Thursday, April 11, 2024

How To Identify An Addict

How To Tell If Someone Is High On Cocaine

Identifying a drug addict

Its also helpful to learn how to identify cocaine use signs and symptoms. People high on cocaine may exhibit a number of telltale outward indications. That includes things such as:

  • An exhilarated or extremely upbeat mood
  • Unusually high energy levels

Heavy doses of the drug may also produce a range of other, more ominous changes, including:

  • Unpredictable changes in mood or behavior
  • Feelings of panic or anxiety
  • Twitching or trembling muscles
  • Unusual aggression or violence

Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Addiction How To Tell If Someone Needs Help For A Drug Problem

Nzinga Harrison

Understanding the science behind addiction can be complicated. Some people might think that people become addicted if they dont have any willpower or good morals. In actuality, addiction is a complex and chronic brain disease that can affect people from all backgrounds. It can happen to anyone at any age.

Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted because drugs have a different effect on everyone. Some people use drugs experimentally on occasion in a social setting. However, if usage becomes more regular, some people lose the ability to control when and how much they are using. Over time, drugs change behavior and how the brain, body, and mind function. This is how drug addiction, medically known as substance use disorder, develops. These changes can be long-lasting and cause stressful problems like missing work, legal issues, physical health problems, and trouble with family and friends.

Q: Identifying Addiction How To Identify A Drug Addict

A: Identifying drug users and drug addicts can be obvious.

But sometimes it isnt that easy to distinguish use from abuse, and you may have to look hard for signs. Fortunately, there are a number of signs you can watch for to help in Identifying Addiction, both physical and behavioral. The list below contains some of the signs to help you tell if someone is a drug user or drug addict.

  • bloodshot eyes
  • dilated or constricted pupils for short time
  • needle marks and similar evidence on the body
  • frequent absenteeism or tardiness to school or work
  • frequent confusion
  • hostility when confronted about drug use
  • lackadaisical attitude toward personal hygiene
  • mood swings
  • preoccupation with using or finding drugs
  • shakiness or tremors
  • spends the majority of their time using or recovering from the effects of drugs
  • unable or unwilling to quit using drugs despite financial, family, health and legal problems

More on who needs to see help for drug problems here:

Recommended Reading: How Do You Know Someone Is Addicted To Drugs

What Are Common Factors That Lead To Addiction

One way to identify if someone you know has an addiction is to consider certain factors in that persons life that are commonly known to contribute to addictive behavior. A persons background or current environment can influence the onset of addiction. Some factors to consider include:

  • Abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences
  • Family history of addiction
  • Mental disorders
  • Noticeable increase in use of substances
  • Reliance believing a substance fulfills a valuable need or fills a void

An individual is not required to have any of these factors to become an addict, but someone living with any of these factors is at a higher risk of acquiring a substance addiction than a person not living with these factors.

Your Addiction Interferes With Your Life

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However, to drive the point home, lets take a look at how your addiction is likely interfering with your life.

Addictive substance abuse, as discussed, often leads to poor decisions. This could be calling into work or just skipping a shift entirely. It could also mean falling behind on bills, distancing yourself from friends, or allowing yourself to adopt an unhealthy lifestyle.

Even temporarily, these behaviors can be detrimental to your well-being. However, if continued for long periods of time, these behaviors could lead to unemployment, lost relationships, homelessness, and even serious health problems. The final and most permanent repercussion could be a fatal one.

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What Can I Do About My Drug Use

If you take drugs regularly and you have some of the signs listed here, its important that you talk to a doctor or a mental health professional as soon as you can. Continuing to take drugs might seem like the only way to feel better, but it can lead to some pretty serious consequences, including ongoing mental and physical health issues, or even death.

Recognising the problem is the first step in getting help for addiction. No one can force another person to undergo treatment for a problem they dont believe they have.

Talk to a doctor or a health professional

Try using ReachOut NextStep which will guide you through a few key questions and help you find the support that’s right for you.

Dont go cold turkey

It might seem easier to just stop taking drugs and to manage withdrawal on your own, but this is actually the most difficult way to go about it. It can also be physically dangerous, depending on the drug and level of addiction. If you dont feel comfortable talking to a health professional, start with a trusted friend or family member.

If you’re looking for more info on individual types of drugs, check out Your Room’s A-Z of Drugs.

Remember that if you do have a drug problem, the first step in overcoming it is to acknowledge it. You’ll find plenty of support services that can help you here, and you can filter by type of service and location.

Changes In Activity Level

One key hint that someone may be struggling with a drug addiction is a spike or serious decline in how active they are. A drug that is a stimulant can cause your loved one to become hyperactive and jittery. Drugs that are depressants will have the opposite effect. If your loved one becomes lethargic on a regular basis then it may be a sign that they are addicted to a depressant. If they are noticeably jumpy or hyperactive then it is a good sign that they are addicted to a stimulant.

