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Not sure if you or your loved one has a problem with alcohol or other drugs? Not sure where to turn?

Vanguard Services Unlimited can help!

We offer a comprehensive evaluation/assessment conducted by a trained professional to determine what the extent of the substance use is, whether treatment is needed, and, if so, what type of treatment. A drug screen is usually done as part of the assessment as well. Most insurance companies will cover all or part of the assessment cost.

Someone will be back in touch with you within one business day.

Physical Signs

Some of the signs and symptoms of a substance abuse problem include:

  • Loss of appetite, increase in appetite, any changes in eating habits, unexplained weight loss or gain.
  • Slowed or staggering walk; poor physical coordination.
  • Inability to sleep, awake at unusual times, unusual laziness.
  • Red, watery eyes; pupils larger or smaller than usual; blank stare.
  • Cold, sweaty palms; shaking hands.
  • Puffy face, blushing or paleness.
  • Smell of substance on breath, body or clothes.
  • Extreme hyperactivity; excessive talkativeness.
  • Runny nose; hacking cough.
  • Needle marks on lower arm, leg or bottom of feet.
  • Nausea, vomiting or excessive sweating.
  • Tremors or shakes of hands, feet or head.
  • Irregular heartbeat.

Behavioral Signs

  • Change in overall attitude/personality with no other identifiable cause.
  • Changes in friends; new hang-outs; sudden avoidance of old crowd; doesn't want to talk about new friends; friends are known drug users.
  • Change in activities or hobbies.
  • Drop in grades at school or performance at work; skips school or is late for school.
  • Change in habits at home; loss of interest in family and family activities.
  • Difficulty in paying attention; forgetfulness.
  • General lack of motivation, energy, self-esteem, "I don't care" attitude.
  • Sudden over sensitivity, temper tantrums, or resentful behavior.
  • Moodiness, irritability, or nervousness.
  • Silliness or giddiness.
  • Paranoia
  • Excessive need for privacy; unreachable.
  • Secretive or suspicious behavior.
  • Car accidents.
  • Chronic dishonesty.
  • Unexplained need for money, stealing money or items.
  • Change in personal grooming habits.
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia.

Additional Resources

For a quick screening of symptoms, which does not replace an assessment but may help you determine if there may be a problem, you may wish to review the questionnaires at:

  • For an alcohol screening test go to:    www.alcoholscreening.org
  • For information about problematic marijuana use go to: www.marijuana-anonymous.org/Pages/12quest.html
  • For a review of signs of problem drinking go to: www.aa.orgdefault/en_about_aa.cfm?pageid=4
  • For a Cocaine Addiction Self-Test click on:

Drug Specific Symptoms:

Glassy, red eyes; loud talking and inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness; a sweet burnt scent; loss of interest, motivation; weight gain or loss.
Clumsiness; difficulty walking; slurred speech; sleepiness; poor judgment; dilated pupils; possession of a false ID card.
(including barbiturates and tranquilizers) Seems drunk as if from alcohol but without the associated odor of alcohol; difficulty concentrating; clumsiness; poor judgment; slurred speech; sleepiness; and contracted pupils.
(Glues, aerosols, and vapors) Watery eyes; impaired vision, memory and thought; secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth; headaches and nausea; appearance of intoxication; drowsiness; poor muscle control; changes in appetite; anxiety; irritability; an unusual number of spray cans in the trash.
Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self or other objects, slurred speech; confusion.
Needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting; coughing and sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite; contracted pupils; no response of pupils to light.
Smell of tobacco; stained fingers or teeth.

Source: American Council on Drug Education