Six Signs of Substance Abuse and Addiction

Veena Nobbay, psychotherapist at Seraniti talks about “substance abuse and addiction.”

Are you worried that someone you love has a drug or alcohol problem? Do you see him or her drinking alone? Has he or she begun to neglect responsibilities?
The use, and abuse, of alcohol and drugs is becoming a more prominent issue in India. As a result, recognizing addiction in friends and family is of increasing importance.

Here are some of the signs that might indicate addiction to alcohol or drugs.

Loss of Control
People suffering from addiction often feel like they can’t control their use of the substance they are addicted to, using it more than they want to, for longer than they intended, or despite telling themselves that they wouldn’t do it this time.

Neglecting Other Activities and Responsibilities
People who are addicted to alcohol or drugs tend to spend less time on activities that have previously been important to them such as exercising, pursuing hobbies, and work. The use of alcohol or drugs can lead to a drop in attendance and/or productivity at school or work.

Secrecy
Denial is common in people with problems with alcohol or substances. They tend to use the drugs or alcohol when they are alone, and hide the amount they are consuming.

Relationship Issues
Addiction to alcohol or drugs often has negative effects on relationships. People struggling with addiction are known to act out against those closest to them, particularly if someone addresses their substance problems.

Changes in Appearance
People who are addicted to alcohol or drugs tend to stop taking care of their personal hygiene and physical appearance.

Increased Tolerance
Over time, and with increased use, a person’s body adapts to the substance and requires increased amounts to experience its effects.

If you are concerned that someone you love may be struggling with addiction, please contact a mental health professional. Recovering from addiction is a long and difficult process, that often requires psychotherapy and/or medication.