Drug abuse may start slowly, but it is hard to conceal from family members and friends for long. The sooner an addict receives the help they need, the simpler their journey back to health and a meaningful life will be. Here is a short guide to recognizing the signs and symptoms of drug use.
How to Recognize Signs of Drug Use
The impact of drug abuse on the life of addicts and their loved ones is dramatic. Whether a person is abusing alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs, their addiction can rarely stay hidden for long.
Family members and friends will notice changes in behavior, but there will also be physical signs. Although signs and symptoms vary, many have one thing in common. They point toward a lack of control by the addict.
Common Signs of Drug Use
If you believe a family member, friend, or loved one may be suffering from drug abuse but are unsure, look out for these signs. The longer the abuse persists, the more noticeable the signs will become as the drug becomes more important than anything else in the addict’s life.
Physical signs of drug abuse can vary widely, but one of the most obvious places where drug abuse shows are a person’s eyes. Drug addicts often have bloodshot eyes and their pupils may appear enlarged or very small.
A generally unkempt look is another tell-tale sign of drug abuse, especially when it’s accompanied by unusual odors on the body itself or the person’s breath. Uncoordinated movements are another sign of potential drug abuse.
You may also notice sudden weight changes, such as weight gain or unexplained weight loss. Many drug addicts start focusing on their need for drugs entirely, neglecting other physical functions of their bodies.
When it comes to behavioral signs of drug abuse, you are mainly looking for sudden, unexplained changes. Addicts may suddenly have different friends or spend their time in places they did not frequent before, for example.
They may also be more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors. Think about a person’s driving style -are they suddenly prone to reckless maneuvers? And what about their responsibilities at college, at work, or at home? As the need for the drug becomes more important than anything else, normal duties may take second place.
Risk-taking behaviors could also include having unprotected sex, getting into legal trouble, and even getting arrested. If behaviors like those are starting to happen more regularly, your friend or family member may need help.
The third group of signs to look out for is signs related to psychological changes. Is your friend or family member becoming more irritable or more anxious than normal? Are they suddenly inattentive to your needs or displaying a general lack of motivation even in relation to activities they used to love? All these could be signs pointing toward drug use and abuse.
Look out for unexplained changes in someone’s personality or in their attitude toward others. Drug addicts may try to withdraw emotionally and mentally from others, giving you the feeling that you are not getting through to them. Others display sudden mood swings that may leave their loved ones puzzling over what caused the change.
When to Seek Help
When normal drug use, for example taking prescription drugs to deal with an illness, turns into drug abuse, the consequences can be devastating. These consequences will not only affect the addict. They have the potential to break down their entire family in the process.
If you feel that this is happening to you, a family member, or a close friend, it is time to seek professional help. At S2L Recovery, we take a unique approach to rehabilitation. The word of God is at the center of our addiction recovery program for adult male addicts.
We believe that our approach can show someone recovering from addiction their true value as God sees them, allowing them to find peace and rest.
Contact us today if you believe that our approach could help you or someone close to you.
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