Know the Signs of Drug Abuse

Are you aware of the signs of drug abuse? Knowing the signs of drug abuse can help you nip a blossoming drug addiction problem in the bud. Abuse of street drugs, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications are becoming a National epidemic with more and more people misusing these substances. While a majority of people use their prescription and over-the-counter medications as directed there are many who abuse them, sell or give them to other people or mix them with illegal street drugs or alcohol to intensify their effects.

Here are a few key points to help you recognize a possible drug abuse problem in yourself or someone you care for.

Behavioral Signs of Drug Abuse or Alcohol Abuse:

  • “explosive” arguments and disagreements over small matters
  • avoiding “straight” (non drug or alcohol) co-workers or classmates
  • deterioration in personal appearance and hygiene
  • easy excitability
  • erratic behavior, forgetfulness, indecision
  • frequent hangover symptoms
  • hyper-activity, constant toe or heel-tapping and/or “drumming” of fingers
  • new financial problems or frequent borrowing of money
  • restlessness
  • increased physical activity
  • wearing of long-sleeved garments in very warm weather
  • secretive behavior
  • sudden change in attitude, work, or behavior – a new, “I don’t care attitude”
  • sudden deterioration of long friendships, relationships
  • using drug culture terminology

Specific Signs of Drug Abuse by Substance:

  • Alcohol: Clumsiness; difficulty walking; slurred speech; sleepiness; poor judgment; dilated pupils; possession of a false ID card.
  • Depressants: (including barbiturates and tranquilizers) Seems drunk as if from alcohol but without the associated odor of alcohol; difficulty concentrating; clumsiness; poor judgment; slurred speech; sleepiness; and contracted pupils.
  • Hallucinogens: Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self or other objects, slurred speech; confusion.
  • Heroin: Needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting; coughing and sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite; contracted pupils; no response of pupils to light.
  • Inhalants: (Glues, aerosols, and vapors ) Watery eyes; impaired vision, impaired memory and thought; secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth; headaches and nausea; appearance of intoxication; drowsiness; poor muscle control; changes in appetite; anxiety; irritability; an unusual number of spray cans in the trash.
  • Marijuana: Glassy, red eyes; loud talking and inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness; a sweet burnt scent; loss of interest, motivation; weight gain or loss.
  • Stimulants: Hyperactivity; euphoria; irritability; anxiety; excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times; may go long periods of time without eating or sleeping; dilated pupils; weight loss; dry mouth and nose.

If you are worried about yourself or someone in your life that may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, Narconon Fresh Start can help. Our program has helped numerous people get the help they need to stop using drugs and get back on track.


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