Substance abuse refers to overindulgence and dependence on drug and alcohol such that they are detrimental to the body and mind alike.
Substance abuse is one of the most rapidly growing problems amongst adolescents and young adults today. However a significant number of adults indulge in it as well. Various awareness programmes are conducted in schools and colleges alike to educate students about the dangers of alcohol and drug dependency. Some of this advice falls on deaf ears. Others may be responsible enough to take due note if anyone has a problem. How do you tell that a person has a substance abuse problem?
The most important thing is marked changes in the physical, emotional and behavioral aspects of the personality.
Physically, the person has sudden increase or decrease in weight, loss or increase of appetite, has red eyes, smells of the substance all the time, runny nose and hacking cough, has needle marks on the body especially hands, extreme talkativeness, poor physical coordination, lack of sleep and nausea, tremors, hyperactivity and irregular heartbeat.
Behaviorally, the person may withdraw from his family and old friends, begin to steal to buy drugs, irritability, paranoia, difficulty in paying and sustaining attention, extreme loneliness, lack of responsibility, change in activities and hobbies and a general disinterest in day to day life. Change in personality and general attitude towards things, dropped grades in school and taking unexplained leave of absence from school or college, becoming unnecessarily angry or defensive, getting arrested either for possession of drugs or breaking a traffic signal etc. a general incapability to maintain relationships and keep up jobs.
If you think you or any person you know is suffering from the above-mentioned symptoms, seek professional help immediately.