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Knowing when to help

Woman with head in hands.The correlation between problems related to substance use, gambling, and mental health is widely accepted in research and medical communities. So, it should not come as a surprise that many of the symptoms or signs are the same.

If you are concerned about a loved one that doesn’t quite seem themselves, our recommendation is to trust your instincts. Most of the time something is in fact wrong. That’s hard to think about. 

Nevertheless, ignoring or keeping hidden substance use, gambling or mental health problems, can potentially have deadly results. The sooner you and your loved one address the problems, the better the chances for successful treatment and recovery.
 
Still not sure? Here are some signs to look for:
● avoiding friends, family and social activities
● extreme mood changes
● sudden changes in behavior
● confused thinking
● problems concentrating
● engaging in risky behaviors
● thoughts of suicide


When you’re ready to talk to your friend, family member or partner read our article “Start a conversation. Save a Life.” There are great tips on how to have a compassionate conversation or contact Your Life Iowa. We can provide you with resources on how to be a supportive ally, as well as find out where you can refer your friend or family member for expert, long-term counseling, and treatment.