Abusing substances causes apparent modifications in one’s physical appearance and mind health (behavior or attitude and personality). You should be cautious and not jump to any conclusion. Just because you notice one or more signs do not mean the person has abused substances. Often, people with poor physical and/or mental health depict substance abuse symptoms too. It has been observed that most adolescents during their development years get some or the symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse:
- Appetite – Increased or Reduced.
- Attitude – Hyperactive. Extremely talkative.
- Eyes – Red and watery. Pupils enlarged or smaller than usual.
- Face – Swollen, blushing, and/or pale.
- Heart – Irregular beats.
- Hygiene – Deteriorated.
- Jaws – Constant twisting and grinding are leading to soreness.
- Marks – Needle marks in lower arms, legs, and bottom of feet.
- Nose – Continuous rubbing and runny.
- Odor – Bad breath. Smelly body and/or clothes.
- Palms – Cold, sweaty and/or shaky.
- Physical Condition – Nausea and/or vomiting. Excessive overall sweating.
- Sleep – Inadequate sleep due to waking at odd hours. This results in fatigue and laziness.
- Throat – Coughing.
- Tremors – Hands, feet, head.
- Walking – Slow or staggering.
- Activities – Not interested in hobbies and/or participating in family activities. Late and/or skips going to school and/or workplace.
- Attitude – Extremely dishonest and steals money and/or items. Personality changed for no reason. Not spending time in personal grooming. The constant need for privacy and isolation. “Don’t care” attitude.
- Behavior – Giddy, irritable, moody, nervous, paranoid, secretive, suspicious.
- Concentration – Absent minded, forgetful, and pays no attention. Poor performance in work and academics.
- Friends – Changed to friend circle known to be substance abusers or drug users.
- Medication – Miss taking prescribed medication.
- Motivation – Lack of energy, self-esteem.
- Possession – False ID card and/or drug paraphernalia.
If you notice one or more of the above conditions due to substance abuse, then take care action. These common substances can be divided broadly into three categories as follows:
2. Drugs from Plants
3. Other Chemicals
- Depressants including barbiturates and tranquilizers.
- Inhalants namely aerosols, glues, and vapors.
Here we have discussed in details apparent signs and symptoms you would find in substance abusers.
People using alcohol are usually poor in judgment due to sleepiness. Their pupils get dilated, and their speech gets slurred. They become clumsy and walk with difficulty.
People using Cocaine, Crack, Meth and other such substances get dilated pupils, dry mouth and nose, and weight loss. These people are generally hyperactive and talk excessively followed by depression. Some of them sleep excessively at odd hours. They can go without eating and sleeping for several hours. People show anxiety, euphoria, and irritability.
Depressants (barbiturates and tranquilizers):
People using depressants have similar symptoms as those who abuse alcohol. However, these people do not smell like alcoholics. These people also have poor judgment due to difficulties in focusing and sleepiness. They are clumsy, get slurred speech and contracted pupils.
People using hallucinogens get detached from people and prefer to remain isolated. They become irrational showing aggression, hallucinations, and paranoia. Also, they suffer from confusion and mood swings. They have slurred speech and dilated pupils.
People using heroin always get needle marks on their body. They get loss of appetite and get nausea and/or vomiting. Other signs include coughing and sniffling, sweating, twitching and sleeping at odd hours. Their contracted pupils do not respond to light.
Inhalants (aerosols, glues, and vapors):
People using inhalants always have an appearance of intoxication. Physically,they get watery eyes and poor vision. Their nose and mouth have rashes due to harmful secretions from the nose. They have poor memory and ability to think.They have poor muscle control and suffer from headaches and nausea. Other signs include anxiety, drowsiness, and irritability.
People using marijuana always have a sweet burnt fragrance on their bodies and clothes. They tend either to gain or lose body weight. Their eyes turn glassy and red. These people are not interested or motivated in performing daily activities. They talk loudly and laugh inappropriately after which they become sleepy.
While you are reading this article, there are several drug abuse and alcohol addicts busy getting “high.” This is because substance abuse is quite common in modern society. Most of the substances are easily available in today’s market and in black. People commence thinking they would not make a habit of taking substances. They begin innocently with a glass, sniff, smoke or prick of a needle. Without realizing the consequences, they become a victim when they cannot function without taking it. It can happen to the best of us and to our dearest one.
How to Deal with Victims of Substance Abuse?
Finding the Right Expert:
You can begin by understanding the intensity of the substance addiction that could be mild, moderate and severe. All organizations expert in treating substance abuse and mind or mental health suggest seeking professional help. Experts identify and assess the condition and stage of the victim.Depending on this, victims undergo special treatments including substance use disorder.
Only a licensed mental health professional qualified and experienced Psychiatrist can treat the victim. As you recall, the symptoms mentioned do not necessarily mean the victim is addicted to substances. Only trained doctors can diagnose when victims abuse substances. In some cases, it has been found victim suffers from poor mental and physical health. It is recommended that you seek professional medical aid for treating your close friend or relative. Research studies have proved that substance addictions can be extremely complicated leading to chronic illnesses.
