Warning Signs of Alcohol and/or Drug Abuse

Warning Signs of Alcohol and/or Drug Abuse

If you suspect your loved one is abusing alcohol and/or drugs, there are many signs and symptoms to consider:

Physical Warning Signs

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual; using eye drops to mask these signs
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased heart rate
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Deterioration or physical appearance, personal grooming habits
  • Relaxation or drowsiness
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
  • Slurred speech or impaired coordination
  • Impaired memory
  • Avoiding eye contact, locking doors, demanding privacy
  • Increased common cold-like symptoms or frequent nosebleeds
  • Nausea, vomiting

Behavioral Warning Signs

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • Restlessness, hyperactivity, euphoria, paranoia, irritability; erratic or violent behavior
  • Changes in concentration and focus
  • Skipping class, declining grades, poor attendance at work or school
  • Complaints from coworkers, teachers, friends/peers
  • Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out”
  • Sudden change in friends or hobbies; secretive about new friends
  • Decreased involvement in extracurricular or family activities
  • Increased interest in drug/alcohol lifestyle related music, posters, clothing
  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems
  • Missing money, valuables, prescriptions

Here’s a great resource for signs and symptoms by drug