Problem Signs



According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 16.7 million Americans were addicted or had problems directly related to their alcohol use in 2011.  After alcohol, marijuana has the highest rate of users who meet criteria for dependence.

The use of drugs, including those prescribed for pain, anxiety, etc. is increasing each year

The most commonly abused drugs in this country include:

  • Nicotine
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Opioids – heroin, opium, methadone, morphine, codeine, etc.
  • Stimulants – cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine
  • Club Drugs – ecstasy, rohypnol, GHB
  • Dissociative Drugs – ketamine, PCP
  • Hallucinogens – LSD, mescaline, psilocybin

New Mexico is experiencing opioid problems at alarming rates. New Mexico has one of the highest drug overdose death rate in the country.  There are 27 drug overdose deaths for every 100,000 people in the state.

The majority of these overdose deaths involve prescription pain medication such as Oxycontin, methadone, morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone.




How do I know if I have a problem with alcohol and/or other drugs?


Common signs and symptoms of drug abuse

  • You’re neglecting your responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g. flunking classes, skipping work, neglecting your children) because of your drug use.
  • You’re using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
  • Your drug use is getting you into legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit.
  • Your drug use is causing problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends.

Common signs and symptoms of drug addiction

  • You’ve built up a drug tolerance. You need to use more of the drug to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts.
  • You take drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.
  • You’ve lost control over your drug use. You often do drugs or use more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless.
  • Your life revolves around drug use. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, and recovering from the drug’s effects.
  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug use.
  • You continue to use drugs, despite knowing it’s hurting you. It’s causing major problems in your life—blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia—but you use anyway.

How do I know if someone I love has a problem with alcohol and/or other drugs?

Physical warning signs of drug abuse

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual.
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits.
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination.

Behavioral signs of drug abuse

  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school.
  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems. May borrow or steal to get it.
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.
  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
  • Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities).

Psychological warning signs of drug abuse

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude.
  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts.
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness.
  • Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out.”
  • Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason.
If you are concerned about your alcohol and/or drug use;

answering the following questions may help you to decide if it is time to do something about it.

Have you ever decide to stop drinking or using for a week or so but only lasted a couple of days?
Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking ordrug use?
Have you ever switched from one kind of drink or drug to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk, sick, or in trouble?
Have you wanted to drink or use drugs first thing in the morning during the past  year?
Do you envy people who can drink or use drugs without getting into trouble?
Have you had problems connected to drinking or drug use during the past year?
Has your drinking or drug use caused trouble at home?
Do you ever try to get "extra" drinks or drugs at parties?
Do you tell yourself you can stop any time you want to even though you keep getting drunk or high when you didn't mean to?
Have you missed days of work because of your drinking or drug use?
Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking  or using drugs?
Have you felt that your life would be better if you did not drink or use drugs?
Did you answer Yes to four or more questions? 
If so, you are may have a problem with  alcohol or drugs.