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FACTS ABOUT...
WARNING SIGNS OF ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS ABUSE

Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in
Chicago, Illinois and Northfield, Illinois.

You can contact Dr. Frisch, Psy.D. at drfrisch@aliveandwellnews.com  or at
(847) 604-3290.

Recover from chemical dependency as well as its toxic impact on family members. Raise your children to choose to be alcohol and other drugs free. Learn how to in Dr. Frisch’s, Psy.D. Recovery book series.


Facts About…
Warning Signs of Alcohol and
Other Drugs Abuse

Table of Contents
1.) General Signs of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
2.) Signs of Alcohol Abuse
3.) Signs of Cocaine Abuse
4.) Signs of Depressants Abuse
5.) Signs of Hallucinogens Abuse
6.) Signs of Marijuana Abuse
7.) Signs of Narcotics Abuse
8.) Sign of Stimulants Abuse

General Signs of Alcohol and
Other Drug Abuse

Pathfinder’s Checklist
General signs of alcohol and other drug abuse.

1.) Abrupt changes in work or school attendance, quality of work, grades, discipline
2.) Unusual flare-ups or outbreaks of temper
3.) Withdrawal from responsibility
4.) General changes in overall attitude
5.) Deterioration of physical appearance and grooming
6.) Wearing of sunglasses at inappropriate times
7.) Continual wearing of long-sleeved garments particularly in hot weather
8.) Association with known substance abusers
9.) Unusual borrowing of money from friends, co-workers or parents
10.) Stealing small items from employer, home or school
11.) Secretive behavior regarding actions and possessions; poorly concealed attempts to avoid suspicion such as frequent trips to storage rooms, restroom, basement

 Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol is a depressant that decreases the responses of the central nervous system. Excessive drinking can cause liver damage and psychotic behavior. As little as two beers or drinks can impair coordination and thinking. Alcohol is often used by substance abusers to enhance the effects of other drugs. Alcohol continues to be the most frequently abused substance among young adults.

Alcohol abuse is described as any harmful use of alcohol. Alcohol abusers drink despite recurrent social, interpersonal, and legal problems caused by alcohol use. Typically, those drinkers who are diagnosed as only alcohol abusers can be helped with a brief intervention, including education concerning the dangers of binge drinking and alcohol poisoning. Those who have become alcohol dependent generally require outside help to stop drinking, which could include detoxification, medical treatment, counseling or self-help group support. Those who are alcohol dependent meet all of the criteria of alcohol abuse, but they will also exhibit some or all of the following:

Pathfinder’s Checklist
Signs of alcohol abuse.

1.) Narrowing of the drinking repertoire (drinking only one brand or type of alcoholic beverage)
2.) Drink-seeking behavior (only going to social events that will include drinking, or only hanging out with others who drink)
3.) Alcohol tolerance (having to drink increasing amounts to achieve previous effects)
4.) Withdrawal symptoms (getting physical symptoms after going a short period without drinking)
5.) Drinking to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms (such as drinking to stop the shakes or to cure a hangover)
6.) Subjective awareness of the craving for alcohol (whether they admit it to others or not)
7.) A return to drinking after a period of abstinence (deciding to quit drinking and not being able to follow through)

Signs of Cocaine Abuse

A cocaine high lasts only about 5 to 20 minutes. Cocaine use may cause severe mood swings and irritability. You need more and more cocaine each time you want a "high. Cocaine increases your blood pressure and heart rate—particularly dangerous if you have a heart condition. One use can cause death! Possession and use are illegal and can result in fines and arrest.

Crack cocaine is almost instantly addictive. One use could cause a fatal heart attack.
Repeated use may cause insomnia, hallucinations, seizures, paranoia. The euphoric effects of crack last only a few minutes. Crack possession and use are illegal in all fifty states. There are more hospitalizations per year resulting from crack and
cocaine use than any other illicit substance.


Pathfinder’s Checklist
Signs of cocaine abuse.

1.) Dilated pupils (when large amounts are taken)
2.) Dry mouth and nose, bad breath, frequent lip licking
3.) Excessive activity, difficulty sitting still, lack of interest in food or sleep
4.) Irritable, argumentative, nervous
5.) Talkative, but conversation often lacks continuity; changes subjects rapidly
6.) Runny nose, cold or chronic sinus/nasal problems, nose bleeds
7.) Use or possession of paraphernalia including small spoons, razor blades, mirror, little bottles of white powder and plastic, glass or metal straws.

Signs of Depressants Abuse

Depressants minimize the activities of the central nervous system. They fall into three categories: hypnotics which induce sleep; sedatives which do not induce sleep but produce a relaxing effect to help one fall asleep, and tranquilizers which are used to alleviate anxiety, tension, and relax muscles.

