Signs of a Substance Abuser: A to Z

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1 comment   |   Blog, Substance Abuse

Don't Do Drugs message spaghetti-oTreating drug and alcohol abuse cannot be done by one person alone.  At CASTLE I am joined by nurses and social workers, recovery specialists, people with different degrees of training, but all with the shared vision of helping our kids find ways to stay clean and sober.  But if a kid does not progress to needing our level of care, an intensive short term acute care setting for two to four weeks, then all the better!  Two of my staff, Kaitlyn Hill, an RN who has been working with me since her graduation from Nursing School, and Zena Curry, BA, one of my clinicians, have come up with these warning signs of kids (and adults) who may be at risk of using drugs and alcohol.  We all hope that kids, parents, teachers, and employees can use this alphabet to decode the sometimes scrambled signs of substances. Here are our ABC’s for signs and symptoms of substance abuse:

  • Appearance- not keeping up with self image
  • Behaviors- angry, assaultive, frustration
  • Cash- decrease in bank account
  • Destructive behaviors to property and self
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Friends- loss of old friends, new friends
  • Grades declining
  • Hobbies change or stop
  • Irritable
  • Job Loss
  • Keeping secrets
  • Lack of motivation
  • Moody
  • Nausea/vomiting- unknown reasons
  • Over/under eating
  • Pupils dilated or constricted
  • Quitting leisure activities and sports teams
  • Resisting house rules
  • Stealing, selling belongings
  • Tired
  • Unusual behaviors, irrational thinking
  • Violent behaviors/ outburst, Visine
  • Withdrawal symptoms-flu like symptoms for unknown reasons
  • eXtreme silliness or giddiness
  • Yelling
  • Zzzzz a lot during the day
  • Jako Niknako

    That A – Z bit was pretty lame. You couldn’t find a word that started with X? How bout Xylophone? Or is that to EXTREEEEME for you…. jackass