The effects of substance abuse can be devastating to users, their families, and communities. Not only do individuals with this issue put their well-being at risk, but they can also endanger the lives of those around them. It’s important to know the signs of potential problems so they can get help at a local health center before the condition escalates. If you suspect that a loved one needs an intervention, below are a few physical and behavioral signs to watch out for.
When to Take a Loved One to a Health Center
1. Changes in Appearance
Large quantities of drugs and alcohol are hard for the body to process and tolerate. Signs of physical stress often include weight loss or gain, bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, or bruising or sores. Abusers may also neglect their hygiene and grooming.
2. Physical Effects
Every drug has a specific effect and can include constant nasal congestion, dizziness, blurry vision, lack of balance, poor appetite, digestive issues, muscle twitches, rapid or erratic eye movement, excessive sweating, or slurred speech. You will typically notice these issues while the person is using, but as the habit worsens, symptoms may occur most or all the time. Organ dysfunction and related problems result from long-term abuse. A health center can check the individual out and confirm the cause of their condition.
3. Mood Changes
Mood swings, irritability, periods of confusion, euphoria, or apathy all can be signs of substance abuse. Depression and anxiety are common. Watch for consistent shifts in demeanor foreign to their personality or defensiveness when asked about possible drug or alcohol use. If a loved one is exhibiting these signs, call a local health center for help.
4. Shifts in Lifestyle
Dramatic shifts in daily routines and habits, as well as a noticeable change in social networks, can signal substance abuse. Changing priorities, poor work performance, or trouble in school are also warning signs. Other indicators may be frequent or unusual borrowing or spending of money, or the inability to pay bills and maintain financial stability.
Substance abusers will exhibit a wide variety of symptoms, depending on the drug they are using. Early intervention is key; visit a health center right away if you suspect a family member has a problem. The compassionate team at CCN General Medicine at the Boston Road Medical Center in the Bronx, NY, offers mental health care services on a non-discriminatory basis to help locals regain their lives and well-being. Call 718-569-7929 today to make an appointment, or visit the website to learn more about how they can assist.