Also Check: How Long Does It Take To Stop Nicotine Addiction

Find Help For Meth Abuse And Addiction Today

Meth use is extremely dangerous, addictive, and even life-threatening. Using too much meth can lead to an overdose or long-term health effects that cause permanent damage to the mind and body. If you have been able to identify a meth user whom you love, the best thing you can do is to confront them about their addiction or hire an addiction specialist to help you do so.

Meth addiction is entirely treatable with the help of medical detox services, individualized behavioral therapy, and involved outpatient programs. Dont let someone you love struggle with addiction any longer. Contact one of our trusted addiction specialists today to see how our team at Carolina Center for Recovery can help.


When Drug Use Becomes Addiction

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Not every person who takes drugseither prescription or illegaldevelops a substance abuse problem. Some people can take prescription or recreational drugs without developing a dependence on them. However, others can get sucked into addiction after just a few uses. It can be challenging to recognize whether a loved ones use has turned into abuse, as the tipping point between the two is not clear cut.

So, what is substance abuse, and how does it differ for substance use?

The key here is that addiction and abuse are actually less about the type of substance, the amount taken, and the frequency of use. It is, in fact, more about how the substance is affecting the persons everyday life. Substance use becomes substance abuse when it has a negative impact on work, home, school, hobbies, relationships and more.

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You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms

Learning how to know if you have an addiction may present itself when you try to stop using.

Addictions plague both the body and the mind. Not only can you become mentally and emotionally addicted to substances, but your body can become physically addicted as well.

Withdrawal symptoms take place when your body goes without the substance and it becomes distressed. These symptoms will be stronger based on the depth of your addiction. The sooner you realize you have a problem, the easier it will be to recover from it.

Withdrawal symptoms are also determined by what substance youre addicted to. They range from irritation and anxiety to muscle soreness, seizures, and hallucinations.

There are multiple and unique symptoms for each type of addiction, however, the typical responses are as follows:

Alcohol withdrawal a few days to a few weeks of tremors and/or seizures

Heroin and pain killers 5 days of flu-like symptoms

Cocain Up to 10 days of depression and restlessness

Benzodiazepines Several weeks or months of seizures and anxiety

What Does Meth Smell Like

Pure methamphetamine doesnt have much of a smell, however, crystal meth purchased on the streets is rarely 100% pure. In fact, meth is manufactured using a number of toxic chemicals, such as:

  • Ammonia
  • Cleaning products
  • Paint thinner

Some of these chemicals have a strong scent. In most cases, meth will smell weakly like ammonia. However, some people say meth smells like metallic chemicals, cat urine, rotten eggs, or burning plastic.

It is never a good idea to smell a substance to try and identify meth. The chemicals used to make meth can produce toxic fumes that can cause confusion, dizziness, headaches, and respiratory products when inhaled. Some chemicals may be so corrosive that they cause a burning sensation on the mucous membranes of the eyes, throat, and nose.

Also Check: How To Help Someone Recovering From Addiction

Loss Of Interest In Things That Used To Bring Joy

Did you used to love spending a lazy Sunday afternoon reading a book or painting? Or maybe your loved one used to enjoy whipping up cookies and cupcakes for events, but it has been months since youve enjoyed one of their confections?

A drug addiction takes up a lot of time, and there is a lot of concern over what will happen if they run out. With such a heavy preoccupation with a drug, its hard to find time for anything else. Depression is another possibility, since it also results in loss of interest with favored activities, so use the other items listed here to determine what the cause may be.

Signs Someone Else Is Addicted:

Identifying Alcohol Addiction
  • Changes in personality and behavior like a lack of motivation, irritability, and agitation
  • Bloodshot eyes and frequent bloody noses
  • Shakes, tremors, or slurred speech
  • Change in their daily routines
  • Lack of concern for personal hygiene
  • Unusual need for money financial problems
  • Changes in friends and activities

Read Also: How To Help An Opioid Addict

How Do Drugs Work In The Brain To Produce Pleasure

Nearly all addictive drugs directly or indirectly target the brains reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, cognition, motivation, and reinforcement of rewarding behaviors. When activated at normal levels, this system rewards our natural behaviors. Overstimulating the system with drugs, however, produces effects which strongly reinforce the behavior of drug use, teaching the person to repeat it.

Signs Of Hallucinogens Use

Most but not all users are under the age of 21. They may be used as club drugs, similar to ketamine or ecstasy, or for religious reasons. They may have paraphernalia lying around or the drug. While they are using the drug they particularly mellow or relaxed, fixated on inanimate objects, hallucinations, extreme terror, severe mood changes. They may not sleep or eat while on the drug. If you or someone you know is addicted to using hallucinogens, its important to get them the help they need before any self harm or harm to others happens.

