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Warning signs that your young adult needs urgent help

How to Tell if Your Son or Daughter Needs Immediate Treatment

Seeing a loved one struggle with alcohol or drug-related problems can be very saddening, especially when it is your son or daughter.

You may feel ashamed and guilty for their illness, or powerless to help them.

It is important to remember that their addiction is not their fault, and it is not yours either.

If your son or daughter is abusing drugs or alcohol then they will need to seek professional medical care.

Our helpline is 24/7, and our addiction specialists are here to provide the advice and support you need.

Call us today on 0808 1150 446.

Your support and unconditional love will be the key to helping them come to terms with their illness, as well as helping them maintain long-term sobriety.

We understand how hard it can be to see your son or daughter suffer.

We have created a guide that can help you spot the warning signs, and get them the help they need and deserve.

Common causes of addiction in young adults

Addiction in young adults occurs for a variety of reasons.

They are very impressionable and have to deal with so many pressures socially and academically.

Studies show that the human brain is still developing at the age of 25.

As a result, young adults are more prone to taking risks, not considering serious consequences and succumbing to temptation and pressure.

A young adult could have turned to drugs or alcohol due to:

  • Family problems or a history of child abuse
  • Peer pressure and social situations
  • Academic pressure or failure
  • Personal pressures and loss of self-worth
  • Co-occurring mental health illnesses such as depression or anxiety
  • They see their parents abusing substances

How to spot addiction in a young adult

helping a troubled son or daughterWhen a young adult becomes addicted to either drugs or alcohol or both in some cases, a change in regular habits will be one of the first things you may notice.

It can be easy to ignore some warning signs, especially if they seem to be isolated incidents.

Here are some warning signs to look out for:

  • Academic performance deteriorates
  • Behavioural changes
  • Memory problems
  • New cravings
  • An increased or lack of appetite
  • A change in friendship circles
  • Misbehaviour at home or in college

You may also notice some changes in physical appearance.

These will depend on the individual situation and may be harder to spot in some cases too.

Changes in physical appearance may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Nosebleeds
  • Runny nose without any other cold or flu symptoms
  • Licking lips
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Flushed or red cheeks
  • Neglecting personal hygiene

How to get them the help they need

If you suspect or find out that your young adult is struggling with alcohol- or drug-related problems, then it is vital to help them seek the support they need.

There is a much higher chance of recovery if you catch it quickly and seek help immediately rather than thinking that it is a phase that it will go away on its own or that you will be able to help.

They need professional medical care, and seeking residential rehab treatment is the most effective option to help them regain control of their life.

Residential rehab facility

The best option to help your young adult recover will be opting for residential rehab treatment.

Treatment programmes in leading residential rehabs will be tailored to the individual to ensure they have the best chance at long-term recovery.

An all-rounded and research-led programme will include:

  • Detox in order to rid the body of harmful substances
  • Educational classes to learn about the nature of addiction and how to recover
  • Individual and group therapy sessions to share feelings in a safe environment. See more.
  • Behavioural therapy and mental health support
  • Other therapies may also include: experiential therapy, holistic therapy, family support therapy
  • 24/7 professional medical care and monitoring
  • Aftercare and relapse prevention programmes

See more about what treatment options are available for addiction.

If your young adult needs help as a matter of urgency, then private residential rehab can organise immediate admission to rehab.

Call us today on 0808 1150 446 for urgent care and advice.


If you have tried to reach out to them about their addiction with no success, then another option would be to stage an intervention.

Intervention aims to help an individual come to terms with their addiction.

Want to know more about how to stage an intervention? 

Free, confidential advice and support

If your young adult or someone you love is struggling with drugs or alcohol, then we are here to help.

Our helpline is open 24/7. We are here to answer your questions, and provide you with the support and care you need.

Call us on 0808 1150 446.

Last Updated on October 14, 2021 by