1. Alcohol and drugs can become expensive very quickly, and can cause financial problems. Asking to borrow money all the time or being frequently behind in bills and debt payments can be a sign that substance abuse treatment is needed.
2. Legal issues like DUI and drug possession charges usually indicate that rehab is needed. Substance abuse often puts you on the wrong side of the law and can result in criminal charges and legal woes.
3. High risk behavior is common with alcohol and drug use. This can include risky sexual practices that can lead to an incurable disease or even death in some cases. Other risks may also be taken without any consideration for safety or possible outcomes.
4. Withdrawal symptoms can vary significantly from one person to another. Restlessness, agitation, and intense cravings can all occur at any time. Withdrawal signs indicate that there is a problem that needs treatment.
5. An inability to stop using the substance is another sign that addiction has occurred. You may start out thinking that you will just have a drink but once you start the alcohol or drugs you always end up going too far.
6. Losing consciousness or blacking out from alcohol or drug use is a serious problem, and often means that there are substance abuse issues that need to be treated.
7. Doctor shopping is a common practice if the target is prescription medications. This involves visiting a number of doctors until the desired prescription is obtained. Electronic medical records are making it easier to identify these individuals.