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How can I know if a person is facing a substance abuse problem?

Please note that these are just possible symptoms and do not clearly mean that the person is abusing drugs.  

Personal Appearance

  • Messy, shows a lack of attention for their appearance
  • Poor hygiene
  • Red, flushed cheeks or face
  • Sudden or dramatic weight loss or gain
  • Runny nose, not caused by allergies or a cold
  • Marks on their arms or legs (they usually wear long sleeved clothing in warm weathers to hide the marks)
  • Smoke or other unusual smells on their breath or clothing

  Personal Habits

  • Financial Problems
  • Reckless driving that may lead to car accidents
  • Constantly avoids eye contact
  • Always locks their bedroom doors
  • Goes out every night
  • Secretive phone calls

  Teenage Behavioral Issues

  • Noticeable change in their relationships with their family members or friends
  • Mood changes or emotional instability
  • Loud, obnoxious behavior
  • Unusually clumsy, lack of coordination, and poor balance
  • Sad, depressed
  • Constantly tired
  • Silent, uncommunicative
  • Hostility, anger, and uncooperative behavior
  • Makes endless excuses
  • Lack of motivation
  • Inability to focus
  • Hyperactivity
  • A long habit of sleeplessness which is followed by long periods of "catch up" sleep
  • Disappearances for unusual amounts of time

  School, or Work, Related Issues

  •  Loss of interest in their school work
  •  Loss of motivation for extracurricular activities, hobbies, or sports
  •  Failure to stick to their responsibilities
  •  Complaints from their teachers or coworkers
  •  Reports of intoxication

Reasons why a person might use drugs

1.   To Experiment

People can be motivated to live new experiences. It is in our nature to be curious and discover things that we haven't done before. However, the risk begins from the first time you try it. It always starts with a cigarette, narguileh, or a sip of alcohol. Then it goes on to the desire to try hashish, cocaine, pills, or even heroine. All this is considered as experiencing drugs, and this scenario can turn curiosity into addiction.

2.   To Fit In

Many people would use drugs because they think everyone else is doing it. Users usually fear that if they say "no" to drugs, then they would not be accepted into the group. For a majority of their time, people are trying to figure out who they are, what they want, and where they fit in. It is a tough process, but everyone has a desire to be accepted and liked. This can make saying "no" extremely difficult because they think it can lead to being laughed at, teased, humiliated, or rejected.

3.   To Feel Better

The abuse makes people relieve stress, feel good, and gives them a chance to forget their problems and hurtful experiences. They start using drugs to boost their moods and increase their sense of well-being. Eventually, they would want to feel those moments over again and, would soon, find themselves unable to live without drugs.

4.   To Do Better

At times, people may turn to certain drugs hoping that they will enhance and improve their performance physically, sexually, or mentally. 

How do I respond when I'm aware of a substance use problem?

It is better to ask for help from an expert. However, it depends on the case of situation. Try as much as you can to: 

  • Be calm: Don't confront, threaten, or lecture him/her
  • Don't accuse them; otherwise he might not want to see you again
  • Talk to him when he/she is not under the influence. It is extremely important to choose the right time to discuss it
  • Always ask open-ended questions like "Can you tell me more about what is happening with you?" or "How can I help you?"
  • Talk to him/her about the problems that the drugs are causing
  • Give them examples that he/she already discussed with you
  • Make them aware of the negative impacts that drugs could have on their lives
  • Make an appointment with an expert. CDLL's consultations are free of charge

Call us now,
We can help you


R, 62 years old, father of M, M is now recovering from drug addiction

"I used to think that, as a father, it was my job to get the money for the house, school, university, and the gifts." - "What about now?" - "I made him eggs today" - "Last week, we went hiking. It was just him and me"