Signs of Drug Addiction
Most drug abusers try to conceal their symptoms and skirt around their problem. It’s unlikely for drug addicts to willfully come forward with their addiction. So if you’re worried that a friend or family member might be abusing drugs, you’ll have to look for the warning signs yourself. The signs and symptoms of drug addiction vary according to the individual and the substances being used; however, there are a number of classic signs to keep your eye out for.
Behavioral Signs of Drug Abuse
If you’ve noticed that a friend or family member is acting strangely, or differently than they used to, it may be a sign of drug abuse. Drug abuse tends to manifest itself through a number of behavioral abnormalities, including:
- A loss of interest in relationships, work, school, or hobbies
- Spending a lot of time alone
- Being very messy, including not bathing, changing clothes, or brushing teeth
- Acting hyperactively
- Skipping important appointments
- Neglecting responsibility
- Participating in criminal activity
Psychological Signs of Drug Abuse
An unexplained personality change is also a common indicator of addiction. Some of the most prevalent psychological signs of drug abuse include:
- Unexplained change in personality or attitude
- Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
- Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness
- Lack of motivation; appearing lethargic or “spaced out”
- Appearing fearful, anxious, or paranoid with no reason
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Physical Signs of Drug Abuse
There are also observable physical symptoms that can indicate drug abuse, though these may differ depending on the person’s drug of choice. Common physical symptoms include:
- A change in sleep patterns; being more tired or energetic than usual
- Changes in appetite; rapidly gaining or losing weight
- Red or watery eyes and/or abnormally large pupils
- Having health problems that have no obvious cause
- Ongoing cold or flu-like symptoms
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- Tremors; muscle twitching
Overall, the key is to look for change. Watch for any significant differences in the person’s personality, behavior, and physical appearance.
Overcoming a Drug Addiction
The changes that occur in the drug abuser’s brain make it incredibly difficult for them to stop taking the drug on their own. Painful withdrawal symptoms can make going cold turkey excruciating, so addicts will start using the drug again to stop feeling sick. An addict’s brain is hardwired to crave drugs, despite all the physical, family, financial, and legal ramifications. Fortunately, the destructive power of drug addiction can be overcome with appropriate care and treatment.
If you are worried your loved one may be using, reach out to us today, and learn more about how to assist your loved one on their path to a life free from drugs.