Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse

Learn the signs of substance use and misuse to help recognize the problem, so you can encourage your loved one to seek treatment and recovery support services.

Physical Signs

  • Bloodshot eyes or pupils larger or smaller than usual
  • Changes in appeitie or sleep patterns
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Deterioration of physical appearance or personal grooming habits
  • Unusual smells on the breath, body or clothing
  • Tremors, slurred speech or impaired coordination

Behavioral Signs

  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts and hobbies
  • Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities)

Psychological Signs

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Irritability or angry outbursts
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity
  • Agitation or giddiness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Appearing lethargic
  • Appearing fearful, anxious or paranoid with no reason

If you are concerned about someone who may be abusing alcohol or drugs, Gateway Foundation can help. Contact Gateway to arrange a free and confidential consultation at 877-505- HOPE (4673) or learn more about Gateway Foundation at RecoverGateway.org. Renew hope today.

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