Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Addiction
Many times, the presence of a substance abuse problem is not obvious because an addict will go to great lengths to keep his or her abuse a secret or will deny the presence of a problem when confronted. However, the longer the substance abuse occurs, the more noticeable the associated symptoms will become. Substance abuse can adversely affect an individuals behavior, appearance, health, cognition, and emotions. The following symptoms are those that indicate that someone may have a substance abuse problem:
Physical Signs Of Drug Addiction
If someone misuses drugs or alcohol, they may exhibit numerous physical signs of drug abuse. Some of these signs may be readily apparent, while others are easily hidden or occur as gradual changes.
Signs of benzodiazepine abuse may include:
- Similar symptoms as alcohol intoxication, without the smell of alcohol on the breath
- Missing prescription pills
Meth Abuse: Signs And Symptoms
Misuse occurs when a person takes more of this medication than prescribed or uses it without a prescription. Symptoms of meth abuse can occur over long and short periods, affecting several systems within your body.3
Short-term effects associated with meth use include:3,7
- Reduced appetite
- Changes in brain functioning
Symptoms of psychosis such as hallucinations or delusions can continue even after you have quit using meth.3 A person experiencing hallucinations may hear or see things that others cannot. Physical hallucinations, such as feeling as if bugs are crawling over a persons skin, can occur.3 Changes in perception, especially related to paranoia and delusions, can cause further emotional distress.7 Even after these symptoms subside, increased stress may cause them to return.3
Using methamphetamine while pregnant can have impacts on the unborn childs health.3 Babies exposed to methamphetamine prior to birth showed signs of heart problems, brain abnormalities, low energy, and had a smaller physical size.3 Some studies showed that children exposed to meth prior to birth had notable attention problems, developmental concerns, and challenges associated with self-control.3
Misusing methamphetamine also places you at risk of developing a substance use disorder.7
Symptoms of a substance use disorder on methamphetamine include:7
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How Drug Abuse And Addiction Develops
There’s a fine line between regular drug use and drug abuse and addiction. Very few drug abusers or addicts are able to recognize when they’ve crossed that line. While frequency or the amount of drugs consumed do not necessarily constitute drug abuse or addiction, they can often be indicators of drug-related problems.
If the drug fulfills a valuable need, you may find yourself increasingly relying on it. You may take illegal drugs to calm or energize yourself or make you more confident. You may start abusing prescription drugs to relieve pain, cope with panic attacks, or improve concentration at school or work. If you are using drugs to fill a void in your life, you’re more at risk of crossing the line from casual drug use to drug abuse and addiction. To maintain a healthy balance in your life, you need to have positive experiences and feel good about your life without any drug use.
Drug abuse may start as a way to socially connect. People often try drugs for the first time in social situations with friends and acquaintances. A strong desire to fit in to the group can make it feel like doing the drugs with them is the only option.
As drug abuse takes hold, you may miss or frequently be late for work or school, your job performance may progressively deteriorate, and you may start to neglect social or family responsibilities. Your ability to stop using is eventually compromised. What began as a voluntary choice has turned into a physical and psychological need.
Depression And Marijuana Abuse
Due to its euphoric effects, more people are starting to use marijuana to self-medicate without the knowledge that it can cause severe health problems for people dealing with depression and addiction.
Because marijuana produces compounds that affect emotions, behavior, cognition, and motor control, it may temporarily reduce the symptoms of depression. In contrast, it can cause the person to experience negative emotions, such as sadness.
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What Are The Signs Of Having A Problem With Drugs
Addiction can happen at any age, but it usually starts when a person is young. Its the result of changes in the brain that can come from drug use. Addiction affects how people think and what they do. But what exactly are the signs?
First, its important to know that there is no type of person who becomes addicted. People can face addiction no matter where theyre from, what they look like, or how much money they have.
One important sign of addiction is that a person continues to use drugs even though its harming their life: physical health, performance at school or work, or relationships. They feel like they cant stop using drugs, no matter what happens.
Other signs can include:
- Hanging out with different friends than usual.
- Not caring about their appearance.
- Getting lower grades in school.
- Missing classes or skipping school.
- Losing interest in their favorite activities.
- Getting in trouble in school or with the law.
- Having different eating or sleeping habits.
- Having more problems with family members and friends.
What Is Drug Abuse
As teens and young adults develop their sense of personal independence, they also develop curiosity about the world and about new experiences. As a result, theyre constantly trying new things, testing their limits and seeing what theyre capable of.
