Drug abuse wreaks havoc on a person’s ability to function.
It causes damage to the body, affects relationships, and impairs quality of life. And it causes as much misery for those around the abuser as it does for the abuser themselves.
Unfortunately, the media depicts a naive image of what abuse looks like. In reality, drug addiction signs are right under your nose.
The first to watch out for are the physical clues:
Physical Drug Addiction Signs
The first set of symptoms to watch out for are physical. Pay close attention to your loved one’s general appearance and living situation for any clues upfront.
Drug abuse begins with a drug. And there are many items and tools used by drug takers that may seem innocuous at first. Alcohol is legal and almost all of us have a bottle or two of spirits on hand.
But alcohol use disorder is a debilitating disease. Take special note of the number of bottles lying around, and ask yourself if anything seems off.
Lighters, cigarette papers, and pipes are all signs of a smoke-related habit, such as frequent cannabis use.
Look out for “cutting” surfaces like chopping boards, cd cases, and glass. Together with razor blades, business cards and credit cards, they’re used to consume powdered forms of drugs.
Many drug abusers keep their drug paraphernalia in one place for ease of use – and to keep it hidden. Keep an eye out for small, locked boxes, and throw a glance underneath the couch or the bed.
Substance use disorder takes a toll on the body. Rapid or excessive weight loss is a major red flag, as is ever-worsening skin health.
But each drug takes its toll in a different way.
Pay extra attention to the habits and general hygiene of the loved one in question. Declining interest in personal grooming is often a sign of declining health.
The behavioural symptoms of addiction vary from person to person. But the problem at the core of abuse is that it’s a mental illness.
While none of these symptoms are definitive proof of drug use (and may point to mental health issues instead), they point to something being wrong. And if you’re certain that the abuse has gone too far, it may be time to consider rehabilitation options, such as Hope Rising Recovery in Utah.
Drug addiction is a lonely and isolating experience.
Abusers tend to keep their behaviour secret and will become more suspicious of others in general.
You may find their answers cagey or guarded when asked to reveal details of how they spend their time. They’ll likely be prone to cancel plans at the last minute and spend a lot of their time in their room or at home alone.
Many drugs inhibit an abuser’s control over their emotions. You may notice their demeanour become volatile and unpredictable without any clear indication as to why.
If your loved one is level-headed and has recently begun to become over-emotional, angry, or distraught in “normal” situations, it may be a sign of ongoing drug abuse.
Loss of Interest
Drug habits take over people’s lives. Much of a person’s energy becomes wrapped up in taking the drug, finding more of it, and coming down from it after an intense high.
If somebody close to you seems to have lost interest in their passions, there may be something more insidious going on.
Watch Out for Your Loved Ones
It’s never easy to be sure. Drug addiction signs might point to substance abuse, but they may also point to something else going wrong in somebody’s life.
What’s vital is to know the signs of a debilitating habit, and be prepared to talk to your loved one about recovery when the time is right.
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