5 Surprising Signs of Substance Abuse

Updated on August 17, 2020
Unconscious Man Face Down Behind Scattered Prescription Drugs and Glass of Alcohol.

Addiction affects people of all backgrounds, and people from all walks of life can struggle with substance abuse. Sometimes it is hard to spot the first signs of dependency on drugs.

Substance abuse may include an addiction to alcohol, a dependency on prescription medication, or an inability to stop taking narcotics. 

Addiction is an illness. It is cunning and powerful, and it can be very difficult to quit. Often you will need the help of a rehab center, the support of friends and family, and to partake in a program of recovery such as Alcoholics Anonymous. 

But what are the signs of substance abuse? Here are five signs to look out for. 

1. You Get Uncontrollable Cravings 

If you get cravings for any substance, whether prescription drugs or otherwise, then it is likely that you have a dependency on them. 

If you need to act on the impulsive cravings that you get, and have no willpower to stop yourself, then you will need to address this issue. 

2. You Have Grown a Tolerance for the Substance 

Whether you are taking prescription medication or recreational drugs, it is possible to develop a tolerance for them through excessive use. If you notice that you need to take more of a substance for you to get the desired effect, then it is possible that you have an addiction.

Although this is not a sign of substance addiction in itself, if it is coupled with some of the other signs of substance abuse, then it may be seen as a sign. 

3. You Get Withdrawal Symptoms

If you go without taking drugs or drinking for any length of time, do you feel shaky or on edge? Do you start to feel uncomfortable physical symptoms such as sickness, nausea, dizziness, or even pain? 

Withdrawal symptoms can be hard to deal with and show that you’re struggling with a deep dependency. You should seek substance abuse treatment as early as possible. 

4. You May Experience a Comedown 

When the effects of the substance you have taken wear off, you may experience some uncomfortable side effects. This is known as a comedown. 

The symptoms of a comedown may include vomiting, shaking, palpitations, headaches, nausea, or feelings of depression. 

If you experience uncomfortable comedowns, then this may be because you are dependant on the chemical that you have taken. 

5. Your Judgement is Impaired

If you find that you’re making rash decisions that are not in your best interests, then it may be your inner addict that is thinking for you. You may have started behaving in ways that are out of character for you. 

Addiction affects lives in so many ways, think about the way that you behave and ask yourself if your judgment is affected. 

Dealing With Your Substance Abuse Problem

If you have any of the symptoms of substance abuse mentioned in this article, you should seek help for your addiction. 

There are specialist organizations that are ready to help you with your problems. 

For more helpful articles, please check out the rest of the site. 

Throughout the year, our writers feature fresh, in-depth, and relevant information for our audience of 40,000+ healthcare leaders and professionals. As a healthcare business publication, we cover and cherish our relationship with the entire health care industry including administrators, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more. We cover a broad spectrum from hospitals to medical offices to outpatient services to eye surgery centers to university settings. We focus on rehabilitation, nursing homes, home care, hospice as well as men’s health, women’s heath, and pediatrics.