Thesigns and symptoms of substance abuse can vary greatly in each unique case, which means it be can be exceptionally challenging to determine whether your loved one is using or abusing drugs and alcohol or suffering from another condition that causes similar symptoms like depression, dementia, bipolar disorder, and more.
Because it can be hard to differentiate between substance abuse and other medical diagnoses, seeking help early is imperative to ensure the right treatment is administered and your loved one experiences the best outcomes possible. These physical signs are common among those abusing drugs and alcohol:
- Dilated pupils, bloodshot eyes or eyes that appear glossy
- Changes in their sleep habits (either sleeping too much or too little or going through cycles where they sleep extensively and cycles where they sleep very little)
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Frequent runny nose, sniffling, or blowing or wiping nose often
- Deteriorated personal hygiene and physical appearance such as changes in skin tone and color, open sores, poor dental hygiene, oily hair, etc.
- Slurred speech, difficulty walking or balancing, or tremors
Additionally, substance abuse can cause changes in thoughts and behaviors that are evident in your daily life. You might notice that your loved one is increasingly distant, absent, or irritable. He or she might lie consistently, despite the consequences, or keep secrets from those they love the most. In many cases, their responsibilities at work at home are neglected over time, often resulting in serious consequences like interactions with child protective services or loss of a long-time job.
Financial troubles are also common among those suffering from substance abuse. They might ask to borrow money without explanation, struggle to pay it back, and then need more within just days or hours. They might struggle to pay bills on time and experience electric or water shutoff and other financial consequences as a result.
Drug use also produces psychological signs and symptoms to include anxiety, paranoia, fearfulness, lack of motivation, periods of euphoria, nervousness, mood swings, angry outbursts, personality changes, or unexplained sadness that comes and goes.
If you notice any of these signs in your loved one, seek diagnosis and treatment from our qualified, compassionate professionals today.