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Recognize Substance Abuse

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Most likely there is a person, more likely several people you know very well, who are addicted to drugs. This is because substance and drug abuse is rampant in the United States, with more than 20 million Americans using an illegal drug within the past month, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).

Most Commonly Abused Substances

After alcohol, the most commonly abused illegal substance is marijuana. Other commonly abused drugs include cocaine, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, PCP, crack, meth, prescription painkillers and anabolic steroids to name a few.

Cost of Substance Abuse

The cost of substance abuse exceeds more than $190 billion a year, which includes $130 billion in lost productivity, $20 billion in healthcare costs and $40 billion in efforts to stop the flow of drugs in the United States.

Warning Signs of Substance Abuse

Following are some common warnings signs that a person may be suffering from drug addiction:

• Appetite Changes – Eating less or more than usual.
• Eye Changes – Pupils that are smaller or bigger than normal, or bloodshot eyes.
• Nosebleeds – Snorting of drugs can cause frequent nosebleeds.
• Grooming Issues – Loss of interest in overall appearance or grooming.
• Loss of Interest in Everyday Activities – This could include not showing up for work or school.
• Financial Problems – A new, or unusual need for money, which may include borrowing money or even stealing money/valuables.
• Relationship Changes – Suddenly, for no apparent reason, changing of friends and/or hobbies.
• Personality Changes – An overall change in personality, or sudden mood changes or irritability.
• Withdrawn – Appears to withdraw from normal, every day life or seems anxious or paranoid for no apparent reason.