Top 3 Signs of Drug Abuse in a Loved One

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Spotting Drug Abuse in a Loved One

Drug abuse, in general, is occurring at an alarming rate in this country. Do you have a drug abuse issue or is someone close to you suffering from addiction? There are many ways to get help – please do not suffer anymore. Call Better Addiction Care today at (800) 429-7690 to review your treatment options.

Drug Abuse vs Addiction

More often than not, drug abuse and drug addiction are used interchangeably. There is a difference, however. The official drug abuse definition is similar to that of drug addiction except that those who engage in drug abuse still have control over their lives while addicts, sadly, do not. This is not to say that it is ok to abuse drugs, it is only to illustrate that there is a difference between abuse and addiction.

Addiction is a relapsing and chronic disease which changes brain function. So, addiction is a brain disease that is marked by unmanageable drug-seeking conduct. The drug abuse definition encompasses all substances such as:

  • Heroin
  • Inhalants
  • Methamphetamine
  • Club drugs such as Molly
  • Cocaine
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Marijuana
  • Prescription medications, including opiates

Many social problems are created by drug abuse, such as, driving under the influence, child abuse, stress, and violence. Like addiction, drug abuse can lead to crime and homelessness, not to mention death. Unborn babies suffer when their mother is drug abuser and it can destroy families.

There a countless causes of drug abuse, such as:

  • To feel good. Drugs induce feelings of happiness or pleasure, or both. When people enjoy the feelings, chances are that they will want to replicate the experience. When someone takes cocaine, for example, they experience a “high” which is followed by strong feelings of self-confidence and high energy.
  • Curiosity. When discussing curiosity, younger people usually fall into this category. Peer pressure is huge in kids going through school. Fitting in is the most important thing for many. Kids want to impress their friends and appear “cool.”
  • To perform better. People in college are known to abuse ADHD medication because they feel their study experience is enhanced and they can focus better or even stay away longer for an all-night study session. Anabolic steroids are popular with weight lifters and athletes.
  • To feel better. Those who suffer from social anxiety may want to ease their stress with alcohol at a social event, for example. This behavior can turn into a habit and before you know it – you are addicted.

The top three signs that someone you love is abusing drugs is a combination of any of the above.

Causes of Drug Abuse

It is curious that certain individuals become addicted to substances while others do not. There are factors that may contribute to the likelihood of whether or not you may become addicted. Risk factors for drug abuse and drug addiction include:

  • Impoverished community
  • Poor social skills
  • Little to no parental supervision
  • Signs of aggressive behavior in childhood
  • Access to drugs at school
  • Experimentation with drugs

Environmental factors also have an impact on someone’s proclivity to become an addict or abuser.

  • Home and family life. Childhood home environment is especially impactful on addiction. If people in the family abuse drugs and the child grows up seeing this behavior, they will likely continue the cycle.
  • School: If you hang out with bad seeds then you are likely to become one yourself. This is true with adults and with kids. If you keep company with drug addicts and criminals you will eventually get sucked in.