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5 Signs of Substance Abuse in a Friend

Man rubs another's back after seeing signs of substance abuse in a friend

It’s important to be able to recognize the signs of substance use in a friend. Substance abuse signs can be hard to spot as people may be good at hiding their addiction, and the signs themselves can vary from person to person. If you or a loved one has been showing signs of substance abuse, call Outreach Recovery at 866.394.5007 today. Our substance abuse treatment programs help people who are showing signs of drug abuse to recover and live happy, healthy lives.

Why People Misuse Substances

Substance misuse often stems from attempts to self-medicate, escape from reality, or cope with stress. It can also be influenced by genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Understanding why people misuse substances is crucial in identifying signs of substance use and providing the necessary support. Some people have an undiagnosed mental health condition that can lead to substance misuse as a form of self-medication. Others may be influenced by peer pressure or societal norms, causing them to turn to substances for escape or recreational purposes.

It is important not to make a moral judgment when it comes to substance misuse, as individuals may be facing complex underlying issues that have led them down this path. Approaching the issue with empathy and understanding can make a big difference in helping someone seek help.

Signs of Substance Use in a Friend

If you’re worried a friend may be abusing substances, here are five signs of substance use in a friend to look out for:

Behavioral Changes

These can include sudden changes in mood, unexplained increases in energy or hyperactivity, and erratic behavior.

Neglecting Responsibilities

If your friend starts missing work, school, or other commitments due to their substance use, this could be a sign of a problem.

Changes in Social Groups

You may notice your friend spending time with a new group of people known for substance use.

Secrecy or Deceptiveness

They might become secretive about their whereabouts or activities, or you may catch them lying or making excuses for their behavior.

Physical Changes

These could include bloodshot eyes, sudden weight loss or gain, or changes in personal grooming habits.

Symptoms of Drug Use and Alcohol Use

The specific symptoms can depend on the type of substance being misused. However, common signs include:

  • Slurred speech, impaired coordination, or unsteady walking
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
  • Tremors, shakes, or irregular heartbeat
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Unusual or unexplained need for money

Recognizing these signs is the first step toward helping a friend in need.

The Importance of Early Intervention

Early intervention is key in preventing substance abuse from developing into a full-blown addiction. Recognizing the signs and addressing the issue promptly can prevent long-term consequences such as physical and mental health problems, strained relationships, and legal issues. If you notice any of these signs in yourself or a friend, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional treatment program.

Call Outreach Recovery Today

If you’re concerned about a friend’s substance use, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help. At Outreach Recovery, we specialize in comprehensive addiction treatment, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for individuals dealing with substance use disorders.

Located on the East Coast with our headquarters in Maryland, we provide a range of services designed to address the root causes of addiction and support our clients’ overall health and well-being. Our approach includes individual therapy, group counseling, family therapy, and holistic treatments, ensuring a well-rounded recovery process.

Recognizing substance abuse signs in a friend is the first step towards helping them find the help they need. Contact Outreach Recovery online or call 866.394.5007 to learn more about our programs and how we can assist in your loved one’s journey to recovery.