04 00 04 Substance Signs
Signs or indicator of substance abuse
Identifying signs of substance abuse can be challenging, as they can vary depending on the individual, the substance involved and the severity of the problem. However, there are common indicators that might suggest someone has a substance abuse problem. It’s important to note that having one or a few of these signs doesn’t necessarily mean someone has a substance abuse problem but if you notice multiple signs over an extended period, it might be a cause for concern. Here are some potential indicators:
Changes in Behaviour:
Drastic changes in mood or behaviour without an apparent reason.
Increased secrecy or isolation from friends and family.
Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home.
Bloodshot or glassy eyes.
Frequent nosebleeds (for substances like cocaine).
Rapid weight loss or gain.
Deterioration in personal grooming and hygiene.
Changes in Social Activities:
Loss of interest in hobbies or activities they once enjoyed.
Spending more time with a new group of friends who may also be using substances.
Frequent borrowing of money or selling personal items to support their habit.
Unexplained or sudden financial difficulties.
Frequent involvement in legal problems, such as arrests for drinking under influence or possession of illegal substances.
Physical Health Issues:
Frequent illnesses or infections due to a weakened immune system.
Physical symptoms associated with substance abuse (e.g., tremors, shakes).
Missing work, school or important appointments.
Decline in performance at work or school.
Changes in Sleep Patterns:
Insomnia or irregular sleep patterns.
Unusual sleepiness or periods of extreme alertness.
Shabby appearance and lack of personal grooming.
Sudden changes in clothing choices or personal style.
Tolerance and Withdrawal:
Needing larger amounts of a substance to achieve the desired effect (tolerance).
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit or cut back.
Loss of Control:
Being unable to limit or control substance use.
Failed attempts to quit or cut back on use.
Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences:
Continued substance use despite adverse effects on health, relationships or other aspects of life.
It’s important to approach the situation with care and empathy if you suspect someone might have a substance abuse problem. If you’re concerned about someone’s well-being, consider reaching out to a medical professional, counsellor or support group for advice on how to proceed. Ultimately, seeking professional help is often the best course of action for both the individual struggling with substance abuse and those around them.
We may be able to support you in making that decision to get help which we understand is a difficult one for everybody and we will listen to you about what you’re going through so give us a call knowing your contact with us will always be totally confidential.