Substance abuse of any kind is dangerous. Persons of all ages can quickly, or over a period of time, become victims of their own negative behavior.
Substance abuse becomes substance dependence. A person's choice of abused substance is often determined by age, economics, social or ethnic group,
peer pressure and other personal and societal factors.
Remember: Some of the signs of abuse listed below may signify normal behavior variability or health problems. Signs are not proof. Conclusions should
be based on facts, not on assumptions.
We hope this information will help you to recognize persons abusing substances so that they can be helped. In situations where signs and symptoms seem
obvious, it is advisable to bring your observations to the attention of an appropriate person such as school nurse or counselor, family member, employee
assistance or personnel liaison or the primary care physician.
A word for parents: Be very frank but not accusatory in discussing and questioning adolescents about suspected substance abuse. If you are unsure as to
how to do this, consult with a local treatment professional, licensed by the state.
Appearance sometimes similar to a drunken stupor.
- Dazed appearance
- Difficulty speaking
- Impaired Time and Depth perception
- Memory Loss
- Sensory Perception Alteration
- Sensory alteration
- Anxiety reduction
- Muscles relaxed
- Slurred speech
- Impaired judgment
- Decreased heart / respiratory rates
- Slow Breathing
- Decreased alertness
- Loss of motor coordination
- Respiratory depression
- Increased heart / respiratory rates
- Elevated blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Decreased appetite
- Irregular heartbeat
- Loss of coordination
- Blurred vision
- Heart/ Respiratory failure
- Odor of marijuana
- Accelerated heart rate/blood pressure
- Increased appetite
- Relaxed inhibitions
- Mood swings from talkativeness to silence
- Onset of anxiety and panic attacks
- Reddening of eyes
- Dilated pupils
- Reduced ability to concentrate
- Impaired short term memory