Home HealthDrugs and Alcohol Support Know the signs of excessive drinking or drugs use – and where to get help and support

Know the signs of excessive drinking or drugs use – and where to get help and support

by Guy Murphy

Regular alcohol or drug use can quickly start to negatively affect your health, mood and relationships and lead to you becoming dependent.

If you are worried about your drinking or drug use, you should seek help sooner rather than later.

The earlier you get help the better for your health, your mental wellbeing and it can, help  you to get back to things you enjoy most in life.

Signs and symptoms of dependent alcohol use include:-

  • Experiencing temporary blackouts or short-term memory loss
  • Being irritable or having extreme mood swings
  • Making excuses for drinking such as needing to relax, deal with stress or just to feel normal
  • Choosing drinking over other responsibilities or obligations
  • Being distant from friends or family
  • Drinking alone or in secrecy
  • Feeling hungover when not drinking
  • Changing appearance or groups that you socialise with

The physical effects of drug use include:-

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
  • Shallow breathing, an elevated body temperature and increased blood pressure
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns (drowsiness / insomnia)
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits
  • Runny nose or sniffling
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired co-ordination

Increased use can quickly lead to becoming dependency and withdrawal symptoms You may find you need a larger amount to get the same short term ‘high’ and when you withdraw you may notice you or your loved one can begin to have symptoms such as excessive sweating, increasing tremors, panic, fatigue, irritability, and flu-like symptoms.

It’s important to ensure that your alcohol or drugs use doesn’t get out of control so if you, or someone you know, needs help and support, contact Change Grow Live in Knowsley – telephone 0151 482 6291 or email knowsley@cgl.org.uk.

There’s also lots of help and advice online at www.changegrowlive.org