This curiosity to know more and to feel all they can feel is normal. Unfortunately, sometimes the things that young people experiment with turn out to be harmful. One area of experimentation where young people often harm themselves is drug abuse.
Drugs are substances that affect the mind or body when ingested. Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and LSD, have been banned by the government. Some drugs are legal for specific uses, such as the over-the-counter medications at your local pharmacy.
Prescription drugs are available when a physician prescribes them to treat a patients specific medical needs.
Drug abuse is any use of an illegal drug, or the use of a legal drug in a way that it was not designed to be used. The most popular drugs that are abused by American young people include the prescription drugs Adderall , OxyContin and prescription tranquilizers.
The most popular illegal drugs abused by young people include marijuana, Spice or K2 and hallucinogens such as LSD and peyote.
Sadly, drug abuse is higher among teens and young adults than among any other age groups. And it affects young people of all income levels, all social groups and all academic levels. No one is immune.
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Heroin Abuse Signs Symptoms Effects Overdose And Treatment
About Heroin Abuse What Is Heroin? Heroin is a substance that is both illegal and extremely addictive . The substance derives from opium from the poppy plant before it is refined to morphine, then further chemically modified to become heroin. …
Signs and Symptoms Signs and symptomsabuseandabusedSymptomssubstance
Extreme Fatigue Or Laziness
Depressants will make a person extremely lethargic, sometimes to the point where they are barely able to keep their eyes open. A common symptom of opioid abuse is nodding off in unusual places at unusual times. On the other hand, stimulants such as methamphetamine use can keep someone up for days on end while it is being used and then cause a person to crash after coming down. It is not uncommon for someone who is coming off a meth binge to sleep for days on end.
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Are The Symptoms Of Alcohol Misuse Reversible
Most individuals with an alcohol use disorder who experience brain or cognitive troubles will recover with treatment within a year of sobriety. In some instances, it can take much longer. The outcome of recovery and sustained sobriety depends on a host of medical, personal, and physiological factors. The first step in recovery from an alcohol use disorder is seeking an alcoholism treatment program from a rehab center that offers exemplary clinical services and compassionate care.
Warning Signs Of Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
Opioid painkillers : Drooping eyes, constricted pupils even in dim light, sudden itching or flushing, slurred speech drowsiness, lack of energy inability to concentrate, lack of motivation, decline in performance at work or school neglecting friendships and social activities.
Anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, and hypnotics : Contracted pupils drunk-like, slurred speech, difficulty concentrating, clumsiness poor judgment, drowsiness, slowed breathing.
Stimulants : Dilated pupils, reduced appetite agitation, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, high body temperature insomnia, paranoia.
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Problems With Work School Or Run
The longer a substance abuse problem lasts, the more a person will experience negative consequences. If a person was once doing well at school and then suddenly drops out or is continually getting fired from their job, then substance abuse may be playing a role in their downward spiral. Another symptom of drug abuse is having continual legal problems. Stealing, DUIs, possession charges are all red flags to look out for.
The most important thing to remember is to trust your instinct. If something seems odd or you feel that something is going on, then it is worth looking into. It is better to confront someone about suspected drug use and be wrong than to not say anything at all and be right. One of the worst feelings a parent can have is to have something bad happen knowing that they didnt say or do anything out of fear of upsetting someone.
If your loved one is displaying any of these symptoms, then the situation is worth investigating. The more signs that person is showing, the more severe the problem will be. It is always a good idea to reach out for help from a professional in order to receive guidance on what to do next.
Causes And Risk Factors For Prescription Drug Addiction
Researchers have yet to unearth a single factor responsible for the abuse of substances such as prescription drugs. Prescription drug abuse is likely to be the result of many factors intermingling. The most common causes for prescription drug abuse include:
Genetic: It appears as though addiction and substance abuse have a genetic component, although the precise gene or combination of genes is unclear as of yet. Individuals who struggle with addiction and abuse of substances often have a relative or close family member such as a parent or sibling who similarly struggles with addiction.
Brain Chemistry: Its been theorized that certain individuals may be born lacking certain neurotransmitters responsible for pleasurable sensations in their brains. These individuals may attempt to self-medicate this deficiency with prescription drugs that increase the levels of these neurotransmitters.
Environmental: Individuals who grow up in a home in which addiction was rampant may grow up believing that abusing drugs is the way to handle difficulties in life. In addition, individuals who begin to abuse substances early in life are at greater risk for developing an addiction later in life.
