5 Signs That Someone Might Be Using Substances
According to a 2016 National Study on Drug Use, it was estimated that 28.6 million Americans struggle with substance abuse. Within the disease of addiction, some underlying signs and symptoms indicate the use of substances. Harmful behavior, decision making, and mood changes can all occur as a result of addiction. Below are 5 warning signs that an individual is struggling with substance abuse.
Change in Behavior: Drastic changes in mood that haven’t occurred previously are key factors to look for when identifying addiction. Signs of depression, anxiety, paranoia, and hostility result from the effects that substance abuse has. Lasting psychological effects may also occur. Effects such as memory loss, lack of focus, and cognitive impairment which all cause changes in the brain.
Isolation- When someone is struggling with addiction, they tend to isolate themselves from family and friends. Secretive behavior and an increased need for privacy, point to a user attempting to hide their habit from those around them. An individual may also go through rapid appearance changes as a result of addiction. Changes in appearance may include sudden changes in weight, a lack of personal hygiene, and malnutrition. These symptoms can cause an increase in isolation, to avoid judgment.
Social Symptoms- Not only can addiction cause changes in behavior, but social issues can also arise. An individual struggling with addiction may give up hobbies or activities that they used to enjoy. Favorite past-times may often be replaced with using substances instead. An individual may also be in denial about their addiction. They believe they may be able to quit anytime they want to, rather than accepting their addiction is a problem.
Withdrawal- In an attempt to stop using, an individual can experience symptoms from a loss of dependence. Withdrawal symptoms depend on the substance but can include abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, shaking, nervousness, and insomnia. A failed attempt to stop using can cause an individual to increase their use altogether.
Poor Judgement- Risk-taking behavior such as committing crimes, violence, stealing from friends or family, and jail time can be a result of substance abuse. There is a lack of impulse control, causing an individual to lie or steal to supply their addiction. An individual may also neglect their responsibilities at work, home, or school. Because of their addiction, their attention shifts from things that once were important to them.
Addiction can control and consume every aspect of someone’s life. To those who are struggling, or have previously struggled with substance abuse, understand that it is nothing to be ashamed of. Your addiction does not define you. Reaching out to receive help is the first step to the road of recovery. Addiction is not something you have to go through alone, some specialists are willing to help and pray for you.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact an addiction specialist at 606.638.0938 or use our confidential chat function at www.arccenters.com. We are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Hope and help are just a phone call away.
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