What are the signs of addiction to drugs?

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Answered by: Jennifer, An Expert in the Alcohol and Drugs Category
Statistics show that drug use is on the rise. Addiction and drug use is extremely serious and something that should not be ignored. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of the addiction and the abuse of drugs so that you can find help for the person suspected of drug use. It is important to remember that it only one time of using drugs can lead to serious health risks and/or death. Drugs can affect you physically, psychologically and change your behavior. Protect your loved ones by recognizing the following signs of addiction and drug use.

Drugs can completely transform someone physically. As drug abuse continues people are more prone to not notice or not be able to recognize the transformation that their body has taken due to long term abuse. The physical signs can show up right away or after an extended period of drug abuse. Here are some of the physical signs to look out for:

*Rapid weight loss or weight gain

*Large or small pupils and/or bloodshot eyes.

*Changes in weight such as rapid weight loss or weight gain and changes in appetite.

*Shaking, tremors, slurred speech and speech issues, balance issues and trouble walking.

*Strange body odor, change in grooming, poor physical appearance.

*Seizures without medical issues.

*Changes in sleep pattern.

Drugs change a person’s behavior because drugs alter a person’s mental state. The person that is abusing drugs may think that they are acting completely ordinary when they are suffering from some of the following behavioral symptoms of drug abuse:

*Loss of interest in school, work, and regular activities. A person who is abusing drugs may become withdrawn and seclude themselves from their regular activities.

*A need for money. Drug abusers often use all of their money on drugs and then ask coworkers, friends, and family members for loans.

*Changes in relationships and friends.

Drugs can damage someone psychologically. Drugs alter how a person thinks and acts without them realizing it. The following are psychological signs of drug abuse:

*Mood swings.

*Lack of motivation, extreme laziness, not wanting to do anything.

*Hyperactivity and agitation.

*Appearing scared, fearful, afraid people are following or watching them, for no reason.

Drug addicts will display some or all of the signs above. As they continue their drug use they will become dependent on drugs to get them through the day. After they become dependent they will start to show signs that they cannot function unless they abuse drugs. Signs of dependency include:

*Tolerance: Tolerance means that the person abusing drugs is going to need more and more to reach the high or feeling that they are trying to achieve with their abuse. As a person abuses drugs their body becomes used to them and then needs more to reach the point the abuser is trying to reach.

*Withdrawal: When a drug abuser does not have the drugs they have become dependent on they will start to show withdrawal signs. Withdrawal can be life threatening. Signs of withdrawal include shakiness, increased blood pressure, vomiting, increased heart rate, sleepiness, agitation, sweating, confusion, headaches, hallucinations, and more.

*Control Loss. A drug addict will try to convince themselves that they do not have a problem and can control their drug use. Loss of control is the inability to control use of drugs and the abuser may take more then they intended, use again, and not be able to control when/how much they take.

*Unable to stop. Dependence takes away the abusers ability to stop taking the drug that they are dependent on.

*Continued use despite the consequences. People dependent on drugs may know that the effects the drugs are having on them physically and emotionally are not good and want to stop but not have the ability to stop.

Drug abuse is dangerous for all of the above reasons. Drug abuse can harm you for the rest of your life or take your life. If you notice someone who is struggling with drug addiction it is important that you find them professional help right away. Once someone is dependent on drugs it is very dangerous for them to stop taking drugs without professional help and may end up in death. There are many people who can help drug addicts fight their addiction with the necessary tools to keep them drug free for the rest of their lives. If you notice a loved one or family member showing signs of addiction and drug use or abuse make sure to get them help right away before drugs take their life away from them.

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