Top 5 Common Symptoms of Substance Abuse

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Learn how to spot signs of someone struggling with substance abuse.

Symptoms of drug abuse aren’t always obvious but it is important to understand the behaviors of someone who is using and what to do if you note any symptoms of substance abuse.

An addiction to drugs, whether it be of a controlled or illegal substance, can lead to an inability to control oneself. Not one person becomes an addict in the same manner as it could stem from recreational use, experimentation or even medical misuse.

The same goes for how quickly someone gets addicted to a substance, it all depends on the person and the type of substance. Drug addiction is also known as substance use disorder and substance abuse symptoms, although difficult to detect sometimes, it may become more apparent over time.

Here we’re going to go over common symptoms of substance abuse and what to look out for.

Common Substance Abuse Symptoms

Symptoms of drug abuse include a wide variety of behaviors and signs and if you believe that someone you know or love may be struggling with substance abuse, these are 5 common symptoms of substance abuse.

1. Problems at work, or at school – You may notice that someone is frequently absent from school or work. They may also be less interested in activities at school or work that once gave them a pleasure as well as a drop in performance.

2. Physical health changes – You may notice that someone suddenly has a lack of energy and motivation. They may have gained or lost weight quickly and noticeably. They may also have red eyes.

3. Changes in appearance – Individuals struggling with substance abuse sometimes develop a lack of interest in what they look like in regards to clothing, grooming, and hygiene.

4. Behavior changes – One of the more noticeable symptoms of substance abuse relates to changes in behavior. These changes can be noted as an extreme interest in not allowing others into personal spaces such as bedrooms as well as secrecy.

This may mean that someone isn’t being honest about where they are going or who they are spending their time with. This can also be noted in changes in relationships with friends and family members.

5. Money Problems – Individuals struggling with substance abuse may show signs of having difficulty with their money. They may suddenly ask for money without an explanation or others may notice that their money or items from home are suddenly disappearing. These changes could be an indicator that money, or items missing, may be sold or used to buy drugs.

As addictions get stronger, individuals using substances will need larger doses of the drug to feel the original effects. This may mean greater changes in behaviors and attitude because it becomes more difficult for one to go without using the drug.

If you notice that someone you know or love is showing symptoms of drug abuse you may want to speak to a confidant such as a doctor, family member or friend to look for support in relation to confronting the problem in the right way.

Sometimes individuals lose control of the amount of the substance they are taking which may even lead to overdose. There are certain times when help from a doctor should happen and they are:

• If an individual is unable to stop taking a substance

• If an individual is unable to stop taking a substance knowing that it causes harm

• If an individual is taking a substance and partaking in risky behavior

• If an individual believes they will withdrawal if they stop taking the drug

A medical professional, specifically one that specialized in addiction medicine can help individuals get on the right track to getting help.

If going to see a doctor is not in the picture, there are always many health hotlines that can be called to help individuals take steps in the right direction of getting clean.

If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse, please call 888-597-3547 to start the road to recovery.