RECOGNIZING SUBSTANCE ABUSE

People of all ages and from all walks of life can become addicted to legal or illegal substances.

Drug dependency happens when a physical, as well as a psychological, need for a drug develops. Any sudden or profound changes in behavior can be a signal of a substance abuse problem.

SIGNS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE

  • deterioration of grooming and physical appearance
  • withdrawal from responsibility
  • loss of interest in past activities
  • increased irritability and/or a general attitude change
  • sudden changes in work or school attendance and quality of work
  • isolation from family and friends
  • secretive behavior such as: sneaking away, hiding in storage rooms or closets or making frequent trips to the bathroom
  • feelings of victimization
  • reluctance to wear short-sleeved shirts during appropriate weather (to hide needle marks)
  • wearing sunglasses at inappropriate times
  • stealing from employer, school or home
  • frequently borrowing money from family, friends and coworkers

STEPS TO END THE ADDICTION

  1. Acknowledge the problem to yourself and those around you.
  2. Limit the time you spend around people who model and encourage substance abuse.
  3. Seek professional help from a doctor, therapist or a chemical dependency organization. There are also recovery and counseling programs at hospitals and private clinics. In addition, many employers have employee assistance programs that will confidentially assist you in getting help.
  4. Get support from others who have had substance abuse problems.

 

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