Recognizing the Symptoms of Drug Addiction

During the current public health pandemic and other stressful times, people find many ways to cope. Some people find food or the gym comforting. However, some people turn to drugs to cope with stress. Some drug addiction symptoms and signs could be a behavior change, like sleep, a change in friendships, or social isolation. If you happen to find any strange paraphernalia in the home, it might be time to discuss what you saw. The next step is discussing addiction treatment to help the person.

When speaking with the person about the signs and symptoms you discovered, it’s important to help them understand addiction research and treatment services. The person needs to know how serious drug addiction is and that it’s hard to quit cold turkey. One key take away from treatment is obtaining an addiction recovery toolbox. This toolbox provides coping skills to address triggers and avoid drug usage. Some skills could include mindfulness and managing emotions. Addiction recovery training services educate people on how to live without drugs to cope with life’s challenges. Now it’s time to learn more about drug addiction symptoms.

The effects of drug addiction can devastate a family, creating hurt, anger, and damaged relationships. For many parents, drug addiction symptoms in teens are uncomfortable truths to confront. However, when signs of drug addiction reveal themselves, it is essential that family members are prepared to provide necessary help. Here, we’ll review the symptoms of drug addiction, both from the perspective of the user and the perspective of a family member, friend, or loved one.

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What Does Drug Addiction Look Like to a User?

Drug addiction symptoms are sometimes difficult for parents and family members to see. As the addicted person experiences them, however, they appear like this:

  • Drug tolerance- Addicted users need to use drugs in larger amounts in order to experience the same effects they used to attain with smaller amounts.
  • Withdrawal symptoms without use- When addicted users go too long without drugs, they experience symptoms like nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweats, shakes, and anxiety.
  • Loss of control- When addiction arises, users do drugs more often than they want or plan, even when they’ve resolved to reduce or quit use.
  • Changing priorities- Addicted users often find that their lives revolve around drug use. They spend most of their time using and thinking about drugs, and figuring out ways to get them.
  • Loss of interest in other activities- Another of the symptoms of drug addiction is the decision to abandon hobbies, sports, and social activities in favor of drug use.
  • Lack of self-preservation- One of the drug addiction symptoms that is hardest to overcome is the continued use of drugs, even when users recognize that their habits are dangerous. Blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, and paranoia aren’t enough to change an addicted user’s mind about drug use.

What Does Drug Addiction Look Like to an Outsider?

There are many warning signs that family members might recognize as symptoms of drug abuse. These might include:

  • Physical warning signs
    • Bloodshot eyes
    • Pupils that seem too large or too small
    • Deterioration of appearance and hygiene habits
    • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
    • Tremors, slurred speech, or lack of coordination
  • Behavioral signs
    • Drop it work or school attendance
    • Unexplained need for more money
    • New financial difficulty, sometimes resolved by theft
    • Secretive or suspicious behavior
    • Sudden changes in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
    • Frequent involvement in fights, accidents, or illegal activities
  • Psychological signs
    • Unexplained personality changes
    • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
    • Periods of hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness
    • Lack of motivation; appearance of lethargy
    • Apparent fearfulness, anxiety, or paranoia

Confronting drug addiction symptoms in a family member or loved one can be scary. Still, it’s important to remember that drug addiction is a serious condition that needs to be addressed by a professional. A person who has developed a real addiction won’t be able to quit by his or her own free will alone, even with your love and support. Addiction needs to be treated medically and psychologically in a drug addiction rehab facility. If you’ve noticed these drug addiction symptoms in somebody you love, get help. They need your support, but they also need care in a professional facility.

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