Do you use alcohol or drugs to feel better about yourself or your circumstances?
Has your alcohol or drug use caused problems for you with the law, within your relationship, or at work?
Is binge drinking, consuming large quantities of alcoholic beverages in a short period of time, something you do regularly?
Are drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, or pills a regular part of your party routine?
These are all classic symptoms of substance abuse.
Substance abuse is defined as a pattern of misuse, but the individual is not necessarily physically dependent on the drugs or alcohol. People with substance abuse issues often struggle with impulse control.
If you’re living with some of these patterns, we can help you reverse them before you cross the line into addiction or dependency.
Warning Signs in Adults
Whether it’s at a family barbeque, a holiday party, or dinner with friends, alcohol is a common companion to many events in our daily life. It’s a socially acceptable indulgence, which make it difficult to determine whether someone if merely over-indulges on occasion or abuses alcohol.
Some indicators of alcohol abuse in adults are:
- Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking.
- Lie to others or hide your drinking habits.
- Have friends or family members who are worried about your drinking.
- Need to drink in order to relax or feel better.
- “Black out” or forget what you did while you were drinking.
- Regularly drink more than you intended to.
- Neglect your responsibilities at home, work, or school.
- Use alcohol in situations where it’s physically dangerous.
- Experience repeated legal problems.
- Experience problems in your relationships.
Warning Signs in Children
Many young people experiment with drugs and alcohol for a variety of reasons, including peer pressure and stress at school or home. When experimentation escalates to abuse, parents or caregivers may notice the following behaviors:
- Loss of interest in family activities
- Disrespect of family rules
- Withdrawal from responsibilities
- Verbally or physically abusive
- Money or valuables missing from parents’ purse or home
- Does not come home on time / does not tell you where they are going
- Constant excuses for behavior
- Spends a lot of time in their room
- More frequent phone calls than normal
- Mood changes such as irritablility or crying jags
- Seems to have “lost” motivation
- Unusual sleeping habits (changing over time or dramatic change)
- My child just doesn’t seem “right”
- Finding drug paraphernalia, including rolling papers, pipes, clips, plastic baggies
- Children in lower grades may lack motivation
- Sleeps in class
- Missing school (skipping secretly or too “tired” or “sick” to go)
- Dropping out of usual activities (music, sports, hobbies)
- Defiant of authority, disrespectful of teachers
- Frequently being disciplined
- Suspended or expelled
- School work has suddenly declined
- Friends suddenly change; doesn’t introduce new friends
- Physical appearance changing (poor hygiene, unusual style changes)
- Writing or drawing on clothing
- Isolated from positive friends
- Social activities at odd hours
- Hostile, aggressive outbursts – especially when told “no”
- Eyes look different – red, bloodshot, glassy, watery, “spaced out”
- Respiratory illnesses more frequent – cold and flu-like symptoms
- Stomach complaints – cramps, ulcers, vomiting
- Headaches and dizziness
- Smells of alcohol and/or marijuana
- Memory lapses
- Body aches
- Loss of weight