The Signs Of Substance Abuse In Behavior & Mental Health

Substance abuse is a curse, and everyone struggling with it fails to quit and even results in mental health issues (it’s addictive, of course). However, the first step into gaining the optimized mental health is knowing the symptoms and signs, and it’s a guided step to get help. Mental health is a serious issue and can be alleviated by people who do drugs. That being said, we have curated this article to share link between substance abuse and mental health, so let’s check out the details!

The Link Between Substance Abuse & Mental Health

When you struggle both with mental health issues and substance abuse, such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder; it is known as co-occuring disorder but some also call it dual diagnosis. Truth be told, it’s hard to deal with substance abuse and it becomes even more complicated when you have recurring mental health issues. With dual diagnosis, both substance abuse and mental health issues come with distinctive symptoms.

These symptoms can even adversely impact the functionality at schools or work. That being said, the co-occurign disorders can affect each other. To illustrate, if the mental health issues are untreated, the substance abuse issue will worsen. Similarly, when the substance abuse increases, the mental health issues will increase. Truth be told, these issues are more common as compared to what people generally comprehend.

To illustrate, around 50% of people struggling with mental health issues are affected by substance abuse while 53% of substance abusers have minimum of one severe mental health issue. With ignorance, these issues are likely to worsen but counseling can help overcome these issues. With proper counseling and treatment, it will be easier to overcome the co-occuring disorder.

Behavioral Signs

The behavioral signs involve the outward relations of the person with the outer world, while physical signs are related to the side effects of drugs on the body. The behavioral signs include the obsessive actions and thoughts with which addicted people only care about drugs while sidelining school, work, or family. It also includes the disregard for harm. One most essential behavioral sign is loss of control, with which addicted people lose the urge to stop using drugs.

Lastly, it includes hiding the drug use or denying the addiction. The addicted people will avoid explaining their actions and drug use to people. In some cases, they might even do drugs in secret. Truth be told, these signs should be enough to make you understand that someone is struggling with substance abuse. The impact of substance abuse can be dramatic, and addicted people often lose control on their actions and mental health.

Physical Signs

The use of drugs can lead to multiple side effects, and it shows up in the physical aspect. In the majority of cases, the physical signs occur with withdrawal and overdose. It’s safe to say that understanding the root cause behind physical signs can be tedious, but some severe physical signs demand instant medical treatment. The withdrawal symptoms generally occur when the body is trying to adjust to the absence of drugs in the system.

Generally, the physical signs include dilated pupils, bad body odors, insomnia, sudden weight gain and loss, slurred speech, weak physical coordination, and bloodshot eyes. As far as the physical signs of a drug overdose is concerned, they include agitation, troubled walking, drowsiness, breathing issues, aggression, delusions, nausea, hallucinations, vomiting, and unconsciousness.

  • The withdrawal signs include depression, loss of appetite, shakiness, jumpiness, headaches, fever, and fatigue.

Some people also struggle with hallucinations and seizures during the withdrawal phase. It’s needless to say that substance abuse can impact the psychological state of patients. The psychological signs include inattentiveness, anxiety, outbursts, lack of motivation, instant mood swings, changes in attitude, mental withdrawals from people. Also, there are chances of unexplainable paranoia, emotional withdrawals, and irritability.

Signs of Heroin Abuse

In the majority of cases, people suspecting heroin abuse have a hard time knowing how the substance looks like. Heroin has a white color if being consumed in pure form. However, heroin might have black, rose gray, or brown color if other substances are added to it. Paraphernalia is about transporting the containers. These containers include small balloons, small tubes, small foil and spoon with burn marks, the excessive number of lighters, shoelaces, cut-up straw, and rubber bands.

If you find the paraphernalia or residue of heroin, it’s certain that heroin abuse is happening. Also, if the heroine abuse started recently, you will notice people having locked boxes and missing money. In addition to these, people with heroin abuse often show signs like disorientation, constricted pupils, tremors, weight loss, diarrhea, stomach cramps, tracking marks on the body (arms, in particular).

  • People with heroin abuse might have a dirty and unkempt appearance as well.

Obviously, heroin addicts won’t call it “heroine” in front of everyone but will rather use street names. These street names include smack, horse, china white, dope, junk, brown sugar, black tar, and Big H. These signs must be taken seriously because even the slightest overdose results in fatal conditions.

Signs of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is famous for the white and powdering form. In the majority of cases, people snort cocaine, but some people inject and smoke it as well. The effect of cocaine ranges from thirty minutes to two hours. The side effects of cocaine include paranoia, increased energy, invincible feelings, dilated pupils, restlessness, anxiety, jumping speech, and elevated moods.

  • For the most part, the addicts use street names to ask for cocaine.

The street names of cocaine include flave, aspirin, fast white lady, soft, uptown, blow, and yao. Cocaine is extremely addictive and has become a high-strength stimulant. If you are experiencing these signs or watching your loved ones showing the signs, you can call Bright Beginnings Counseling. We can be reached out at (208) 878-7008 or

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