Signs Of Substance Abuse In Adults

Substance abuse isn't something that should be ignored. If you suffer from substance abuse, you should seek help, and if you suspect someone has a substance abuse problem, you should do what you can do to help the person get the help they need. If you aren't sure of the signs of a substance abuse problem, read on for a few signs to look out for.


If the person is beginning to withdraw from regular activities that would have made the person happy and withdrawing from family or friends, it could be a sign of a problem. Withdrawing is also a common sign of depression, which substance abuse often goes hand in hand with. If you notice the person withdrawing, you can try to talk to them to see why they are withdrawing and try to get them to go out to do something they would normally enjoy, or stay in with them to keep them company.

Weight Changes

A weight loss or weight gain that is a big difference could be a sign of a substance abuse problem. If you see the person and they have gained a lot of weight or lost a lot of weight in a short time, it could be due to alcohol or drugs of some sort. A person can drink excessively and put a lot of weight on, or do drugs and not eat at all, causing them to lose a lot of weight. Either way, it's something that should be addressed.

Changes In Appearance

If the person typically dresses nicely and then suddenly starts changing their appearance, such as if they are neglecting their hair or makeup or wearing odd, mismatched, or even dirty clothing, it could be a substance abuse sign. Sure someone can change their appearance, but if it's drastic and not in a positive way, it's something to pay attention to. 

Attitude Changes

If the person has a different attitude, snaps quickly, or doesn't seem to care about anything at all, it could be a substance abuse issue. The change in attitude could be due to the fact that their addiction is so great and they need their next fix or drink, or they could be coming down from a high, which could make them irritable. 

These are just a few of the signs to keep an eye out for. If you suspect a substance abuse issue, you can try to bring it up to the person or stage an intervention, but if the person isn't ready to make the change and get help, you can't force them. Try your best to get them the help they need and consult a substance abuse professional for other tips to help them. For more information, reach out to a resource like Bridgeway Recovery Services Inc.