A drug addict can look like a man clutching a vaporizer on the side of the road, the kid sitting on the back of the bus covering his habits, or a dressed up girl who keeps her drugs in her purse wherever she goes. No matter what your age is, gender, or background, anyone can become addicted to using drugs for the mental benefits it provides. Teenagers and adults who are going through stressful environments are even more prone to abusing drugs and take on symptoms of an addict after using intense substance long enough. They may keep these symptoms a secret, or it could unfold into a chain of disastrous events. One thing that rings true about drug addictions is that the negative consequences it creates are never pretty. The addict can feel and behave like a total wreck, run through their entire bank account, and ruin important relationships that took years and energy to develop.
In order to prevent an addict from going too far, acknowledging their signs of addiction and other important symptoms of drug abuse is highly important. You need to know about what environmental factors could trigger them as well, especially if they’re a close family or friend. If you simply just want to know more about addiction itself, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s break down the top signs of addiction and how they can be better understood.
Signs of Addiction
- The addict takes more of a drug over time. Biologically we develop a tolerance level to foreign substances that enter our body so we don’t react in an extreme way. The same goes for chemicals we often don’t think about that are found in things like coffee, candy, desserts, or fruit. With repeated use of a drug like cocaine, marijuana, or adderall, an addict begins to go through long term changes. Overall, their body develops a strong desire for a high more frequently and achieves it by increasing the dose with each consumption. With several instances of exposure to a certain drug, an addict’s body can be placed into an extremely dangerous situation and can easily lead to an overdose.
- The addict starts to look different. They won’t be growing blue hair or six inches taller, but you will definitely see a change in their character, daily habits, and physical appearance overall. They may be walking around with eyes that look glazed or bloodshot from the drug, dilated pupils, a lighter or much heavier weight than usual, and bruises that seem to come out of nowhere. Other symptoms of drug use include sleeping less or much more than normal, behaving more irritable towards others who question their whereabouts, and being oddly defense to the most innocent of questions.
- The addict starts falling short of life. They can’t keep up with the normal responsibilities they had to manage before, whether it’s from a job or school. The same goes for maintain important relationships, as seeking out a drug is now their priority over human connection. With continuous isolation and a vicious cycle of dependence, signs of addiction often include depression and episodes of anger. It’s no surprise that within thousands of homes, many cases of violence often overlap with a mom, dad, sibling, or spouse who is abusing drugs and can’t manage their high.
- The addict is slowly going broke. Another key feature of drug addiction signs includes a swindling bank account. Financing drugs on a regular basis is not for someone who can barely make it on a minimum wage job. If a person normally doesn’t spend much money, you’ll have to question if they’re making amends with their dealers or whatever resource they’re receiving their drugs from. As uncomfortable as the conversation may be, asking the addict to open up about their relationship with drugs could be first step in the right direction. If they seem reluctant to talk, invest in their long term health by booking an appointment with a rehab counselor yourself so they aren’t bothered with the mundane details. The addict then won’t have an excuse to not confront their signs of addiction with drugs either.
- The addict has their head in the clouds. No matter what they are trying to focus on, they may have trouble with focusing on anything else but the drug they are addicted to. It could be about how to get more of the drug, how to cover up their tracks, or how to get a better high the next time around. You will notice that an addict will look unfocused and out of touch with what is going on around them. Asking them a simple question could cause them to look extremely startled or confused.
- The addict avoids treatment to deal with their signs of addiction. The addict needs to know about what their options are for getting help so their health doesn’t completely fall down the drain. Seeking a local rehab counselor, attending an in person or online Alcohol Anonymous group, or visiting a
holistic health center are all great ways to deal with even the most intense of drug addictions. If you’ve been meaning to talk to an addict in your life, make sure you can bring along a team of family and friends who genuinely care to see them get through the substance abuse. Together, you can recommend treatment methods with the addict and explain why all of you have noticed such a negative change in his or her life.
Assess Your Situation
Even if you or someone you know is taking a drug, understanding where the line falls between occasional use to a full on addiction is important. Take an online addiction quiz to get a better sense of your thought process for using the drug and why you may be so dependent on it. While it seems like a waste of time, the insight you gain on your inner workings is only beneficial for long term growth. We all want to know more about ourselves to make better decisions for the future, so don’t hesitate!