Discussing the Problem:
Generally, people fully recover after expert doctors diagnose the reason and provide them with the necessary treatment. Yet, some victims of substance abuse worry about fitting into the society after treatment. They are apprehensive about the impact of the treatment on their employment and/or relationship. Do not force your friend to go for treatment for substance abuse. Instead, enlighten him/her about the several laws that have been passed for the victim’s protection. Moreover, everyone including co-workers, employers, friends, and family are actually supportive of substance addiction treatment.
According to professional bodies involved in curing alcohol, drug and substance addiction treatment, education is a must. The professional centers are treating victims of substance abuse conduct face-to-face meetings with family members and friends. At that time, you can learn how to get effectively involved in healing the victim. Your close friend or relative should get the impression you care and love him/her under any circumstances. This positive feeling hastens the individual to get well soon.
Top Luxury Rehabilitation Centers of India
Alpha Healing Centre
Address: Village Narukot, Pavagarh-Jambughoda Road, Near Don Bosco School, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
Highlights: Provides world-class in-house treatment to patients who receive 360-degree facilities. It offers several recreational facilities including fitness room, indoor games room, jogging track, library, net cricket, spa with massage, swimming pool, tennis court, and others.
Treatments: Alcohol Addiction Treatment (Alcohol Detox and Alcohol Treatment Program), and Drug Addiction Treatment (Drug Detox, Drug Addiction Treatment of Amphetamine, Cocaine, Ecstasy, GHB, Heroin, Ketamine, Marijuana, Meth and Prescribed drug Addiction).
Therapies: All therapies offered are based on individual needs. These therapies include Art, Meditation, Music, and Yoga. MET (Motivational Enhancement Therapy) is specially offered for people with multiple addictions. Therapies are based on science meant for the long-term healing of the body, mind, and soul.
Address: (Head Office) – 701/702, Diwani Mahal, Opp. ONGC Colony, Juhu Scheme Road No. 1, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Highlights: Centre treats all clients with most deserving dignity. The team of therapists provide one-to-one therapy to clients at their preferred venues including island and properties. Therapy and venue are kept private and confidential after detoxification and treatment clients are kept off all medications. Centre provides long-term solutions for staying away from substances.
Therapy: Duration for total treatment takes eight weeks but, it varies from one client to another. Duration often depends on the profession and/or personal reasons. The center works around the time most suitable to the client. Stages of therapy include first meeting, detoxification, counseling, and meditation. After the individual is sober, he/she is encouraged to join voluntary treatment for long-term cure.
Safe House Wellness Retreat
Address: I.T. Farm, Dera Mandi, Chhattarpur, New Delhi – 110047.
Highlights: India’s first therapeutic inpatient rehabilitation provides international standard boasting comfortable, safe, and secure treatment experience.
Centre has a professional team comprising of experienced psychiatrists, psychologists, general physicians, and counselors. Also, there is a group of dedicated staff who serve in-house patients round the clock. Centre offers the ambiance of own home. The reported recovery rate is 85% owing to qualified staff and well-known “12-step treatment programme”.
Centre offers both kinds of accommodations namely luxury and premium luxury. Luxury accommodations in Delhi, Haryana offer individuals with private and luxury amenities suitable for recovery. The premium luxury accommodations in South Delhi provide clients with colonial style farmhouses. Clients enjoy the extra luxury treatment.
Therapies: The famous 12 step treatment includes one-to-one counseling, exercise, meditation, yoga, and CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy).
Wilson Smith Recovery Services
Address: “Sober Farm, In the Hills” Regd. Office: B 15 Arun Chambers, Tardeo, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Highlights: Offers 12 step treatments to clients suffering from substance addiction. Also, provides long-term solutions for challenges in life. After completion of treatment and recovery, clients are encouraged to participate as alumni in the community. Alumni can join in all events for free visiting the center open every day. Whenever any alum craves for any substance, he/she should contact the center for help. They are offered special on campus overnight recovery plans free of cost. Hence, the center offers service to clients and alumni.
Therapies: Common therapies offered to all include meditation, swimming, and yoga. Others include large group studies and 12 step meetings.
Four basic programmes offered are as follows:
1. Recovery Immersion (3 weeks for new starters)
2. Recovery Essentials (1-week extra intensive programme for review)
3. Recovery Renewal (weekend programme offered quarterly)
4. Relapse Prevention (1 week intensive program meant for those who have already been through programmes at the rehabilitation)
Foreigners are welcome to participate in the special programme called recover and discover. Duration of this programme is for two weeks.
There are other luxury substance abuse rehabilitation centers in India. If interested in finding the nearest center to your hometown, then you can browse the net.
In India, you can dial 1800110031 to seek 24 x 7 help for victims of drug abuse. If you suspect your friend or relative is abusing substances, then simply call for guidance. The earlier the substance addiction is cured, the better for your friend/relative. You do not want to make things more complicated leading to chronic ailments.
Submitted By: Hetal Kabra