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Hidden Dangers: Identifying Signs of Substance Abuse in Adults

Substance abuse is a serious issue that can devastate families and ruin lives. Unfortunately, many people who struggle with addiction are able to hide their behavior for years, making it difficult for friends and loved ones to recognize the signs of addiction. This can make it tough for people to get the help they need before it's too late. In this blog post, we’ll take an in-depth look at some of the warning signs and symptoms of substance abuse in adults, so you can recognize problematic behavior in those around you and help them take the steps they need to get better.

Mental and Emotional Health Issues

One of the most obvious signs of substance abuse is a change in a person's mental and emotional health. If you notice that someone you care about is acting irritable, anxious, or depressed, and this behavior seems out of character, it could be a sign of substance abuse. Drugs and alcohol can disrupt the chemical balance in a person's brain, triggering mood swings and other negative behavioral changes. If this type of behavior persists for a prolonged period of time, it could be a sign that someone needs help.

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms are another warning sign to watch out for. If someone you care about has suddenly lost or gained a significant amount of weight, has bloodshot eyes, or seems to be experiencing tremors or shakes, it could be an indication that they are abusing drugs or alcohol. Over time, substance abuse can take a toll on a person's physical health, causing noticeable changes and health problems. If you notice any of these symptoms, it's important to approach your loved one with care and concern and encourage them to seek help.

Financial Difficulties

Substance abuse can also lead to financial difficulties. If someone you care about is always in need of money or seems to be selling items to fund their habit, it's important to address this issue and encourage them to seek professional help. Financial difficulties caused by substance abuse can also lead to legal issues, like arrests or lawsuits. Encourage your loved one to get help before their addiction leads to even more serious consequences.

Changes in Social Behavior

Changes in social behavior can also be a sign of substance abuse. If someone you know has suddenly stopped attending events or social gatherings or seems to be withdrawing from people they were previously close to, this could be a red flag. Substance abuse can cause a person to isolate themselves from their friends and loved ones, withdraw from society, and lose interest in activities that used to bring them joy. Encouraging your loved one to seek help is crucial to getting them back to a healthy and happy life.

Legal Issues

Finally, legal issues can be a sign of substance abuse. If someone you care about has been in trouble with the law, for example, has been arrested for driving under the influence or drugs, it could be an indication that they are struggling with addiction. While legal issues can be a consequence of many behaviors, substance abuse can be a significant contributing factor. Encourage your loved one to seek help and reach out to a professional before their legal issues escalate.

Identifying the signs of substance abuse in adults can be tough, but recognizing the warning signs and taking action is crucial to helping someone get the help they need. If you notice any of these signs in a loved one, it's important to approach the situation with care and concern. Encourage them to seek help from a professional, and be a supportive and understanding presence in their lives. With your help, they can get the treatment they need to turn their lives around and live healthy and happy lives.

Northeast Missouri Health Council, Partners for a lifetime of health

Medical, Dental, and Behavioral Clinics in Kirksville, Missouri, Macon, Missouri, Milan, Missouri, Memphis, Missouri, and Kahoka, Missouri. Visit our website to find the nearest clinic to you.



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