Drug abuse can affect anyone, and depending on why you began taking them (as prescribed or recreationally), you can develop tolerance and dependence without realizing it. It tends to change one’s habits and behavior. Your loved one can become more irritable, withdrawn, depressed, or get involved in criminal activities. Other drugs can even affect the brain’s ability to think clearly and focus.
Your loved one can experience physical changes such as weight, inconsistent sleeping patterns, abnormal body odors, and poor physical coordination. It’s important to note that drug addiction signs may not always manifest, but you can spot the ones that appear regularly, so you get your loved one treated. The indicators of drug abuse can also be psychological or emotional. Here are signs your loved one is abusing drugs.
1. Sudden physical changes
Drug abuse may cause your loved one to experience noticeable physical changes, and as the abuse progresses, the signs become easier to spot. Expect symptoms like weight gain or loss, skipping meals, sleeping, and exercise routines, neglect in hygiene practices, pinpoint pupils, and bloodshot eyes.
Drug abuse is also linked with malnutrition, and its effects may be evident in the condition of their hair, skin, nails, and weight loss. You can also notice sore marks on their skin and extreme lethargy. Note that various drugs exhibit different physical symptoms. If you notice sudden drug-related symptoms in your loved one, consider admitting them to a substance abuse recovery center for treatment.
2. Mood Swings
Visible mood changes resulting from psychiatric disorders are mostly connected to an addiction or substance abuse. Some drugs cause different emotions, and the amount and frequency of use can lead to severe mood changes.
3. Being Secretive and Frequently Lying
Addicts can go to great lengths to hide their addiction, including keeping secrets, exhibiting unusual mannerisms, and evading giving straightforward answers to your questions. In addition, your loved ones will never admit that they’re addicted. They can lie just about anything as long as their secret is safe.
4. Changes in Sleeping Behavior
Drug misuse can cause unpredictable sleeping habits and daily routines. Substance abusers can stay up all night, sleep at odd hours, and fall asleep during conversations. Substances like cocaine cause boost alertness and wakefulness. Opiates like heroin and other prescription pain relievers slow down the brain, leading to feelings of tiredness, muscle relaxation, calmness, and relaxation.
5. Low Performance
Drug abuse can easily dominate your loved one’s life, making them prioritize finding and consuming drugs. This causes them to neglect their work, school, and family. Since drug users can frequently miss work or report late, it may reduce productivity, causing them to lose their jobs. If your loved one is a student, they lose interest in studies and eventually quit.
6. Withdrawal Symptoms
When drug addict fails to use their substance, they’ll likely experience withdrawal symptoms. Although they may try to hide them, some of the signs can’t go unnoticed. Look out for signs like anxiety, paranoia, appetite changes, muscle pain and aches, irritability, excessive sweating, fatigue, mood swings, and more. The severity of the symptoms depends on how severe the addiction is.
7. Financial Issues and Property Loss
While financial struggles are a part of life, drug addicts experience sudden, unexplainable financial hardships. This is because they continue to consume even if it means selling off their property to pay for them.
In addition, if your loved one is struggling with drug abuse, they can steal and borrow money from you and their friends to satisfy their hunger for drugs. If you start noticing valuable things or cash disappearing from your home, it could signify that one of your loved ones is struggling with drug abuse.
8. Withdrawal from Family and Friends
To hide their drug abuse behavior or take it in larger quantities, someone using drugs often starts withdrawing from family and friends. For example, if your loved one abuses alcohol, they’ll avoid social gatherings because they’re afraid that their drinking might get out of control. Others may start avoiding their loved ones because their addiction takes most of their time, putting their relationships at risk.
9. Changes in Weight
The substances your loved one is consuming could be directly correlated with appetite and metabolism, causing them to experience severe weight gain or loss. Eating disorders can result in a psychiatric problem that can coincide with drug and alcohol addiction. This is called a dual diagnosis, and it can also be the reason for weight fluctuations.
If your loved one is addicted to substance abuse, they’ll try to keep it a secret for as long as they can, fueling their addiction for a long time. If you believe they’re hiding an addiction, confront them and assist them in their journey through treatment and recovery.