Alcoholism and/ or Drug Dependency are major problems in this country affecting 10% of the population, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
As defined by The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence:
"Alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by continuous or periodic: impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial."
- Appears intoxicated or hung over
- Deterioration of physical appearance and grooming
- Shakiness, tremulousness
- Unpredictability, strange behavior, inappropriate behavior
- Withdrawal from responsibility
- General changes in overall attitude
- Overwhelmed easily, unable to manage emotions, emotional outbursts, overreacts
- Aggressiveness or becomes withdrawn
- Forgetfulness, poor concentration, short attention span, "blank spots" in memory
- Loses sense of humor, misinterprets situations, loses sense of perspective
- Becomes suspicious and distrustful
- Loses touch with reality at times
- Loss of intellectual sharpness, creativity, business acumen
- Becomes indecisive, confused
- Change in weight
- Frequent medical visits
- Frequent absence and inability to account for whereabouts during work day, misses deadlines, appointments
- Legal, family, social, medical problems
- Needs a drink to relieve stress
- Quickly drinks or gulps down several drinks to "loosen up"
- Availability and consumption of alcohol becomes the focus of social or professional activities.
- Individual becomes erratic, temperamental, irritable, difficult to get along with
- Misses deadlines
- Chronic lateness
- Quality of work deteriorates
- Quality of presentations deteriorates
- Poor business judgment
- Trouble making decisions
- Misses work on Mondays and Fridays
- Frequent medical leaves of several days duration
- Missing during the middle of the workday
- Odor of alcohol when around individual, especially on breath
- Shakiness, trembling hands in the morning
- Frequent trips to hospitals, medical providers
- Increase or decrease in weight
- Changes in skin appearance, including flushed skin on nose and cheeks
- Repeated injuries, bruises, cuts & scrapes, limping
- Repeated complaints of fatigue, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, headache
- General "run down" appearance
- Legal difficulties
Stimulants (cocaine, methamphetamine and others):
- Dry mouth and nose, bad breath, frequent lip licking, teeth grinding, body tremors.
- Excessive activity, difficulty sitting still, lack of interest in food or sleep.
- Irritable, argumentative, nervous, extreme moodiness.
- Talkative, excited speech and incessant talking but conversation often lacks continuity; changes subjects rapidly. "Grabs spotlight" during presentations, meetings
- Runny nose, cold or chronic sinus infections, nose bleeds.
- Use or possession of paraphernalia including small spoons, razor blades, mirror, little bottles of white powder and plastic, glass or metal straws.
- Euphoria, expansive mood
- Chronic financial difficulties in spite of more than adequate compensation
- Progressively aggressive or violent behavior, unusual temper tantrums
- Increased physical or sexual activity
- False sense of confidence and power
- Purposeless, repetitious behavior
- Compulsive cleaning, grooming, sorting, disassembling
Depressants (barbiturates and tranquilizers):
- Symptoms of alcohol intoxication with no alcohol odor on breath (slurred speech, stumbling gait, droopy eyes, etc.)
- Lack of facial expression or animation
- Flat affect
- Flaccid appearance
- Slurred speech
Opiates (painkillers, heroin, and morphine):
- Euphoria, tranquility, apathy, and impaired judgment. (Although the initial effects are generally calming or dulling, psychomotor agitation and aggressiveness can occur).
- Excessively active, frantic or lethargic, drowsy, nods off during meetings
- Slow breathing
- Very pale and sweaty or extremely thirsty
- Small, "pin prick" pupils
- Frequent itching and scratching
- Red and raw nostrils (sign of sniffing)
- Wears long sleeves even when inappropriate (sign of injecting)
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