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Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Substance Abuse

By Expert Author: Robin Leonardo

Substance abuse is a serious issue in the United States. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 23.9 million (9.2%) people aged 12 or older were found using illicit drugs in 2012. The most common drugs of abuse include cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, marijuana/hashish and prescription drugs.

People under the influence of substance abuse have certain signs and symptoms. Some of the most common signs and symptoms include:

Behavioral changes
Illicit drug abuse changes the behavior and general habit pattern of the person. He/she stays away from normal and healthy friends, co-workers and joins new groups. Tends to be more aggressive, and lazy to do routine things.

The person spends money without giving any reasonable explanation. They tend to borrow or even steal money, valuable goods, etc.

Neglected appearance
Showing lack of interest in clothing or grooming may be a warning sign of drug use. Individuals abusing substances often focus less on their physical appearance and personal grooming habits. They look dejected and often poor hygiene.

Physical health issues
As for physical health there are certain signs that are visible. The person will have reddened eyes. They may have seizures even though they do not have epilepsy. Speech might be affected: they cannot speak clearly, there is lack of coordination in what they are talking and doing.

Psychological issues
Substance abuse changes the normal behavior of the user. Thus, they lose temper easily and there might be outburst of laughter for no reason. They cannot stay focused, whether it is studies or workforce. They feel scared to mix up with normal people.

School or work issues
If the drug user happens to be at high school, you will find changes in the way they do things related to academic matters. They tend to ignore tasks or fail to perform the tasks assigned by school authorities.

Teachers and other professionals at schools find an unexpected change in their behavior. They are not able to be attentive to things. This leads to fall in learning ability and further leads to negligence of studies and fall in academic performance.

The person stays absent from school or work for unexplained reasons. The person's attendance falls drastically, and loses interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies or sports.

Change in sleeping pattern
There is change in sleeping pattern of drug users such as they may be awake at night and sleep during the day. People taking depressant drugs feel sleepy most of the times. They may also go into sleep for long hours.

Withdrawal symptoms
The withdrawal symptoms include lack of sleep, depression, anxiety, sweating, vomiting, absence of appetite, irritability and headache. In extreme cases, the person feels hallucination, anxiety, confusion and fever.

These signs and symptoms indicate that the person might be under the influence of illicit substance abuse. If you notice any of these signs, talk to the person and let him/her know the negative effects of substance abuse and how it can ruin their career/life.

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