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Signs of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

May 22, 2018 - Blog

Drug and alcohol addiction is far more common than people want to believe. Signs of addiction aren’t as easy to point out as it seems in movies and television. Instead, drug addicts tend to hide their habits as much as possible.

We’ve broken down different signs of drug and alcohol abuse into three main categories: physical signs, emotional signs, and abnormal action signs.

Physically Noticeable Signs of Addiction:

These addiction signs may be the easiest to recognize. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Consistent bloodshot eyes
  • Frequent bloody noses
  • Shakes, tremors, seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • Profuse sweating

Another physical sign of alcohol abuse or other addiction can be a lack of personal hygiene. Addicts tend to only care about their next high, forgetting simple tasks such as applying deodorant, brushing their teeth, combing their hair, etc. Things like that may seem small, but can be a huge tip-off to help recognize an addiction problem.

Emotionally Noticeable Signs of Addiction:

These addiction signs are more difficult to interpret, yet still are identifiable if you know what to look for. Most of these deal with the fact that an addict is constantly thinking about their drug of choice. These signs can include:

  • Difficulty associating with others
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Building a tolerance and needing more of their addiction
  • Experiencing withdrawal

Other signs could include dramatic mood swings, a change in personality, a lack of motivation, and other related emotional behaviors.

Abnormal Action Signs of Addiction:

Think about the addict and their habits before they became addicted. What has changed about their lives? These abnormal activities could be signs of alcohol abuse and drug abuse:

  • Change in one’s daily routine
  • Abnormal need for money
  • Extreme financial problems
  • Changes in friends
  • Increased risk taking

These are activities that addicts simply can’t help. Their addiction has overtaken their lives.

Abuse of, and addiction to, alcohol and other drugs are serious issues that should not be ignored or minimized. If left untreated, abuse and addiction progress with negative consequences and can be fatal. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse early.

Noticing a sign of alcohol abuse or drug abuse isn’t enough – acting on it can be the difference between life and death. If you are worried about your addiction or a loved one’s addiction, don’t feel afraid to reach out to a certified healthcare professional or drug addiction rehab center for help – instead, feel obligated to do so.


What You Can Do Now

Because you may know or suspect a friend, coworker, or loved one has an alcohol or other drug addiction, you want to help. But you may not know what to do next, or have questions about how to proceed.

Fill out this form and we’ll immediately send you easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions on how to effectively deal with a friend, loved one, or coworker with an addiction.

Author: Ken Smith, LCSW

Clinical Director



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