The effects of depressants are similar to alcohol and also have a high potential for dependency. The abuser can develop a high tolerance that creates the need for escalating dosages to maintain the desired high. The withdrawal from depressants, especially barbiturates, is very hazardous and potentially lethal, sometimes taking from five to eight days. These withdrawal effects include delirium, hallucinations, anxiety, tremors, weakness, abdominal cramps, nausea, delirium, spatial and time disorientation, seizures, respiratory failure, heart failure, and possibly death.

Pathfinder’s Checklist
Signs of depressant abuse.

1.) Symptoms of alcohol intoxication with no alcohol odor on breath (depressants are also frequently used with alcohol)
2.) Lack of facial expression or animation
3.) Flat affect
4.) Flaccid appearance
5.) Slurred speech

Signs of Hallucinogens Abuse

One use of LSD or PCP can cause multiple and dramatic behavioral changes. Large doses of hallucinogens may cause convulsions, ruptured blood vessels in the brain and irreversible brain damage. Many hallucinogens cause unpleasant and potentially dangerous flashbacks, long after the drug was used. Most hallucinogens cause hallucinations, i.e., changes in perception of time, smell, touch, etc.

With the exception of PCP, all hallucinogens seem to share common effects of use. Any portion of sensory perceptions may be altered to varying degrees. Synesthesia, or the seeing of sounds, and the "hearing" of colors, is a common side effect of hallucinogen use. Depersonalization, acute anxiety, and acute depression resulting in suicide have also been noted as a result of hallucinogen use.

Pathfinder’s Checklist
Signs of hallucinogen abuse.

1.) Extremely dilated pupils
2.) Warm skin, excessive perspiration and body odor
3.) Distorted senses of sight, hearing, touch; distorted image of self and time perception
4.) Mood and behavior changes, the extent depending on emotional state of the user and environmental conditions
5.) Unpredictable flashback episodes even long after withdrawal (although these are rare)

Signs of Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana may cause impaired short-term memory, a shortened attention span and delayed reflexes. During pregnancy, marijuana may cause birth defects. Marijuana may cause a fast heart rate and pulse. Repeated use of marijuana may cause breathing problems. Possession of marijuana is illegal in all fifty states. Marijuana may cause relaxed inhibitions, disoriented behavior.

Marijuana users are difficult to recognize unless they are under the influence of the drug at the time of observation. Casual users may show none of the general symptoms. Marijuana does have a distinct odor and may be the same color or a bit greener than tobacco.

Pathfinder’s Checklist
Signs of marijuana abuse.

1.) Loud talking and bursts of laughter in early stages of intoxication
2.) Sleepy or stuporous in the later stages
3.) Forgetfulness in conversation
4.) Inflammation in whites of eyes; pupils unlikely to be dilated
5.) Odor similar to burnt rope on clothing or breath
6.) Tendency to drive slowly - below speed limit
7.) Distorted sense of time passage - tendency to overestimate time intervals
8.) Use or possession of paraphernalia including roach clip, packs of rolling papers, pipes or bongs

Signs of Narcotics Abuse

Pathfinder’s Checklist
Signs of narcotics abuse.

1.) Lethargy, drowsiness
2.) Constricted pupils fail to respond to light
3.) Redness and raw nostrils from inhaling heroin in power form
4.) Scars (tracks) on inner arms or other parts of body, from needle injections
5.) Use or possession of paraphernalia, including syringes, bent spoons, bottle caps, eyedroppers, rubber tubing, cotton and needles
6.) Slurred speech

Sign of Stimulants Abuse

Stimulants, such as Ice, Meth, Crystal, Crank, and/or Methamphetamine, are extremely addictive—sometimes with just one use! These stimulants can cause convulsions, heart irregularities, high blood pressure, depression, restlessness, tremors, severe fatigue. An overdose can cause coma and death. When you stop using stimulants you may experience a deep depression. These stimulants causes a very jittery high, along with anxiety, insomnia, sometimes paranoia.

Pathfinder’s Checklist
Signs of stimulant abuse.

1.) Dilated pupils (when large amounts are taken)
2.) Dry mouth and nose, bad breath, frequent lip licking
3.) Excessive activity, difficulty sitting still, lack of interest in food or sleep
4.) Irritable, argumentative, nervous
5.) Talkative, but conversation often lacks continuity; changes subjects rapidly
6.) Runny nose, cold or chronic sinus/nasal problems, nose bleeds
7.) Use or possession of paraphernalia including small spoons, razor blades, mirror, little bottles of white powder and plastic, glass or metal straws.

G.B.U.

Steve


Recover from chemical dependency as well as its toxic impact on family members. Raise your children to choose to be alcohol and other drugs free. Learn how to in Dr. Frisch’s, Psy.D. Recovery book series—From Insanity to Serenity.



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