Substance abuse – whether it’s drugs or alcohol – can be devastating to a person’s life, as well as their loved ones. If you suspect someone you love may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, there are some common signs to look for – including both physical and behavioral symptoms.
- Bloodshot or glazed eyes – as well as constricted or dilated pupils.
- Abrupt change in weight (either losing or gaining substantial weight).
- Sleep problems – either sleeping too much or too little.
- Increased aggression, bad moods and/or irritability.
- Persistently seeming depressed, lethargic or unhappy.
- Abrupt social changes – avoiding old friends and hanging out with new people.
- Neglecting personal and/or family obligations and responsibilities.
- Being fired from work or dropping out of school.
- Abrupt and significant financial problems.
- Engaging in criminal activities and/or risky behavior.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of substance abuse is the first step in helping your loved one to get the help they need to overcome addiction – and it could even save their life. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from substance abuse are unwilling to admit they have a problem or seek treatment. If this is the case, it’s important for you to step in and address the problem before it gets out of control and causes serious consequences. While it’s very difficult to legally force an adult to undergo drug or alcohol rehab, there are a few things you can do. Seek out educational resources or support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous for guidance. It’s also a good idea to talk to an addiction professional such as a counselor or doctor to find out how and when you should try to intervene and get help for your loved one.