3 Telltale Signs of Substance Abuse

Almost one million people have died since 1999 from a drug overdose. If you fear this is the outcome for you or a family member with a substance abuse problem, getting help is key.

First, you’ll need to uncover the telltale signs of an addition. How can you know for sure substance abuse is the reason for changes? Read on to find out.

1. Behavioral Changes

Someone with a substance abuse problem may undergo behavioral changes that involve how they act in the world. The most common behavioral signs include the following:

Obsessive Actions and Thoughts

If you or someone you know has a drug addiction, acquiring and using the drug will be the main priority. Because of this, other obligations like school, family, and work are sidelined.

Disregard of Caused Harm

Whether a person is going through drug abuse or alcohol abuse problems, they may disregard the negative impact the addiction has on them.

For example, if the abuse is causing mental or physical distress, an individual may continue to use the drug anyway. This mental distress is not limited to the individual themselves, it is passed on to their loved ones as well.

Addiction Denial

If confronted about their abuse issues, a person battling addiction may deny or downplay their usage. They may also start using in secret to avoid others knowing.

2. Physical Changes

Physical changes due to substance abuse may occur during a withdrawal or overdose. Severe physical changes require immediate medical treatment.

Common physical signs of addiction may include the following plus more:

  • Small or enlarge pupils
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Trouble sleeping/insomnia
  • Unusual body odor
  • Bad coordination
  • Unkempt look
  • Slurred speech

During an overdose, the physical symptoms are more severe and may include difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, loss of consciousness, etc.

3. Psychological Changes

A person with a substance abuse problem may not realize they are going through psychological changes. Generally, it is up to loved ones to recognize these changes and persuade someone with an addiction to get help.

Some of the most prominent psychological signs of an addiction problem are:

  • Anxiety
  • Inattentiveness
  • No motivation
  • Angry or irritable outbursts
  • Changes in attitude and personality
  • Withdrawing from people mentally and emotionally
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Unexplained paranoia

Psychological symptoms of drug abuse often manifest over time. It is crucial to visit an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab if you or a loved one is experiencing these changes.

Signs of Substance Abuse to Look Out for

Those worried that they or a loved one has a substance abuse problem should consider the behavioral, physical, and psychological changes listed in this guide. These are the major telltale signs of a problem.

Overcoming an addiction is difficult to do on your own. As your body adjusts to the drugs or alcohol abuse, you’ll continue to need more to feel okay.

The best way to break the cycle is by joining a rehab program. With a variety of options out there, you can find the best one for you.

Looking for other important topics to read about? Check out the posts on our blog for more.