How to Identify a Substance Abuse Problem

“Alcohol and drug addiction are treatable. However, it is our most untreated disease in the U.S.”

Bridgewater, N.J. (October 4, 2013) – According to PsychCentral, “Often, addicts and alcoholics are the last to know they have a problem, because they cannot see the outward signs of addiction.” lists the many ways to identify a substance abuse problem:

  • You’re neglecting your responsibilities at school, work or home (eg Flunking classes, skipping work, neglecting your children) because of your drug use.

  • You’re using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while you’re on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.

  • Your drug use is getting you into legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit.

  • Your drug use is causing problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends.

Physical warning signs of drug abuse:

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual

  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain.

  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits

  • Unusual smells on breath, body or clothing

  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination

Behavioral signs of drug abuse:

  • Drop in attendance or performance at work or at school.

  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems. May borrow or steal to get it.

  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.

  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts or hobbies.

  • Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities)

Psychological warning signs of drug abuse:

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude

  • Sudden mood swings, irritability or angry outbursts

  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation or giddiness

  • Lack of motivation: appears lethargic or “spaced out”

  • Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid with no reason.

GenPsych, PC, provider of top quality outpatient psychiatric and substance abuse services, stresses the importance of a healthy lifestyle. GenPsych offers a newly revised Substance Abuse Program which is an effective and discrete research-based program designed to empower folks struggling with addiction with the tools they need to successfully achieve recovery and get their lives back on track. The experienced, accredited staff uses an integrated approach to help adults gain support, learn new coping skills, develop healthy relationships and discover the freedom of living without substances. The specialized Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) / Matrix model of treatment combines the better of two empirically based structures known to be effective in treating the cycle of addiction.

For more information on GenPsych’s revolutionary Substance Abuse Programs, visit:

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