Resources for Recovery
Signs of Substance Abuse and Alcoholism
There are a number of signs and symptoms of drug abuse and alcoholism which alert us that there may be a problem in need of addressing.
The following is a list of questions to ask yourself. It’s not meant to take the place of a clinical assessment — just food for thought.
- Have you ever been concerned about your drinking or drug use?
- Has anyone ever made comments about your drinking or drug use?
- Have you ever made promises to yourself to cut down or quit?
- Has your drinking or drug use interfered with work or school?
- Have you experienced financial problems because of your use of alcohol or drugs?
- Have you had legal problems related to your use of alcohol or drugs?
- Do people ever question you about why you drink or use?
- Do you have feelings of remorse, guilt or shame following a period of using alcohol or drug use?
- Do you drink or use drugs to escape from your worries?
- Do you drink or use drugs to build your self-confidence?
- Have you ever experienced loss of memory when drinking?
- Do you drink or use drugs alone?
- Is drinking or drug use harming your reputation?
- Has drinking or drug use interfered with sleeping?
- Has your drinking or drug use decreased your ambition?
- Have you lost time from work because of drinking or drug use?
If you have answered “YES” to even a few of the questions, chances are that you may have a problem with alcohol or drugs.
Please call us at 408-370-9688 or 800-811-1800 and speak with our assessment staff. The call is free of charge and completely confidential. We’re here to help.
Signs of Substance Abuse
The following signs and symptoms have been compiled from various sources including the CDC and National Council on Substance Abuse.
Please remember: If a person shows any of the following symptoms, it does NOT automatically mean that they’re on drugs. It could be stress, symptoms of depression, an illness or something else.
Whatever the cause – sudden changes in behavior may warrant attention; especially if the signs persist. Seek competent medical advice, a mental health professional or a licensed counselor.
- Loss of/increase in appetite, any changes in eating habits, unexplained weight loss or gain
- Slowed or staggering walk; poor physical coordination
- Inability to sleep, awake at unusual times, unusual laziness
- Red, watery eyes; pupils larger or smaller than usual; blank stare
- Cold, sweaty palms; shaking hands
- Puffy face, blushing or paleness
- Smell of substance on breath, body or clothes
- Extreme hyperactivity; excessive talkativeness
- Runny nose; hacking cough
- Needle marks on lower arm, leg or bottom of feet
- Nausea, vomiting or excessive sweating
- Tremors or shakes of hands, feet or head
- Irregular heartbeat
- Change in overall attitude/personality with no other identifiable cause
- Changes in friends; new hang-outs; sudden avoidance of old crowd; doesn’t want to talk about new friends; friends are known drug users
- Change in activities or hobbies
- Drop in grades at school or performance at work; skips school or is late for school
- Change in habits at home; loss of interest in family and family activities
- Difficulty in paying attention, forgetfulness
- General lack of motivation, energy, self-esteem, “I don’t care” attitude
- Sudden oversensitivity, temper tantrums, or resentful behavior
- Moodiness, irritability, or nervousness
- Silliness or giddiness
- Excessive need for privacy; unreachable
- Secretive or suspicious behavior
- Car accidents
- Chronic dishonesty
- Unexplained need for money, stealing money or items
- Change in personal grooming habits
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
If you or someone you know is showing more than one of these signs, then please complete our confidential online assessment.
Questions? We Have Answers.
Contact us by calling 408-370-9688.