How can I tell if my friend has a problem with alcohol or drugs?
As seen in the Health & Wellness Magazine.
Behavioral signs of substance use may include:
- Decreased motivation
- Drop in attendance or performance at work or school
- Engaging in secretive or suspicious behavior
- Loss of interest in extracurricular activities
- Financial problems or an unusual need for money
- Sudden changes in relationships
Psychological signs of substance use may include:
- Periods of unusual hyperactivity or agitation
- Sudden mood changes
- Appearing fearful, withdrawn, anxious, or paranoid with no apparent cause
- Unexplained change in personality or attitude
Physical signs of substance use may include:
- Impaired coordination
- Slurred speech
- Pupils that are smaller or larger than normal
- Eyes that are bloodshot
- Change in sleep patterns or appetite
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Shakes and/or tremors
- Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
Furthermore, if you’re loved one is compulsively seeking and using drugs or alcohol despite negative consequences, such as loss of job, debt, family problems, or physical problems brought on by their use, then he or she is most likely addicted. Being a friend or family member of someone abusing alcohol or substances can be extremely difficult. At times, it may feel so overwhelming that it may seem easier to ignore the problem. In the long run, minimizing or denying your loved one’s use will inevitably be damaging to you, other family members, and the person you are concerned about.
The first step to helping your loved one is learning more about the disease of addiction. You may want to either talk to a member of AA, N A, Al-Anon or N ar-Anon, or speak with a professional to help better understand your friend or family member’s behavior. If your loved one is willing to take the next step, suggest an assessment by an addictions professional to help them understand their options and receive the care that they need.
Addiction is one of the leading causes of preventable death in America. So when you talk to your loved one about their drinking or substance use, you may be literally saving a life.
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