What Are the Signs of Substance Abuse Disorder?

Drug abuse affects people of any age, gender, and economic background. For some, substance addiction begins with the occasional use of a recreational drug in social contexts and then progresses to more regular use. For others, substance abuse develops with exposure to prescription meds or acquiring medications from a close friend or relative who has been prescribed the medication. 

Even before the user notices, the patterns of increased usage, tolerance, physical dependency, and addiction were already developed.

Substance Use Disorders

A substance use disorder (SUD) is a mental illness that affects a person's brain and behavior, causing them to lose control over their use of substances like legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, or prescriptions.

Drug addiction is another term for substance abuse disorder. The danger of addiction and the rate at which you become addicted differs depending on the substance. Opioid painkillers, for example, have a higher risk of addiction and develop addiction more quickly than other drugs.

Drug Use and Addiction

Drug addiction is a complex condition that requires more than good intentions or a strong resolve to overcome. Drugs affect the brain in such a way that quitting is difficult, even for those who want to.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, several factors increase the likelihood of developing an addiction. The more risk factors a person possesses, the more likely he or she is to get addicted to substances. Consider the following:


About half of a person's risk of addiction is determined by the genes they are born with. Gender, race, and the existence of other mental problems can all increase the likelihood of developing a drug addiction. Mental problems include:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Personality disorders
  • Anxiety disorders


The surroundings of a person are influenced by many factors. The most common influences are friends and relatives, socioeconomic background, and overall quality of life. Peer pressure, influence, drug exposure, stress, and how a parent takes care of a child can all influence a person's likelihood of developing a drug addiction.


Addiction risks important developmental phases in a person's life. This is especially troubling for teenagers. 

Teens may be more prone to dangerous activities, such as drug use, since parts of their brains that control decision-making, judgment, and self-control are still in the growing and developing stage.

Signs of Substance Abuse Disorder

Substance abuse disorders can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

Behavioral changes

  • Attendance problems at school or work
  • Frequently getting into trouble
  • Appetite and sleep habits changes
  • Unpredictable mood swings and irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Always anxious and fearful

Physical changes

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Strange smells on breath
  • impaired coordination

Social changes

  • Changes in friends and hobbies
  • Financial difficulties or an unexplained desire for money
  • Ruined relationships

Substance Abuse Treatment

Addiction to drugs isn't a character fault or a sign of weakness. No matter how terrible your situation appears, recovery is always there. With the help of a professional and well-established substance abuse treatment center, treatment and recovery are always possible. 

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Innovate Recovery and Rehab Center, a well-known treatment center that prides itself on providing high-quality, evidence-based treatment to all clients. Take a significant step forward in the direction of change and contact us today!

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