Behavioral Signs

“Always seeming like you have somewhere to be…”
-Local resident in recovery, 2014

General signs of substance abuse:

  • Change in friends
  • Declining grades
  • Decrease in motivation, “No drive”
  • Increased school disciplinary action
  • Loss of interest in activities (Sports, music, hobbies)
  • Missed school or work
  • Selling/pawning, stealing, or missing valuables/cash
  • Frequent use of mints/gum/candy/chips to mask breath
  • Hiding substances (i.e. Cars, wallets, hat rims, shoes)
  • Hiding controlled substances in non-controlled prescription bottles that look similar
  • Avoidance of loved ones/secrecy/irrational excuses for absences
  • Overly sensitive or defensive/detached
  • Anxiety/depression/frequent mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Isolation (long periods in bathroom/shower, car or bedroom)
  • Changing sleep hours
  • Decline in physical self care
  • Sudden onset or increased cigarette usage
  • Increase in speeding or other tickets or minor accidents
  • Change in style of clothing, particularly clothing depicting substance use messages -(iPath or Bob Marley clothing etc)

Specific to IV Use (Heroin/Cocaine/Other):

  • Wearing long sleeve shirts during warm weather (To cover “track marks”)
  • Napping or falling asleep at strange times (heroin or opioids)
  • Long periods in bathroom/shower

Specific to Distribution of Substances:

  • Having large amounts of unexplained cash
  • P.O. boxes for mail
  • New clothing without a job
  • Packages arriving with discrete labeling

Addiction Recovery Assistance