Potential Signs of Drug or Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

Open hand raised, Stop Addiction sign painted, multi purpose con

Not everyone using drugs or other substances is an addict, but the chances of becoming addicted are high. As friends and family members, judging the intensity of the drug addiction is not easy.

Treatment and rehabilitation specialists compiled a list of indicators to provide guidance in determining if professional intervention is needed. The most common indicators of drug or alcohol abuse are categorized into behavioral, emotional and physical characteristics.

Physical Signs

Physical signs of a developing drug abuse or addiction include severely constricted pupils or dilated pupils and bloodshot eyes. Other physical signs include sniffling, runny nose, itching, puffy face, and injection marks. Changes in skin color, loss of appetite, and marked weight loss are also indicators.

In the early stages of substance use, the addicted individual will take care to hide these signs. However, as the addiction progresses, hiding these signs becomes more difficult.

Behavioral Signs

Behavioral signs of a developing drug addiction include marked changes in activities, sleeping patterns, eating habits, and a fading interest in physical appearance and personal hygiene. Other indicators include changing social groups and friends and losing the ability to concentrate, affecting school performance.

A developing addict may spend less time with family, keep odd hours, and sleep for extended periods of time. Eventually, the addict may become more reclusive, avoiding family members and friends.

Emotional Signs

Thoughtful man

Emotional signs of developing substance abuse or addiction include a loss of interest in activities, people and hobbies that were previously enjoyed. Apathy, erratic moods, extreme sensitivity, sudden mood swings, unusual aggressive behavior, unexpected physical abuse, unwarranted and unanticipated confrontations are also common signs of a developing addiction. Sometimes a developing addict will quickly move from upbeat to sullen and depressed.

If the individual will not engage in a discussion or respond cohesively, we recommend contacting a professional from a reputable rehabilitation facility to help guide you in decisions made on behalf of your loved one.

Many Options For Help

Apart from the residential rehabilitation facilities, there are numerous addiction and drug rehabilitation treatments available with both inpatient and outpatient options. The nationwide 12 Step groups provide support and treatment in nearly all communities. Regardless of the path selected, substance abuse and addiction can be treated with clinical expertise and compassionate care.