How to Identify a Drug Addict

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Are you wondering how to identify a drug addict? Find out how here

Do you know how to identify a drug addict? Some addicts can exhibit typical profiled behaviors that are easy to spot, but a high functioning addict may be harder to identify. High functioning addicts can perform occupational tasks very well, and also keep their family and social obligations in check, all while under the influence of drugs. It can be more difficult to identify functional addicts with a high drug tolerance level unless you know what to look for. Looking for addiction clues to determine if your loved one has a drug problem can seem disconcerting at times, but there are physical, psychological, behavioral and cultural signs that can show you how to identify a drug addict. Different drugs have their own unique set of signs and symptoms that will affect an addict, and they can serve as clues of drug abuse.

Drug abuse will cause the addict to begin developing specific behavior patterns. You may notice that the personality and behavior of your loved one will start to change. Once tolerance and dependency to drugs has developed, the addict will begin to be affected in physical and psychological ways that will be difficult for him to control. A high functioning addict has a higher tolerance level to drugs and alcohol, so they are able to effectively keep things under control for a longer period of time.

Signs and Symptoms

  1. Specific signs of drug use on face are: bloodshot eyes, dark circles under the eyes, and also dilated or constricted pupils, and eye flutters. A ruddy complexion, skin discoloration, a red bulbous nose, mouth sores, acne, open sores, rapid skin aging, lackluster skin, flushing, rosacea, dry sagging skin and scarring can be other signs of drug use on face.
  2. Many addicts develop sleep problems, and they will either sleep a lot more if they are using depressants, or they may have insomnia if they are using stimulants.
  3. Appetites will also change and stimulants will reduce the appetite and the addict may begin to show significant weight loss.
  4. Some physical symptoms of drug abuse may impair the addict’s coordination, movements, memory formation, focus and concentration. His sensory and time perception may be altered, and he may feel confused and disoriented.
  5. Mind altering drugs can alter the brain’s chemistry and neurotransmission ability and signals from the brain to the rest of the body may be impaired.
  6. Drug and alcohol abuse can cause slurred speech, memory loss, temporary amnesia, blackouts and unconsciousness.
  7. Addict’s may exhibit mood swings, anger, aggression, bizarre and violent behavior, and become a danger to themselves and others.
  8. Unexplained cuts and bruising may result from accidents and falls that occur while high on drugs.
  9. Depending on what drugs are used, addicts can become lethargic, sad and depressed, or euphoric, energetic and talkative.
  10. Easy clues on how to identify a drug addict include changes in social networking. Most addicts begin to withdraw from family and friends. They may also give up activities that they once enjoyed.
  11. Other clues on how to identify a drug addict are: money problems, borrowing or stealing money, criminal activity, child or spousal abuse, a lack of hygiene, poor attendance and performance at work or school, lying and manipulation, and drug paraphernalia.

A high functioning addict often displays these symptoms:

  • A high functioning addict cannot stop his drug abuse, and he will have strong drug cravings and continue using.
  • He will obsess about getting and using drugs..
  • A high functioning addict often behaves differently when he is high.

How to identify a drug addict also includes a host of other symptoms that each type of drug creates. A drug addict may experience teeth clenching, tremors, shaking, profuse sweating, and many more signs and symptoms. If your loved one is exhibiting some of the above mentioned signs of drug abuse, he may need professional help to stop using drugs.

 

 

 

Resources:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/signs-of-drug-addiction#1
  2. http://time.com/35726/these-photos-show-how-heroin-cocaine-and-oxycodone-change-your-appearance-over-time/