time. There are warning signs indicative of dependency. Red flags include 1) Flipping a switch – when a person suddenly just “isn’t themselves”, 2) struggling to hold down a job, or 3) being untruthful.

A common misconception when it comes to addiction is that affected individuals engage in substance abuse on a daily basis. This isn’t necessarily true; they may “binge” on the substance or seem to be separated from it for a brief period of time, only to return to it again.

In the event a loved one is suspected of having an issue with substance abuse, mental health experts advise confronting the individual directly and providing specific examples of concerns. Setting boundaries for what’s acceptable and what’s not are also important.

Family support and involvement are an integral part of the treatment process. When family members know their loved one’s triggers they can better help them on their road to recovery. While recovery is possible, it takes a lot of commitment, desire, and a willingness to get help. Sometimes the hardest part of recovery is coming to terms with the idea that the addiction is out of the person’s realm of control.

Family Guidance Center offers support for those living with addiction and their families through a professional and experienced Addiction Treatment Services program. While it may be easier to turn a blind eye, the best way to deal with addiction is to confront it head-on. Like other chronic illness, issues of mental health such as substance abuse or addiction can be treated and managed with ongoing professional treatment. Call today to learn more.