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Detecting Substance Abuse

Alcohol Use to Alcohol Misuse

As we all know, when a person drinks excessively, there are visible signs. The person will tend to slur words. Their eyes may be bloodshot and seem to be in a sort of daze. Their breath will smell alcohol, and they will attempt to hide it with a mint or other means. 

Alcohol misuse takes on the following traits. Their work area may be messy and disorganized. They will seem very happy and show an “all is well” facade, sometimes contradicting their facial traits. In later stages, the person will show slight to severe shaky hands and a high level of anxiety in speech and mannerisms.

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Hiding their drinking problem.

Hiding their Alcohol Problem 

Not all alcoholics are identical. Some have become very good at hiding their addiction. But anyone abusing alcohol will inevitably make mistakes trying to hide it from others. You need to be aware, that the alcoholic will not see the changes happening to them.

Alcoholism creeps up, and one day they find out they can’t stop, and their life is spiralling out of control. The person tries to hide their problem out of embarrassment or pride. Each additional failure to stop their consumption accumulates more shame and despair. Their condition generates anger, blame, and hostilities towards others. In their own way, they push people away so not to harm them.

Drug Abuse or Dependence Signs

Detecting drug abuse or addiction is a bit different. There are many physical and behavioural signs that indicate drug use. Each drug has its unique manifestations, here are some general indications that a person is using drugs. Some of these are

  • a negative change in behaviour,
  • mood swings,
  • depression,
  • distancing from family and friends
  • irritability and
  • anxiety.

Signs of Addiction

A person will lose interest in;

  • personal grooming,
  • hobbies,
  • sports, and other favourite activities.
  • Change in sleeping pattern; up at night and sleeps during the day.


Other more physical signs would be;

  • red and dilated or pined pupils,
  • sniffling or runny nose,
  • dull skin complexion.
  • Deterioration of general appearance and health.

Stages in Drug Addiction

Those are just a few of the addiction signs one can look for in a person. The main point is that the person’s attitude toward you, others, and life will change. It can be somewhat more hostile or antagonist or withdrawn and depressed. 

Stages of Addiction Include;

  • Initial use,
  • Abuse,
  • Tolerance,
  • Dependence,
  • Addiction, and
  • Relapse.


With addiction you can expect certain things to disappear mysteriously.  Stealing is the action used by an addicted person to finance their habit.

Alcohol or Drug Addiction

It is one thing for a person to have a bad day and quite another to have weird and continuous daily troubles. The most effective way to uncover addiction is to request a urine test (for drugs) or a breathalyzer (for alcohol). These tests are available in most pharmacies.

If the person refuses or finds ways not to do it, it is a sign that they are attempting to hide what they are doing. When a person refuses a test, tell them that it can be another time. Wait a day and request it again. If they decline again, you should sit them down and have a good talk with them. Make it safe for them to tell the truth about what is happening. Help them be honest, and this will be the first step to getting professional help.

Professional Addiction Help

If you need professional help in this matter, you can call our toll-free and talk to our certified Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist.  We can help you determine your next step with your loved one..