Drug and Alcohol Addiction

More and more people are turning to drugs and alcohol as the answer. Even though there are no exact statistics on how many people in this country are addicted to drugs and alcohol, it is estimated by the number of people researching this topic on the internet and how many are in substance abuse programs that the number of addicts is definitely on the rise. Chances are you probably know someone, or are someone who is addicted to a substance. Substance abuse has a significant impact on a person's life and can cause them to act irrationally, can cause a reduction in their job performance and can in many cases completely destroy their lives.

Drug addiction can take many forms. A moderate drug user may be able to “keep up appearances” where as a heavy drug user normally will not be able to do such. The most frightening part is sometimes you don't even know that the person is a drug addict. You can't always tell, but irrational behavior and mood swings is usually a good clue that something is wrong with the person, and that they may be in need of assistance.

Signs of Different Drug Addictions

Some of the most common addictions are addictions to the following: cocaine, meth, heroin, and prescription pain pills. Each of these has there own signs to look for.

Cocaine and meth fall under the category of stimulants and the signs and symptoms of addiction to these substances are most commonly an increase in body temperature, over enlarged pupils, a decrease in appetite, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, and increase in attention span. Along with these symptoms, a person who is on a stimulant may be perspiring and appear nervous.

Those who use heroin and prescription pain pills such as Oxycontin and Vicodin may exhibit very different symptoms because these drugs are CNS depressants, and such opiates have a different affect on the body. People who are under the influence of these drugs often exhibit symptoms of exhaustion. They have trouble sitting up or standing, they nod off, and they appear extremely unbalanced and uncoordinated. They are obviously over relaxed and some people when on opiates slur their speech. In the eyes, the signs of opiate abuse appear in the pupils being extremely small or constricted. They actually are so small that they look like pin heads, and this is called a pinned appearance.

It is important to know the signs of drug use and abuse, so that you can identify when someone is in an altered state and also so you can identify if someone is having a problem that needs to be addressed. Addiction does not just affect the person who is addicted, but their whole family and circle of friends. Drug addiction affects all of us and that is what makes identifying the problem so important.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse is another problem that is evident in our society. Problems with alcohol, however, can be much more difficult to detect, since the drinking of alcohol is an acceptable activity and one that can be done for the whole world to see. We are not talking about people who have an occasional drink every now and then, we are talking about people who are abusing and addicted to the substance, and the signs and symptoms of this illness. Some of the signs associated with alcohol abuse are slurred speech, dizziness, clumsiness or unsteadiness which occur while they are intoxicated and weight loss. Other signs of alcoholism include an upset stomach, red faced appearance, and numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. Also, blackouts that occur as a result of drinking too much are another clear sign that there is an alcohol abuse problem.

Getting Help

There are many resources available to you, both online and on a local level. You can very easily find a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program right in the area you live in. There are also nationwide support groups for the addicts and there families to be able to get the help that they need. In addition, your health insurance may cover drug rehabilitation. Drug addiction and Alcoholism are problems that affect the whole family, and even if you can't get your loved one to enter a treatment facility, you can still get help from one of these groups:

There are options to get the help that you need, and in many cases they may be able to give you ideas about how you can help your loved one as well. It is important to acknowledge that dealing with these issues is a struggle and that you need help, even if you can't get your loved one into treatment.