Signs of Drug and Alcohol Abuse You Should Address in 2014

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

The signs of drug and alcohol abuse are sometimes obvious, but other times they are not. With the festive season winding to a close and the regular life routine kicking back in, we might not notice the presence of an addiction. There are some behaviors to watch for, both in yourself or others, that can indicate a problem with drugs or alcohol.

What Are the Signs of Drug and Alcohol Abuse?

Signs vs. Symptoms

These two words are often used interchangeably, but they are actually slightly different. A sign is something that other people notice. Think of a sign on the highway – that’s something you can see. Whereas a symptom is something felt by you personally. If you notice that you’re feeling an increased urge to drink alcohol, that’s a symptom. If your friend sees that you regularly consume a large quantity of alcoholic beverages, that’s a sign.

The signs of drug and alcohol abuse

The signs of drug and alcohol abuse may look different in each individual, so keep that in mind. Here are some of the signs to watch for in 2014:

Inability to stop: If a loved one has attempted to quit using substances in the past but so far has been unable to do so, that could be a sign of a larger problem.

Loss of interest in activities: Drug and alcohol abuse can consume a person’s mind, making the acquisition and use of substances their number one priority. As a result, activities that they previously enjoyed may no longer hold their interest.

Risky behavior: Drugs and alcohol can cause a person to partake in risky behavior. This includes risks to themselves and others, such as driving a car when intoxicated, engaging in unsafe sex, speeding, walking on a narrow ledge, or more.

Denial: One of the telltale signs of drug and alcohol abuse is denial, when a person refuses to admit to the amount and frequency of use.

Lack of money: Maintaining a drug or alcohol habit is expensive, especially as the addiction worsens. If someone is suddenly borrowing money or is unable to pay the bills, this could be a sign.

Strained relationships: You may notice that the person is picking fights with their spouse, family, or friends. Drug and alcohol abuse starts to weave a web that is very difficult to hide from your loved ones, and can result in arguments.

Addressing addiction

If you notice the signs of drug and alcohol abuse in a loved one this year, what should you do? How can you approach the issue? First, talk to others who are close to that person. Have they been noticing similar signs? Consulting an addiction professional is a great idea, because they are experienced with how to handle the situation. Although we see instances of interventions on the television, it’s not always a successful method in real life. Having a professional mediator present can diffuse the tension, especially when emotions are running high.

Remember that the earlier you address the signs of drug and alcohol abuse, the better the chances of overcoming addiction and living in recovery. Don’t delay.