Recognise Indications of Substance Misuse and Refer Individuals to Specialists

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Unit 4222-605 Recognise indications of substance misuse and refer individuals to specialists 1.1 Alcohol is misused when it is drunk excessively - the recommended limits for adults are 2-3 units a day for women, and 3-4 for men. It is a depressant which slows down the brain and can effect mood and lower inhibitions. Illegal substances are split into 4 categories: stimulants, depressants, opiates and hallucinogens. * Stimlulants produce extreme well-being, and can increase alertness, confidence and energy levels, examples include ecstasy, cocaine and speed. * Depressants slow down the central nervous system and can reduce anxiety or emotional distress., examples include cannabis and barbiturates. * Opiates provide pain relief, induce euphoria, sedation and can lead to coma, examples include heroin, opium, methadone and morphine. * Hallucinogens induce an altered state of consciousness and effect perception of reality, examples include LSD and mushrooms. Prescription drugs containing opoids, benzodiazipines (which are depressants of the central nervous system) or stimulants can be misused when taken for reasons other than those they were prescribed for. Prescription drugs can cause sedation, altered state of consciousness, depressed respiration and changes in blood pressure. 1.1 Physical indications of substance misuse include: * Reduced or enlarged pupils * Sudden changes in eating or sleeping habits * Marked changes in physical appearance * Frequent nosebleeds * Seizures * Shakes or tremors * Slurred speech and lack of co-ordination Behavioural indications include: * Neglect of personal / professional responsibility * Difficulties in person / professional relationships * Financial difficulties * Becoming secretive or acting suspiciously Psychological indications

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