Symptoms of Alcohol and Drug Addiction
It is important to remember that if an individual has any of the following drug abuse symptoms it does not necessarily mean that he or she is using drugs and/or alcohol. The presence of some of these drug abuse symptoms could be related to other problems such as stress or depression.
Whatever the cause, these alcohol and drug abuse symptoms may warrant attention, especially if they persist or if several of them are occurring at one time. The key thing to look for is change and to be aware of significant changes in an individual’s physical appearance, personality or behavior.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Symptoms
- •Mood Swings: Virtually all mood-altering drugs produce a wide range of mood swings from euphoria to depression. A user may be passive and withdrawn one minute and angry or hostile the next.
- •Personality Changes: A normally energetic and outgoing person can become chronically depressed and uncommunicative.
- •Defensiveness: Blaming or claiming to be persecuted or victimized.
- •Overly Emotional: Inappropriately happy, depressed, hostile or angry.
- •Overly Self-Centered: Always has to have their own way and will do anything to have it.
- •Tendency to Manipulate: Making excuses for failure or finding ways to have other people handle their problems or bear the consequences of their actions or behaviors.
- •Strained Communication: Unwillingness or inability to discuss important issues or concerns.
- •Withdrawal from Family Activities: Refusing to eat at family meals, participating in celebrations or holidays or making any adjustments to family life.
- •Change in Dress and Friends: Sudden deterioration of long friendships/relationships, deterioration in personal appearance and hygiene or spends time with suspicious friends and/or co-workers.
- •Lack of Self-Discipline: Inability to follow rules, complete household chores, school assignments, work-related duties, keep appointments or commitments.
- •Apathy: Little or no interest in meaningful activities such as clubs, hobbies, sports, or other activities.
- •School and Work Problems: Excessive tardiness, absences, drop in grades, drop in job performance, missed deadlines, failure to turn in assignments and take tests or perhaps suspension or expulsion.
- •Anxious Behavior: Chronic jittery, jerky or uneven movements, fearfulness, compulsiveness and talkativeness.
- •Change in appearance: Sudden gain or loss of weight.
- •Poor physical condition: Lack of coordination, stumbling, shaky hands, dizzy, consistent “run down” condition, chronic fatigue and irregular heartbeat.
- •Eating: Changes in habits such as loss of appetite or increase in appetite.
- •Eyes: Bloodshot or watery consistently dilated pupils.
- •Frequent colds: Sore throat, coughing, nausea and vomiting.
- •Nose: Chronically inflamed or runny nostrils.
- •Speech pattern: Significant changes such as slurred speech, faster or slower speech.
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Drug Abuse Symptoms and Relapse Warning Signs
Chemically dependent individuals can demonstrate relapse behaviors at any time throughout their recovery process, but they are especially prone during the early stages of recovery. The relapse process starts when a person falls into old patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. The following are signs of relapse at any stage in recovery:
- •Lack of gratitude: For recovery or what has been achieved in the recovery process.
- •Complacency: The chemically dependent person believes they no longer need to focus on their recovery efforts when things begin to improve; they are convinced they will never begin using again.
- •Lack of self-care: They become exhausted and develop, or return to, irregular eating or poor health habits in general.
- •Self-pity: The chemically dependent person talks and acts as if no one else has it as bad as they do.
- •Denial: The chemically dependent person starts rationalizing, justifying, minimizing, or generalizing addictive thinking.
- •Blame: They begin blaming others instead of taking personal responsibility for one’s own thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.
- •Isolation: The recovering addict attempts to solve problems on their own and doesn’t share what is going on with others in the support group.
- •Unrealistic goals: They want too much too quickly.
- •Manipulation: They attempt to control their recovery by blaming others for their problems.
- •Discounting a recovery program: The recovering addict stops attending 12-Step meetings, utilizing a sponsor, or allowing others to help.
Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse in the Workplace
- •Absence: Frequently absent from work for no justifiable reason.
- •Tardiness: Arriving late and/or leaving work early.
- •Unnecessary breaks: Long lunches or unexplained disappearances.
- •Job Performance: Decreases significantly.
- •Avoidance: Of supervisor or other co-workers.
- •Appearance: Poor personal hygiene or sudden gain or loss of weight.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting these drug abuse symptoms, please do not hesitate to call and speak with one of our trained Addiction Counselors here at The Watershed at 1-800-861-1768.
Not sure if you are really addicted to drugs or alcohol? Click this free and confidential quiz to find out now: Am I Addicted To Drugs Or Alcohol Quiz?
For more information or to speak to our caring admissions staff,
Call 24 hrs a day. It’s never too late to call.