Warning Signs of Substance Abuse

What are the warning signs of substance abuse or drug abuse? When someone you know or you care for is suspected to abuse substance or drugs, look for common signs and symptoms such as ignoring responsibilities, taking drugs under risky conditions or doing risky actions while high on drugs, getting into trouble with the law, and causing problems with relatives.

Physical indications of substance abuse

Look out for some physical warning signs of substance abuse such as:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Larger pupils or pupils that are smaller than usual
  • Changes in sleep patters and appetite
  • Rapid weight loss or weight increase
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, including bad hygiene¬†or¬†grooming
  • Unusual odor from breath and body and even clothing
  • Slurred speed or impaired coordination

Behavioral signs of substance abuse

Substance abuse affect the person’s relationship with the people around him. Family members may notice a sudden change in the person’s behavior such as:

Negligence to one’s responsibilities

Persons who are addicted to drugs usually neglect their responsibilities at school at work and even at home. Warning signs of substance abuse for young people are skipping classes and high speed driving while adults neglect their children and are often absent from work.

Involvement in risky activities

People high on drugs usually use dirty needles to inject the drug or have unprotected sex which are two of the major causes of the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Stealing money used to buy illegal drugs and getting arrested for a disorderly action are also warning signs of substance abuse.

Constant disagreement with family members or employer

Substance abusers are always getting into fights with family members and wife or husband. Because they don’t seem to listen to other people’s advice, they lose friends and often makes one’s boss disappointed with his attitude. These are also signs that person may be suffering from substance abuse.

Other behavioral signs of drug abuse are engaging in suspicious and secretive behaviors, sudden change in hobbies, circle of friends and places frequented.

Need for more money

Persons suffering from drug abuse have a sudden and continuous need of money or suffer from financial problems while other steal to obtain money.

The same people almost always get into trouble such as fights, engaging in illegal activities and being involved in freak accidents.

Moodiness and lack of motivation

The psychological signs of drug abuse are a sudden change in personality and attitude including mood swings and getting easily irritated, hyperactivity, lack of motivation or looking lethargic while appearing fearful, paranoid or anxious with no apparent reason at all.

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