There are many reasons why a person suffering from addiction might feel the need to hide their drugs or drug use from their loved ones.
They may feel ashamed of their drug use, or have an established pattern of lying about their use. In those cases, an individual will hide their stash to avoid confrontation with friends or family members when the truth comes to light. Hiding their drugs may also help them mentally avoid coming to terms with the magnitude of their addiction–out of sight, out of mind.
Common hiding places for drugs include:
- Inside candy/gum wrappers or tins
- Seldom-used drawers or shelves
- Underneath toilet tanks
- In/under mattresses or box springs
- Soda cans, water bottles or Thermoses
- Under the hood, floor mats or seats of a car
If you’ve found a stash of drugs that belongs to someone in your home, it’s time to approach them about their addiction and encourage them to get help. Drug use may be recreational to start but it can quickly become an addiction that ruins a person’s life and puts strain on their relationships with loved ones.
Denying the possibility that your friend or family member may be suffering from addiction won’t make the issue go away. The best thing you can do for their long-term health is let them know that you’re aware of their issue and are willing to help.
However, before you begin a conversation with your loved one, it may be smart to research their drug of choice and gather a list of addiction resources and rehab centers in your community. This can help you feel more prepared for the conversation ahead, and it gives you a list of potential solutions to present to the friend or family member struggling with addiction.
Keep in mind that being accusatory or angry during your discussion with your loved one can make the situation worse. State the facts: you’ve found drugs, and you’re concerned about their well-being. Predicting how the individual will react when confronted with their drug use is next to impossible. They may deny that the drugs are theirs, come up with excuses or claim that they aren’t actually addicted. Alternately, they may be relieved and respond positively to the fact that someone has stepped forward, said they cared and provided them with ways to get help.
Either way, present your friend or family member with your prepared list of addiction resources. Ask if they would be willing to accept help; if not, question whether they would at least meet with a medical professional for further assessment.
If your loved one refuses to accept help, you can visit local or online support groups or arrange a discussion with an addiction expert to determine which next steps are appropriate and most comfortable for you.
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