Substance use and drug addiction are becoming more common across the United States. In a given year, around 65% of people who are 12 years of age and older have consumed alcohol, while almost 18% have used illicit drugs. Now this does not always lead to abuse issues; however, some individuals are more susceptible to addiction, and long-term use can lead to substance use disorders.
Drug abuse can have devastating effects on relationships with friends and family members. Everyday life is impacted with increasing miscommunication, tension, distrust, and arguments. This can lead to a stressful and, sometimes toxic, home environment. The good news is there are a number of drug addiction warning signs, and many of them are easy to identify.
Risk Factors Associated With Addiction
Not all alcohol and drug use lead to addiction. However, there are certain risk factors that increase the chances of developing an addiction. Knowing what these are can help individuals recognize when there is a greater vulnerability to developing substance use disorders. Some of these risk factors include:
- Use of drugs at an early age
- Family history of drug or alcohol addiction
- Anxiety, depression, or other mental issues
- Traumatic experiences such as neglect or abuse
- Drug administration method
Physical Warning Signs
Some signs of substance abuse are physical and are easier to recognize than others. These warning signs are:
- Weight fluctuations – Drug use typically leads to either weight loss or gain. Someone who takes stimulants, such as meth or cocaine, will often notice rapid weight loss, while marijuana increases appetite, which can lead to weight gain.
- Eye changes – An obvious sign can be seen in the eyes. Bloodshot eyes can be due to marijuana use or a hangover, while other drug use causes pupil constriction.
- Skin deviations – The skin can tell a lot. Some signs include open sores, jaundice, acne, or track marks.
- Energy changes – Some drugs cause an uncommon increase in energy, while others cause lethargy. There are also often changes in sleep patterns that can lead to energy fluctuations.
- Hygiene issues – Someone dealing with addiction may not care about taking care of themselves. This can result in wrinkled clothes, body odor, bad breath, and a general lack of cleanliness.
Behavioral Warning Signs
Drug addiction can also affect one’s behavior. Some signs of this include:
- Changes in performance or attendance at school or work
- Changes in activities or friends
- Issues with finances
- Frequent lying
- Disregarding responsibilities
Psychological Warning Signs
Using drugs can affect the brain and make changes over time. Some psychological warning signs include:
- Personality changes
- Mood swings or frequent irritability
- Motivation loss
- Obsessive or paranoid thoughts
- Physical or emotional withdrawal from friends and family
Seeking help for drug addiction is a brave decision for family members and the person struggling with substance use disorders. Treatment should be sought as soon as addiction symptoms are identified, as recovery may become more difficult the longer the person uses. People respond to treatment differently, which is why we offer several different treatment approaches. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.