Also Check: How Do You Beat Addiction

What Are Physical Signs Of Drug Abuse

Some of the most noticeable symptoms of drug use are those that affect certain physiological processes. For example, your bodys tolerance to a drug develops when a drug is used long or often enough that it adapts to the consistently elevated presence of the substance. When tolerance grows, increased quantities or strengths are required to achieve the previous effects.1

Individuals using a drug to get high may come to take such large doses to overcome their tolerance that they place themselves at increasing risk of potentially fatal overdose.3

Changes in appearance can be additional clues to possible drug use and may include:4

  • Bloodshot or glazed eyes.

What Are The Signs Of Drug Addiction

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There are many types of drugs that people can become addicted to, so there are many different signs to be aware of. If youre concerned that you might be developing an addiction, here are some general signs to look out for.

Social and behavioural signs

People with a drug addiction may:

  • avoid people who dont take drugs
  • avoid places where it’s not possible to take drugs
  • feel distressed and lonely if they don’t take the drug regularly
  • rely on drugs to cope with emotional problems
  • be dishonest with friends and family to hide their drug use
  • have financial problems and debts
  • sell or steal things to pay for drugs
  • take dangerous risks, such as driving under the influence of drugs
  • self-blame and have low self-esteem, especially after trying unsuccessfully to quit
  • get into legal trouble.

Health signs

Drugs and alcohol can cause a range of problems for physical and mental health, even after the acute effects of taking the drug have worn off. These include:

  • depression
  • having unusual ideas
  • hallucinations
  • sexual dysfunction .

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Preoccupation With Your Drug Of Choice

As a drug addiction progresses, its normal to become more and more preoccupied with your drug of choice. That includes things like thinking about the next time you will take the drug, what youre going to do to make sure you dont run out so you can avoid withdrawal symptoms, and where youre going to get the money in order to buy more. When drug use becomes a near-constant thought, that is perhaps the most tell-tale symptom of drug addiction.

To someone looking in at an addiction from the outside, it may mean that a friend or loved one is suddenly unavailable during certain times of the day. They may decline invitations they once would have accepted, or they may spend time with new friends that youve never met. This is a good indicator that they are spending their time with other drug users.

A Person Omits Or Adds Details To Their Story

Some people may try to avoid lying altogether. They could omit details in their stories or explanations when you ask them about what they may have been doing. You want to listen for what a person is not saying instead of what they are saying. An addict may be lying if they hide details, especially if you have an established relationship where they tell you everything.

Relatedly, a liar may add extra details to their stories to the point of becoming convoluted. Suppose your loved one is taking prescription drugs and you ask about their dosage. They end up asking for more drugs because they already used up their supply. When you ask them about it, they may talk extensively to hide the fact they are abusing their prescription.

Listen to a persons story and determine whether it lines up with everything you know about them and their prescription. If you suspect abuse, you may need professional intervention services to prevent your loved ones addiction from worsening.

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Addictions Vs Substance Use Disorders

The term addiction is used to describe compulsive drug-seeking behaviors that continue in spite of negative outcomes, but it is important to note that addiction is not considered an official diagnosis in the DSM-5.

Rather than using the term “addiction,” the DSM-5 classifies substance use disorders. While the diagnostic criteria vary for each type, the DSM-5 describes these disorders as a problematic pattern of use of intoxicating substances that leads to significant impairment and distress. These symptoms can result in impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and tolerance/withdrawal.

While these conditions might be informally referred to as addictions, your doctor will officially diagnose you with some form of substance use disorder or one of the two behavioral addiction disorders that are officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association .

How To Identify Addiction Before It Takes Over

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Drug and alcohol use in this country is on the rise, with over 23 million Americans struggling with addiction. To put that more clearly 1 in every 10 people in the United States over the age of 12 is currently struggling with substance abuse. Given these numbers, if you dont know how to identify addiction you could be in trouble.

But what exactly is addiction, and how can we recognize the symptoms?

Chemical dependence, or substance use disorder, is the psychological and physiological need to continue using a substance, in spite of the fact that it is negatively impacting your relationships and life. To put it simply: continued use despite negative consequences.

While each individual is unique and may not display all of the symptoms, the following are ways you can recognize addiction before it takes over.

Recommended Reading: How To Stop Cigarette Smoking Addiction

Signs Of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is best known in its white powder form. Most often, this drug is snorted, smoked, or injected. As cocaine is a stimulant, one of its hallmarks is that its main effects wear off around 30 minutes to 2 hours after the last use. In addition to the general signs of drug abuse discussed above, cocaine has some specific side effects, including:

  • Increased energy
  • Fast white lady
  • Yao

As Medical News Today discusses, cocaine is highly addictive and the strongest natural occurring stimulant in existence. Cocaine addiction is associated with dramatic personal losses there are reports of professionals spending $20,000 to $50,000 on cocaine binges, parents selling their children, and people becoming unemployed, having to file bankruptcy, and ending up homeless. It is clear that cocaine use can spiral out of control. For this reason, the earlier the abuse is intercepted, the better.

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