For those who abuse drugs or alcohol, the most common substance abuse symptoms are often evident by friends and family members early on. Though some of the symptoms of substance abuse are not easily spotted, the majority of the symptoms can be seen from a mile away—at least by those who are paying attention. If you suspect that someone you know is abusing drugs or alcohol, pay close attention to these substance abuse symptoms:
1. Neglecting responsibilities. Substance abuse may be a problem if you’ve recently noticed that a friend or loved one is neglecting his or her responsibilities at home, work or school.
2. Risk taking behaviors. Many people who abuse substances take part in risky and often dangerous behaviors when they rare under the influence. This includes promiscuous activity, using dirty needles, or driving under the influence.
3. Legal problems associated with substance use. Many people who abuse substances get into legal trouble as a result of their substance abuse. This may include DUI, possession charges or disorderly intoxication charges.
4. Relationship problems associated with substance abuse. Substance abuse often causes problems with relationships such as fights with a spouse or family member, trouble with friends of other relationship issues.
5. Financial problems or loss of money. Substance abuse is a costly condition that can lead to job loss, selling of items to get more drugs or alcohol or other financial troubles.
6. Neglecting personal appearance or hygiene. Substance abuse often results in the neglect of personal appearance as the user is more concerned with the drugs or alcohol and less with his or her appearance.
7. Changes in friends or social networks. Many people who abuse substances make drastic changes to the people that they associate with so that they can spend time with others who also abuse substances.
8. Lack of interest in activities that are usually fun. One of many common substance abuse symptoms, those who abuse substances often show a lack of interest in activities that they once enjoyed.
9. Inexplicable need for money. Substance abuse may result in an individual needing money and asking or borrowing money without an explanation as to why they don’t have the money they need or why they need more money.
10. Mood swings, irritability or agitation. Substance abuse often leads to mood swings, irrational behavior and outbursts that would not be expected from an individual.
These are just some of the symptoms of substance abuse that you should be on the lookout for if you suspect that a friend or loved one may be abusing drugs or alcohol. Each case of substance abuse and addiction is different so you may or may not recognize these signs or other signs of a problem in the person you care about.