Is Your Loved One Addicted (How to Spot Addiction)
Addiction: The National Institute on Drug Abuse says it’s a chronic disease. It knows no boundaries of socioeconomic class, gender, race, intelligence, or age. Addiction affects people all across the globe, from movie stars and political leaders to grandparents. Addition is a relapsing brain disease that has certain characteristics such as a compulsion to continue using the substance no matter how negative the consequences. Addiction changes your loved one’s brain and body. Chemical Dependence describes a pattern of substance (drugs or alcohol) use and the inability to stop using leading to significant problems in daily living. Chemical Dependency can be a psychological as well as a physical need to use alcohol or other drugs that doesn’t go away even when using them causes negative consequences. Individuals chemically dependent on a substance, like alcohol or drugs, lose their power of choice pertaining to the substance as well as their ability to make rational choices.
Chemical Dependency is a disease that does not see age, sex, race, religion, or economic status. It is a chronic and progressive disease, and if untreated, it can be fatal. The substances most frequently abused include the following: Alcohol, Prescription Drugs, Benzodiazepines, Cocaine, Opioids, Heroin, Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Inhalants, LSD & other Hallucinogens, and MDMA & Ecstasy. While there are specific paraphernalia for each substance and certain signs there are some generalized ones.
Physical signs of drug abuse
- Bloodshot eyes or pupils that are larger or smaller than usual.
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
- Deterioration of physical appearance and personal grooming habits.
- Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
- Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination.
- Falling asleep in the middle of a conversation.
- Unexplained ‘picking’ sores on face and body.
Behavioral signs of drug abuse
- Drop in attendance and performance at work or school.
- Unexplained need for money or financial problems. May borrow or steal to get it.
- Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.
- Speech is confusing or illogical, dishonesty with even mundane things.
- Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
- Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities).
Psychological signs of drug abuse
- Unexplained change in personality or attitude.
- Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts.
- Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness.
- Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out.”
- Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason.
- Disappears for days at a time with no plausible excuse.
Common signs and symptoms of drug addiction
- They’ve built up a drug tolerance. They need to use more of the drug to experience the same effects they used to with smaller amounts.
- They take drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If they go too long without drugs, they experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.
- They’ve lost control over their drug use. They often do drugs or use more than they planned, even though they told themselves they wouldn’t. They may want to stop using, but they feel powerless.
- Their life revolves around drug use. They spend a lot of time using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, and recovering from the drug’s effects.
- They’ve abandoned activities they used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of their drug use.
For more information on how to get you or your loved one help, call us toll–free: 1-888-986-7848.