Signs & Symptoms of Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a complicated condition that, left untreated, can quickly develop into dependency—and the life-damaging results that can come with it.

To help determine if you or a loved one is experiencing a serious problem, please review the signs and symptoms of substance abuse below or complete this drug abuse checklist.

If these signs seem all too familiar, it may be time to seek professional care. The chemical dependency experts at Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital in Tulsa have years of experience and specialized training to help break the cycle of addiction and help you take charge of your health and life.

For more information, please call 918-491-3700, Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Laureate is available 24/7 for all emergencies at 918-481-4000.

Behavioral Signs of Addiction

  • Change in overall attitude/personality with no other identifiable cause
  • Avoiding friends or family members in order to get high or drunk
  • Missing work or school because of drug use or drinking
  • General lack of motivation, energy, self-esteem or having an "I don't care" attitude
  • Taking risks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Constantly talking about using drugs or alcohol
  • Pressuring others to take drugs or drink
  • Believing drug use or alcohol are needed in order to have fun
  • Excessive need for privacy
  • Chronic dishonesty or lying about the amount of drugs or alcohol being taken
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Getting in trouble with the law

Physical Signs of Addiction

  • Loss or increase of appetite, significant changes in eating habits or unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Nausea, vomiting or excessive sweating
  • Needle marks on the lower arm or leg
  • Red, watery eyes or pupils larger or smaller than normal
  • Smell of substance on breath, body or clothesTremors or shaking of the hands, feet or head

Drug-Specific Symptoms


Alcohol
  • Clumsiness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Dilated pupils
  • Poor judgment
  • Sleepiness
  • Slurred speech
Marijuana
  • Glassy, red eyes
  • Loud talking and inappropriate laughing followed by sleepiness
  • Sweet burnt scent
  • Weight gain or loss
Depressants
  • Clumsiness
  • Contracted pupils
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor judgment
  • Sleepiness
Stimulants
  • Able to go long periods without sleeping or eating
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times
  • Hyperactivity
  • Weight loss
Inhalants
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Changes in appetite
  • Headaches and nausea
  • Impaired memory or thought process
  • Poor muscle control
  • Secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth
  • Watery eyes with impaired vision
Hallucinogens
  • Bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression and/or hallucinations
  • Detachment from people with absorption of self or other objects|
  • Mood swings
Heroin
  • Contracted pupils that do not respond to light
  • Coughing and sniffling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Needle marks on arm, leg or bottom of feet
  • Sweating