Peter Hayton, Clinical Director at The Banyans: To help people to seek help, one of the most important aspects is recognition. Recognition of an issue or a concern regarding dependency, sometimes that’s from family members and other times it’s within the person themselves.

From there, then there’s a seeking of support services because not everybody needs the same kind of support. Most importantly, a decision to follow up.


Joey, Wellness Advocate and former alcoholic: If you think that a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, some of the signs vary.

A great deal of secrecy is one sign.




Arguments – yeah there’s a lot of conflict. Arguments, changes in mood.

Changes in appetite – lack of appetite.

Generally a failure to participate in one’s life, so a lack of desire to be in social situations. A lot of solitary introversion is a big sign.

Some signs are more obvious than others for certain. You know, for example, some people are hanging around with the wrong crowd, making bad decisions, getting in trouble with the law things like that.

Disappearing for long periods of time with no explanation.

In my case I was hiding alcohol around my house so I would disappear to the toilet or hide in the bedroom now and again for no reason. But I was going there to drink.

Trouble with the law: for example, getting into trouble for things like drink driving and drug driving, and doing it on a regular basis. Certainly dishonesty with someone who’s been honest before, promises that aren’t kept.


Lies – lying about drinking. “No I’ve only had one, I’ve only had two.”

Things like that. Often loved ones will find evidence of addiction around the home. For example, you know there are the more drastic things like used syringes. I’ve had things buried in gardens and things. In my case my neighbors knocking on the door and saying “Where did all those wine bottles in our wheelie bin come from?” and me having to say “I don’t know.” Alcohol hidden around the house, things like that.