Man Buying Drugs on the Street

If you or a loved one has been using drugs and you’re noticing a deterioration in their physical and mental health and overall well-being, addiction could have taken hold. People who suffer from this condition tend to get very good at hiding the worst aspects of their habits, so there are some more subtle warning signs of drug addiction to look out for.

Substance abuse disorders can be stubborn and cause certain aspects of your personality to change. What may have started as a bit of fun or something to make you feel better can end up taking a severe toll on your life while hurting family members and the people who are close to you.

What Are the Physical Signs of Drug Addiction?

When it comes to substance use and drug abuse disorders, there are usually physical changes to a person’s body as well as tangible evidence of drug use. If you want to help someone close to you, you’ll need to become an expert in the common signs and symptoms of addiction. Drug users tend to become secretive and deceptive, so if you’re naive to the way drugs make people act or the type of paraphernalia they use, it’ll be easier to pull the wool over your eyes.

Different types of drugs have different effects on the body. Most substances fall into the categories of central nervous system depressants or central nervous system stimulants. The former causes the brain and body to be less reactive, and the latter does the opposite. In both cases, these can be prescription drugs or, even more dangerous, can be illegally manufactured drugs and there is no telling what could have gone into their creation.

Signs of Depressant Drug Abuse

Some examples of commonly used depressants include benzodiazepines like Xanax and valium, opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers, as well as barbiturates and alcohol.

  • Drowsiness
  • Mood swings – anxiety and wakefulness when they don’t have drugs and lethargy when they do
  • Needles
  • Small plastic bags
  • Tinfoil
  • Blister packs from sleeping pills or benzodiazepines
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Disappearing for long periods
  • Fever
  • Depression
  • Change in friendship groups
  • Confusion
  • Tremors
  • Weight loss

Signs of Stimulant Drug Abuse

Some examples of commonly abused stimulants include amphetamines like Adderall or Dexedrine, methamphetamines and cocaine. 

  • Excitability
  • Excessive talking
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Change in friendship groups
  • Straws/razorblades/mirrors
  • Glass pipes
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Mood swings – hyperactivity while high and anxiety, depression and low mood when without drugs
  • Sweating
  • Sleeplessness
  • Weight loss
  • Dilated pupils

Symptoms of Drug Use and Addiction

If you’ve developed a drug dependence and you’re worried your habit is getting out of hand, there are 11 symptoms below that could indicate an addiction. If you can identify with two or three, you have a mild substance use disorder. If you can relate to four or five, it’s a moderate substance use disorder, and if you can identify with six or more, it’s considered a severe disorder.

  • Hazardous use
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Using more or over longer periods than you intended
  • Interpersonal issues
  • Using drugs or obtaining drugs is your main priority
  • Cravings
  • Abandoning activities you once enjoyed
  • Increased tolerance
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Trying to stop and not being able to
  • Health problems related to drug use

Every level requires treatment, but depending on the length of time you’ve been using, mild or moderate may need outpatient care. Severe substance abuse is usually best treated in a residential setting, but your doctor can advise you on what type of treatment program or rehab is best for you individually.

How Can I Help Someone Who’s Addicted?

Seeking professional addiction treatment is the best way to begin the journey of long-term recovery. Call New Day Recovery at (330) 886-4744 today to speak to an expert about how to get help for yourself or someone you love.