Despite the fact 4 million Americans are in treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs), and another 20.7 million are in need of treatment, the signs of substance are not widely recognized by most. Many misperceptions exist about SUD, leading to a general lack of understanding. While many people with SUD appear to be managing their live and may hide their SUD, there are some common signs including:

Changes to personality. People with SUD may show changes to their personality including moodiness, lack of motivation, isolation.

Physical symptoms. While there could be many causes for different physical symptoms, some people with SUD may lose or gain significant amounts of weight, tremble, sweat more than usual, or have red or watery eyes. Needle marks, puffy faces, and sleep troubles are also common signs.

Inconsistent behavior: While many people with SUDs hold down jobs and live seemingly productive lives, they may be more inclined to call in sick to work, miss appointments or show up late.

Constantly seeking funding for their drug of choice. People with SUDs need a way to support their  use and as a result may be constantly borrowing or seeking money. 

Irritability and isolation. As someone’s dependence on a substance increases, they may isolate themselves so as to be able to use in peace and they may show signs of irritability. Often, they will stop interacting with friends and family as they seek out the company of others who support their substance use.

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