“Hidden in Plain Sight” was a room set up by the Governor’s Office to show how easy it can be for people to hide drugs. (Video by Clara Benitez/Cronkite News)
Part five of a five-part investigation

Do you suspect someone is struggling with addiction? Here are some tips

PHOENIX - The key to stopping opioid addiction is recognizing the potential abuse before it takes hold. But, there are treatment programs for any stage of addiction.

Here are resources to identify abuse and seek assistance:

Warning Signs

Debbie Moak, director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family, told Cronkite News in October that “parents are in the No. 1 position to influence whether their sons and daughters will use drugs or not use drugs.” Unexplained changes in the behavior could point to adolescent substance abuse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Adolescents who “act withdrawn, frequently tired or depressed, or hostile” could be developing a problem. According to NIDA, behavior to be mindful of includes:

    ● A change in peer group

    ● Carelessness with grooming

    ● Decline in academic performance

    ● Missing classes or skipping school

    ● Loss of interest in favorite activities

    ● Trouble in school or with the law

    ● Changes in eating or sleeping habits

    ● Deteriorating relationships with family members and friends.

NIDA recommends that parents seek help from professionals if their child is abusing drugs. The first step could be taking your child to the doctor for screening – for drugs or other health conditions. The agency also suggests contacting addiction specialists such as the American Society of Addiction Medicine or the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, each of which has a physician search feature on its website.

Finding Help

The Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family has several programs, including the Angel Initiative, which allows drug users “to walk into a police precinct, turn in their drugs and request treatment without fear of prosecution,” according to the state’s website.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides a wealth of information on how to spot drug abuse, how to approach a patient and where to find help.


Cronkite News is the news division of Arizona PBS . The daily news products are produced by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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