10 Signs of Drug Abuse and Addiction

The following are 10 telling signs of drug abuse and addiction in an individual. If addiction is suspected, the following list of signs may prove to be beneficial to a user’s friends and family.

1. Changes in Appearance

A drug addicted individual may begin to “look” addicted. Pale skin, dark circles under the eyes, and dilated pupils are the first signs of addiction.

2. Frequent Lies

A drug addicted individual is often caught in lies. For some, the addiction is so strong that their personal integrity takes a lower priority to getting their “fix”.

3. Denial about Addiction

Even individuals who have come clean to family or friends about drug use will often make light of it. Many times, the individual is in staunch denial or completely unaware of their addiction.

4. Frequent Theft

Another case where personal integrity takes second priority. Addicted individuals will often steal from family and friends in an attempt to maintain their daily high.

5. Changes in Mood

Due to changes in brain chemistry, mood changes occur in the addicted. This is especially the case when a user is “low” from discontinuation of their drug of choice.

6. Loss of Job

Drug abuse and addiction will often interfere with an individual’s job performance, causing them to be suspended, demoted, or fired.

7. Loss of Relationships

To an addicted individual, a substance may be held in higher regard over those closest to them, causing relationships to suffer or end.

8. Mental Deterioration

Mental deterioration is especially present in “harder” drugs like crack, meth, and heroin. Users often have a difficult time focusing, putting thoughts together, and following basic logic. For long term drug abusers, psychosis and mental illness become more common. In these cases, there is often a need for long term drug rehab in order to actually recover.

9. Poor Hygiene

In the addicted, drug use will often take precedence over their basic hygiene habits. Drug abuse and addiction can take away a user’s concern for offending others with poor hygiene.

10. Messy Living

Messy living arrangements are common in addicted individuals. A “messy” life, combined with “messy” thoughts, often lead to unkempt living habits.

If you or someone you love is exhibiting any these signs, addiction may be present.

Powerful first steps are admitting to oneself that there is a problem and finding help in a trusted confidant – help is never far.

Resources:

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/topics-in-brief/comorbid-drug-abuse-mental-illness