Telltale Signs of Drug Abuse

Know the telltale signs of drug abuse courtesy of

How would you know if your loved one is using drugs? If you are suspicious, but not really sure that someone is using drugs, then you should study the telltale signs of drug abuse. Drugs affect people in many ways and can significantly affect their moods and behavior. Specific drugs will have their own set of clues but any drug can produce telltale signs of drug addiction. Once a person becomes dependent on drugs they will lose control over many of the signs and symptoms that drugs produce. Some of the telltale signs of drug addiction include:


  1. Mental and behavioral changes will begin to take place as drugs take hold of a person. Drugs can cause chemical and structural changes to the brain, which will affect brain functions and behavior. The addict may not be aware that these changes are taking place inside of them, but their thoughts and behavior will begin to change in many ways. Some of these changes may include:


  • Neurotransmission and cognition impairment, difficulty concentrating and making sound judgments
  • Impairment of coordination, reflexes and movement
  • Changes in attitude and personality
  • Altered time and sensory perception, disorientation, feeling disconnected from reality
  • Mood swings, euphoria, depression, psychosis, anxiety, paranoia, anger, hostility, violence
  • Slurred speech, awkward gait
  • Blackouts, memory loss, unconsciousness
  • High energy, mental alertness, talkativeness, insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts and acts


  1. Physical changes can vary depending on what type of drug is being used, but there will be common telltale signs of drug addiction which may include:
  • Dilated or constricted pupils, bloodshot eyes
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • A lack of personal hygiene and bathing, strange smells
  • Bruises, rashes, accidents
  • Chills, sweating
  • Shaking, tremors, teeth clenching
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Fatigue, sleepiness, lethargy


Some people can tolerate drugs better than others and they are called high functioning drug addicts. These addicts can exhibit functioning drug addict symptoms such as holding a job, working overtime and often have a clean and neat appearance. They will try to cover up drug use signs with some type of excuse to throw you off track, but eventually the truth will come out. Over time drug addicts will not be able to hide the telltale signs of drug addiction, and certain types of behavior will become more prevalent.

Lying is one of the most common telltale signs of drug abuse that the addict will use to hide their addiction. They will lie about their whereabouts and what they were doing. Addicts will try to borrow money from you for drugs, but will tell you they need the money to pay bills or some other lie. They may begin to steal and engage in criminal activity to get the money they need to buy drugs. Adolescents who are using drugs may begin to cut classes in school and their scholastic performance will begin to deteriorate. Adults who use drugs may have a poor performance and attendance record at work and may be fired.

Functioning drug addict symptoms can include blaming others for their problems and trying to manipulate people to get what they want. Addicts may blame their problems on everyone and everything except themselves. They may make excuses for their behavior and may begin to withdraw from family and friends. Addicts may stop participating in activities that they once enjoyed and prefer to be around other drug users instead.

Other telltale signs of drug addiction include disturbing psychological emotions and outbursts. When an addict is experiencing withdrawal because he needs his drug, he can become angry and violent because he cannot control his situation. He may be a danger to himself or others, and engage in risky or criminal behavior. He may begin to sell drugs to obtain the money he needs to buy his own drugs.

The drug addict’s values, morals and ethics may begin to fail and his character and personality may be radically changed. The only way to help your loved one, if he is exhibiting the telltale signs of drug addiction, is to get him into a drug rehabilitation program where he will receive the professional help that he needs.



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