Signs Of Substance Abuse Anyone Should Know

Are you getting concerned about the state of a friend or loved one’s well-being? Do you have a sneaking suspicion that they might be falling into substance abuse but have no way to confirm as of yet?

Understandably, you would want to take as much care and caution before broaching this very sensitive topic to them. At best, they will only respond with an outright denial; at worst, they will start avoiding you because they will perceive you as a threat to their addiction.

If you want to take careful measures in finding out whether or not someone you know may be a victim of substance abuse, here are some telltale signs that you should watch out for.

Physical Symptoms

Alcoholism and drug abuse have a very noticeable effect on one’s physical appearance. It could start with a disheveled look on someone who is otherwise usually clean and sharp with their appearance. It could also be the redness or bloodshot eyes as an effect of the substance, or from the lack of sleep resulting from the intake of the substance.

A sudden decline in skin quality could also be indicative of substance abuse. There can be a sudden outbreak of acne, dark circles under the eyes, sullen eyes, bruises and needle marks, as well as jaundice.

Overall, there would be a showing of unusually poor hygiene, usually brought about by their worsening mental state. All they can think about now is how to get their next score, whether it’s a bottle of alcohol or a shot of their drug of choice.

Psychological Effects

Substance abuse can also be noticed by a sudden change in disposition. They can suddenly get irritable and impatient, getting easily snappish if things don’t go their way. There could also be a noticeable change in their sociability. Whereas they could be jovial and pleasant in gatherings, now they would much rather be left on their own.

In some cases, they could also become paranoid that people are looking at them or talking about them. This paranoia could either be a direct side-effect of the drug, or their own guilty conscience at the thought that they will soon be found out.

Lack of motivation, depression, and anxiety are other psychological effects arising from substance abuse. Whereas they used to be inspired and energetic over a certain activity, now they have no desire to get involved in it.

Behavioral Changes

One of the most telling indicators of possible substance abuse is the sudden change in the person’s behavior. It’s one thing to want to keep their life private, but it’s another to go to great lengths just to keep it a secret.

They could suddenly be neglectful of their obligations at home, in school, or at work. They could even begin to adopt dodgy behavior, such as lying and making up stories to get some money. In worse cases, they can outright steal, or even hurt another person for it.

If you suspect that a loved one may be suffering from substance abuse, it would be best to approach the matter with the utmost caution. There are facilities like Ocean Recovery ( that can help you work out a plan for intervention, so you can get your loved one the treatment they need at the soonest possible time.

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