Addiction Warning Signs

There are many different types of signs and symptoms when it comes to substance abuse. Some of these can be classified as typical young adult behavior, but they can also indicate mental health issues like depression or anxiety. Please ask the person you care about if they are using drugs or alcohol.

It’s common for personality to change during the teen years. This is when young adults discover and perform their own individuality. It is less common for major personality changes to occur during adult years. If you have noticed major changes in the life of someone you love, there may be cause to investigate further. It is important to look for unexplainable changes in personality that make no sense and are completely out of character. Withdrawal, overexcitement, loud behavior, lack of motivation, lacking inhibitions, and being boisterous are only some possible changes that could indicate drug use.

There are various health related symptoms that could indicate substance abuse. These include, but are not limited to unexplainable exhaustion, unending sickness, changes in sleeping habits, headaches, memory loss, seizures, vomiting, and excessive thirstiness. Generally, there are physical signs of drug or alcohol use on the person’s body. These can include smells on clothes and the body, tooth decay and gum problems, bruises or cuts, strange body sores, hand or facial burns, irritated eyes or skin, and redness of the face. Because depressants and stimulants are designed to change the mood of the user, oftentimes drugs and alcohol can cause anger, depression, and mood swings.

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Mental instability

is another indicator of possible drug use.

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Substance Abuse

has been known to cause chemical imbalances in the brain and loss of ability to focus.

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Red Flags

for addiction can be discovered in the home.

When observing the individual’s living space and possessions, be on the look out for improvised drug apparatuses and missing items of high value. Additional causes for alarm would be prescription medication, missing alcoholic beverages, locked doors, and an abnormal amount of household cleaning products.

When an individual is battling drug or alcohol addiction, substance abuse can become the most important part of her or his life. The desire for drugs and alcohol oftentimes overpowers the desire to participate in previous hobbies or commitments. Changes to look for include unexplained disappearances, making excuses, loss of interest in favorite activities, and breaking promises. People who show these warning signs may be suffering from a drug or alcohol problem. If you believe that someone you care for may require help, call Beachfront Recovery Centers today.

How to Tell if Your Loved One is Struggling with Substance Abuse

Lack of Control

Does the person desire to stop using the drug but is unable to?

Excessive Use

Does the person need to take more of the drug in order to reach the desired effect?

Greater Amounts

Does she or he take the drug in larger amounts or for a longer period than is intended?

Use of Time

Does the individual spend the majority of her or his time acquiring, using, or recovering from the drug?

Unreliability

Is the individual unable to commit to work, school, or home-life responsibilities due to drug use?

Lack of Passion

Does the individual give up work-related, recreational, or social activities due to drug use?

More

Does she or he keep abusing drugs or alcohol, despite knowing that they have a psychological or physical condition that could have been caused or exacerbated by the drug use?

Has he or she developed symptoms of withdrawal?

Does the individual give up work-related, recreational, or social activities due to drug use?

Does she or he continually use drugs without any regard for whether or not she or he is in danger?

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Drug and alcohol abuse affects people of every socioeconomic status, age, and background. If you answered yes to some or all of these questions, the person you love may be struggling with substance abuse or alcohol addiction.

Substance Use Disorder: DSM-5


In order to receive a diagnosis of Substance Use Disorder, the individual must meet at least two from the list of eleven criteria for this specific diagnosis. A mild substance abuse disorder is indicated in individuals who meets two to three criteria, while meeting four to five criteria would indicate a moderate substance abuse disorder. Meeting six to seven of the criteria indicates a severe substance abuse disorder.

The DSM-5 is the most current DSM version. It was released in May 2013. In this current version of the DSM, Substance Use Disorder is a singular diagnosis that encompasses both Substance Abuse and Substance Dependence.

    Criteria for Diagnosis


    Continued drug use, even in the face of negative repercussions

    Consistently having cravings or a strong desire to abuse drugs

    Continuously unable to meet work, school, or home obligations because of substance abuse

    Spends the majority of her or his time acquiring, using, and recovering from drug use

    Repeated use despite personal and health problems made worse by consistent substance abuse

    Uses a greater amount of drugs over an extended period of time

    Experiences withdrawals, or the drug is used in order to avoid withdrawal

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