Addictions Signs of Substance Abuse

Many family members do not notice the signs of addiction.  It is important to identify these signs so that one can properly help before it becomes too late.  Addiction is a disease but it is something that can be controlled through proper intervention and coping methods.  Substance Abuse Counselors can help others through the issues of addiction and help them find ways to better cope through the difficulties addiction can produce.

Knowing the signs in one’s children or in friends and family can be key in stopping addiction from becoming far worst.  It can help lead one to the help one needs.  Being diligent and alert in what friends and family are doing and noticing changes in life style can be the key in saving a friend or family member, or even own child.

There are numerous behavioral signs of addiction. Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Certification


The article, “The Warning Signs of Addiction and How To Help” from Avera’s Behavioral Health Team takes a closer look at signs of addiction.  The article emphasizes the critical importance of noticing addiction signs and what to particularly look out for.  Possible signs of hiding substances, irritability, or behavioral changes are all listed.  Ultimately, helping the person find help is the key. The article states,

“Addiction is among the most difficult diseases to treat. Part of the reason for this is because in 60 to 80% of cases, mental health conditions are intertwined with the abuse of alcohol or drugs “When a loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s likely they’re also facing a mental health condition,” said Malia Holbeck, LCSW-PIP, outpatient manager with Avera’s Addiction Recovery Program. Holbeck said that’s why professional support is recommended to treat the person. Going it alone – without a pro backing your efforts – can lead to failure.”

“The Warning Signs of Addiction and How To Help”. Behavioral Health Team. July 26th, 2022. Avera

To read the entire article, please click here


Substance abuse is a major problem in our society. It leads to crime, violence, and other problems. Substance abuse is also a major health problem. It can lead to addiction, disease, and death. We need to do something about this problem.

Signs of Addiction

The signs of addiction can be divided into three categories: physical, psychological, and behavioral. Physical signs include tolerance (needing more of the substance to get the same effect), withdrawal (experiencing negative symptoms when not using the substance), and cravings (intense desires to use the substance). Psychological signs include preoccupation with using the substance, loss of control over one’s use of the substance, and continued use despite negative consequences.

The signs of addiction for family and friends may include changes in behavior, mood, and physical appearance. Family and friends may also notice a change in the person’s social life, work life, and hobbies. The person may become more isolated and withdrawn, and their relationships may suffer. They may also begin to neglect their personal hygiene and appearance.  There may also be financial problems and difficulty keeping up with work or school.   Also, if a friend or family member has experienced a loss or experienced a tragedy, if over time, they do not seem to resume normal activities, one may need to check on their progress and check and see if they are using drugs or other substances. If you are concerned about someone you love, it is important to talk to them about your concerns and get help from a professional if needed.  If you notice any of these changes in a loved one, it may be time to seek help.

There are many signs that a teen may be addicted to drugs or alcohol. These include changes in mood or behavior, withdrawal from friends and activities, secrecy, lying, and financial problems. Teens may also have difficulty concentrating, sleeping, or eating. They may also become more withdrawn, irritable, or aggressive. If you suspect your teen may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is important to get help right away.

Preventing Substance Abuse in Teens and Family

The best way to prevent substance abuse in teens is through a family-based approach. This means that parents need to be involved in their child’s life and be aware of what they are doing. They also need to provide support and guidance to their child so that they can make good decisions. Additionally, families need to be able to communicate openly about difficult topics like substance abuse.

Parents who take the time to care will find any negative signs.  It is when parents do not look for the signs because they become to busy in their own life that bad things such as substance abuse and addiction occur.  By caring, many bad things can be prevented.


By taking time to care for friends, teens and family, individuals can easily spot the signs of addiction.  It is when individuals become to enveloped in their lives that simple signs are missed.  It is important to be aware and see the glaring physical, behavioral, or events that occur in another in order to process a bad change taking place.  It is not a difficult thing but only a thing that requires attentiveness and priorities for the overall health of others.

If the signs listed above manifest, talk to the individual and if necessary, guide them to substance abuse counselors or appropriate healthcare and mental healthcare professionals.

Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Substance Abuse Counseling Certification.  After completion of the required courses in substance abuse, professionals can then earn the four year certification.

Additional Resources

“Recognizing Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction, Part I”. Felicilda-Reynaldo, Rhea Faye D.  Medsurg Nursing; Pitman Vol. 23, Iss. 6,  (Nov/Dec 2014): 391-396. Access here

“Symptoms of Addiction”. Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD. April 30th, 2022. Verywellmind. Access here

“Signs of Drug Addiction”. Paula Spencer Scott. January 27th, 2021. WebMD. Access here

“Signs of Addiction”. FHE Health. Access here