Dangerous Symptoms of Substance Abuse

Identify An Addict By The Symptoms Of Substance Abuse

Substance abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. The reasons a person tries a drug the first time are varied. Teenagers may feel pressure by their peers, and a curious college student may just be experimenting at a party. Someone may be dealing with stress on the job or at home, and another person may be in constant pain from a serious injury. While their reasons differ, all may soon be displaying symptoms of substance abuse.

Recognizing The Symptoms Of Substance Abuse

How do you know if someone is addicted to drugs? When a person becomes dependent on drugs, everything about them starts to change. At first they offer excuses for their changes in behavior, but it's soon evident something is seriously wrong. Some drugs are faster at causing dependency than others, and the symptoms may appear more quickly. The following behaviors indicate there is a dependency or abuse problem with a teenager or other family member.

  • Issues At School Or On The Job - The family member makes frequent excuses to stay home from school or work. Students lose interest in school work and activities, and their grades drop. The adult complains about the job and his or her work performance suffers.
  • Health Issues - The family member complains about not feeling well all the time and has no energy or motivation.
  • Personal Appearance Suffers - A family member abusing drugs neglects his or her personal care. Showers and shampoos are infrequent. Clothing may be worn, dirty and wrinkled.
  • Secrecy - The family member will be secretive about where they go and what they do. If they have their own room, they may install a lock on the door and forbid entry to other family members.
  • Borrowing Money - Your family member starts asking for sums of money with no explanation. You may also find money is missing from your wallet or other places you may save it. Items such as electronics may disappear and be sold to support drug use.

Drug abuse is prevalent among both rich and poor. The Wall Street investor is just as susceptible to drugs as the high school dropout is. Dependency can turn to addiction quickly, and the user may not realize it until it is too late. If you recognize some of the following physical and behavioral symptoms of substance abuse in yourself, get help immediately.

  • You feel the need to use the drug more than once a day.
  • You have strong cravings and urges for the drug.
  • You need more of the drug to get the same initial effect.
  • You spend money you can't afford to maintain a supply of the drug.
  • You steal to get money to buy the drug.
  • You don't meet your obligations at your job and frequently call in sick.
  • You drive when under the drug's influence.
  • You focus most of your time and energy finding ways to replenish your drug supply.
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms when you run out of the drug.
  • You tried to stop using it and failed.

If some or all of these symptoms apply to you, get help right away.

How To Identify A Drug Addict

How do you know if someone is addicted to drugs? You will recognize something is wrong with a friend or family member before you understand the cause. The addict's behavior starts to change as he or she becomes more dependent on the drug. The brain's ability to focus or form coherent thoughts can be interrupted. One or more of the behavioral changes in the following list may indicate there is a serious problem with drug abuse.

  • Increased aggression
  • Constant irritability
  • Personality changes
  • Depression
  • Abandonment of longtime friends
  • Changes in priorities
  • New less than desirable friends
  • Money problems
  • Criminal activities

Now that you know how to identify a drug addict, get help for that friend or family member you see going down this path. A quick phone call can connect you to a person who can help you find the right treatment center and services where you live.


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