Drug addiction can become a terrible problem if a person doesn’t get help. It’s important that friends and family members around the person identify key concerns early on when addiction could be the issue. Read on to learn the most common signs of drug addiction and the importance of interventions for addicts.
Can You Identify a Drug Addiction?
People who are abusing drugs can often hide the problem for some time. However, if the abuse transitions into addiction, it’ll start to become hard to conceal the drug use. Drugs can quickly cause serious damage to the mind, body and entire life of an addict. The effects of the addiction can eventually start to impact friends and family. It’s important to be able to identify a drug addict based on behaviors and other signs.
What Are the Top 10 Signs of Drug Addiction?
Drug addiction comes with a number of common signs, regardless of the substance being used. These signs can appear early in the addiction and become worse as it progresses. Look for these anomalous behaviors if you’re concerned. The following are the 10 top signs of drug addiction.
1. Unpredictable Mood Swings
Drugs can cause unpredictable mood swings due to the changes made in the chemistry of the brain. A person on drugs could be very active and friendly one moment. That individual could then become withdrawn, angry or depressed the next. Mood swings are a sign that something is wrong.
2. Changes in Sleeping Habits
The next sign is a change in sleeping habits. Drug addiction can cause a person to start sleeping for long periods. You might see a loved one taking naps all throughout the day. Alternately, certain drugs like stimulants could cause the opposite effect. A person taking those types of drugs might stop sleeping completely for days at a time. Pay close attention to the sleeping habits of any person you think is addicted to drugs.
3. Inexplicable Financial Problems
Most people encounter financial problems in life. If those financial problems don’t seem to have any explanation or happen suddenly in the life of your loved one, it might be a sign of addiction. Maintaining an addiction can become very expensive. Larger amounts of drugs will be needed as tolerance to the substance builds. The earning power of the individual will drop as the drugs overtake the person’s life. Inexplicable financial problems combined with other signs usually indicates drug addiction.
4. Physical Changes
A long-term addiction will lead to physical changes. These could be basic things such as pale or ashy skin, red eyes and consistent bad breath. Changes that are more serious can include dramatic weight loss, sores on the body and random convulsions. The person might start to lose hair or teeth as the addiction worsens. Watch closely for these physical changes if you suspect drug addiction.
5. Irrational Behavior
Drug addiction changes the way a person thinks and makes decisions. It can cause people to become uncharacteristically aggressive, confused or detached from reality. The individual might have visual, tactile or auditory hallucinations. This can result in highly irrational behavior that makes no sense to anyone. These behaviors can cause serious problems or injuries if the addiction isn’t addressed quickly.
6. New Friends or Frequent Meetings with Strangers
Addicts need to have a place to get drugs. This usually means making contact with new people or talking to acquaintances you’ve never before seen. If you notice a loved one suddenly has many new friends or is meeting with strangers frequently, it could be to secure drugs. Look for other signs of drug addiction to determine whether a problem is present.
7. Legal Troubles
Buying and using drugs is illegal. Even possessing drugs or drug paraphernalia is against the law. Public intoxication is also illegal. Any of these activities can cause legal trouble. The individual might be arrested for public intoxication, trespassing, stealing or possession. If legal troubles begin, you must act quickly to get the person help for addiction.
8. Loss of Old Friends or Relationships
Addiction is a very isolating condition. People who are dealing with addiction often stop being social unless it’s necessary to get drugs or earn money. This can cause your loved one to lose old friends or important relationships. Addiction can lead family members and friends to abandon the person because of the changes the drugs are causing. If you’re noticing someone becoming socially isolated, addiction could be the cause.
9. Increasing Work or School Absences
Drug addiction takes away the ability of people to operate normally and maintain a regular schedule. This is most noticeable when it comes to work or school. One of the most obvious signs of drug addiction is increasing absences from work or school. This occurs because the person is too high to get to work or school, is feeling sick or simply stops caring because of the drugs. Increasing work or school absences can be a strong sign your loved one is addicted to drugs.
10. Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety commonly occur when a person is trying to cope with drug addiction. This is because chemical changes in the brain along with feelings of powerlessness, early withdrawal symptoms and regrets about past behaviors can all cause negative emotions. Depression and anxiety can become crippling, which usually leads to heavier drug use. Both of these conditions are signs indicating the addict needs help.
Should You Plan an Intervention?
An intervention can be a very effective way to help someone who’s suffering with drug addiction. It should be a last resort and not something you do right away. First, try to talk to your loved one and discuss the addiction. Talk about treatment. Try to get your loved one to make a decision to get help independently. If the individual denies the problem, starts getting worse or begins facing life-altering consequences from the addiction, an intervention is necessary. Be certain to plan the intervention with the help of an addiction specialist.
Take action immediately if you’ve identified any of the signs of drug addiction in a loved one. If the person isn’t willing to get help, start planning an intervention right away. Call the helpline at 800-447-9081 today to speak with an addiction specialist about interventions and inpatient treatment options for rehabilitation.