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Hidden Signs of Substance Abuse

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Substance abuse can change a person tremendously. The once dependable, shining person turns into a someone chemically dependent who would act in desperate ways to sustain their addiction. This negative transformation can reveal hidden signs of substance abuse to those paying attention. These symptoms can vary from person to person, but having the knowledge could make all the difference in being able to help a loved one with their addiction.

Are they sleeping too much or too little?  Cocaine and Methamphetamines can keep addicts up for longer periods with more intense energy than they usually exhibit. Alcohol, benzodiazepines, and other prescription sedatives make addicts drowsier and sleep for more extended amounts of time. These substances have a direct effect on energy levels.

Has their weight fluctuated? Individuals with drug and alcohol problems might yo-yo in weight loss or in weight gain. These substances can change metabolism and appetite significantly. Bloating, gauntness, and emaciation can be signs of substance abuse.

Have they become unreliable in their responsibilities? Substances can take away ambition from addicts. Thinking rationally may be stripped away which can affect the ability to perform normal obligations, attend jobs, dependability, or even finishing simple tasks.

Are they secretive or vague with what they are doing? Part of having an addiction is the thrill of getting away with something. It can make addicts deceptive in keeping secrets or elusive when answering questions.

Do they display mood swings? Mood swings are different emotions brought out by drugs and alcohol. It can depend on the substance or the amount being abused on how their mood changes.

Do they show signs of memory loss? In participating in conversations, it can become clear that something is wrong when addicts do not remember something they have said earlier. It can become frustrating when something is repeated over and over because the addict cannot acknowledge that it had been communicated previously.

Are they doing behaviors that are out of character for them?  Addicts will lie to protect their addiction. Addicts will also steal to feed their addiction. They will go to any lengths they need to maintain their high to avoid withdrawal.

Have they lost interest with the things they love to do? Addiction can rob an addict of their interests since their addiction consumes so much of their time. They do not want to spend as much time with friends and family nor do they want to continue their hobbies.

If the answer is yes to any one of these questions, more than likely there could be substance abuse going on. Addiction is a full-time job for an addict and it takes a lot of effort to continue hiding it. Recognizing some of these signs can be the first step for someone on the outside of the addiction to start to see the addiction for what it really is.

The first step is the hardest, but the most important. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, call Design For Change today for information on our residential treatment programs offering hope and change one step at a time. Call (877) 267-3646 today for more information.

Hidden Signs of Substance Abuse