Wondering if a loved one is addicted to drugs? Find out how to recognize 10 classic signs of drug addiction
Drug addiction has reached epidemic proportions in the US, affecting people of every age, race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Staying away from street drugs is not enough to guarantee safety from addiction. The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports an estimated 2 million Americans had a substance abuse disorder related to prescription pain relievers. If you are concerned that someone close to you may be struggling with addiction, check if the person displays at least 3 of the 10 classic signs of drug addiction:
- Inability to quit If someone you know desperately wants to stop taking drugs, but simply is unable to quit no matter how hard he or she tries, it is a sure sign of addiction.
- Taking larger amounts One of the classic signs of drug addiction is when someone starts taking a prescribed medication in larger quantities than directed or taking it more frequently in order to achieve the same effects. Other signs include taking the drug in a different manner than intended, such as crushing and snorting pills or injecting medication, in order to heighten the effects.
- Withdrawal symptoms Once a person is addicted to drugs, he or she will experience withdrawal symptoms whenever the medication starts to wear off. These withdrawal symptoms can be extremely unpleasant, and may include irritability, insomnia, tremors, and severe muscle cramps.
- Drug seeking behavior If you are wondering how do you know if someone is addicted to drugs, engaging in drug seeking behavior is a clear indication. Drug seeking behavior includes self-injuring to obtain pain medication, seeing multiple doctors for prescriptions for the same medication, and stealing or “borrowing” medications from friends and family.
- Withdrawal from activities and people Drug addiction causes people to withdraw from the activities and people that used to bring them pleasure.
- Lying and secretive behavior If your loved one starts to lie about drug use and becomes secretive, concealing the amount of drugs they are taking, you should be concerned.
- Changes in personality and behavior Drug addiction can cause drastic changes in behavior and personality. Addicts may become moody, withdrawn, or even violent.
- Deteriorating physical appearance As drug addiction deepens, people begin to focus on drug use and neglect their physical appearance. Signs of drug use in men can include an unshaven face, slovenly appearance, and a pervasive odor from dirty, unwashed clothing and body. Women who are addicted to drugs may stop wearing makeup, brushing their hair or teeth. In addition to this lack of concern for personal hygiene, drug addicts often become painfully thin, may develop tremors or shakiness, and display a lack of physical coordination.
- Continued drug use despite harmful effects When someone continues using drugs even though it is creating havoc in their life, destroying relationships, causing them to fail at work or school, and creating health problems, it is a clear sign that they are addicted.
- Unexplained financial problems Drug addicts will go through all their money to buy more drugs. If someone you know develops financial problems that cannot be explained and is suddenly missing electronics, jewelry, and other valuable items from their home, it may be a sign of drug addiction.
If someone you know is displaying three or more of these classic signs of drug addiction, it is highly likely that they have become addicted to drugs or alcohol. If you would like some help finding drug and alcohol treatment centers that offers the best chance for a lasting recovery, BetterAddictionCare can help. Call 1-800-429-7690.