Psychological: Many individuals who battle prescription drug abuse are also suffering from a co-occurring mental illness. These individuals may be attempting to self-medicate the symptoms of their untreated or undiagnosed mental illness.
Signs and Symptoms
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What Is The Treatment For Substance Use Disorder
Effective treatments are available for substance use disorder. Treatment is highly individualized one person may need different types of treatment at different times.
Treatment for SUD often requires continuing care to be effective, as SUD is a chronic condition with the potential for both recovery and relapse.
As people with SUD often have co-occurring mental health conditions, treating them together rather than separately is generally better.
The three main forms of treatment include:
- Long-term therapeutic communities, such as sober living communities.
In detoxification, you stop taking the substance, allowing them to leave your body. Depending on the severity of the SUD, the substance or an alternative may be tapered off to lessen the effects of withdrawal. Its the first major step of treatment for SUD. You can go through detoxification in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
Cognitive and behavioral therapies
Psychotherapy can help treat SUD and any other co-occurring mental health conditions. Therapy also teaches healthy coping mechanisms.
Healthcare providers may recommend cognitive and behavioral therapies alone or in combination with medications.
Some examples of effective therapies for adults with SUDs include the following:
Participating in self-help programs, like Narcotics Anonymous, can also play a significant role in SUD treatment.
Medication-assisted treatments are available for:
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
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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When Your Teen Has A Drug Problem
Discovering your child uses drugs can generate fear, confusion, and anger. It’s important to remain calm when confronting your teen, and to only do so when everyone is sober. Explain your concerns and make it clear that your concern comes from a place of love. It’s important that your teen feels you are supportive.
Concurrent Alcohol And Opiate Abuse
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signssubstance abusesigns and symptomsandabuse
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Substance Abuse: A North American Snapshot
Substance abuse issues cost Canadian taxpayers $22.8 billion per year. In America, over 19.7 million citizens battled substance use disorder alone in 2017, according to stats compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration . Many of these victims are young people or young adults, with 443,000 adolescents aged 12-17 suffering from alcohol abuse alone in 2017. These statistics are clearly indicative of an epidemic issue across North America where people both old and young are unquestionably suffering through dire straits of sorts, which can be partially attributed to todays availability of substances amongst many other factors.
While weve taken a look at some important signs and symptoms of drug abuse, its also important to understand some of the underlying causes of addiction. Environmental factors such as peoples genes account for 40-60 percent of someones proclivity for addiction. Once again, its essential to reiterate that drug addiction is not a sign of poor character but rather a disease that needs treatment.
SAMHSA offers a 24/7, 365 helpline for addiction that can be utilized for finding addiction specialists and rehab centres, or even if someone suffering through addiction simply wants someone to speak with to talk through their issues. It can be reached at 1-800-662-4357 . Likewise, in Canada, the Canadian Government offers this type of resource province-by-province, the numbers for which can all be found on its website.
Behavioral Signs Of Drug Addiction
When substance use takes hold of someones life, new priorities and feelings will control how they behave.
This results in rapid or noticeable changes from what was previously considered normal for this person. Daily routines and activities get rearranged or abandoned, and relationships with friends and loved ones come under stress. If you or someone you know is turning into someone unrecognizable, it could be a consequence of drug abuse.
Some changes to watch for are:
1. Struggling with Limits:
This can manifest as urges to take a prescription drug at a higher dose than prescribed or continuing after the health problem it treats has ended. Addiction makes it hard to follow even self-prescribed rules. If you have set yourself a self-imposed use limit but cannot stop yourself, this is a concerning sign.
2. Loss of Interest:
Substance dependency takes over the minds reward system. Take note if someone is becoming complacent in realms they used to take great pride in or apathetic towards the people or hobbies they usually cherish.
It may mean they are funneling their energy toward feeding the impulse of using drugs. Frequent failure to show up or follow through on plans, lack of enthusiasm, or dulling of talents can all indicate an underlying struggle.
3. Mood Swings:
4. Reclusive and Private Behavior:
6. Erratic Behavior:
7. Changes in Sleep Habits:
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When A Loved One Has A Drug Problem
If you suspect that a friend or family member has a drug problem, here are a few things you can do:
Speak up. Talk to the person about your concerns, and offer your help and support without being judgmental. The earlier addiction is treated, the better. Don’t wait for your loved one to hit rock bottom! List specific examples of your loved one’s behavior that have you worried and urge them to seek help.
Take care of yourself. Stay safe. Don’t put yourself in dangerous situations. Don’t get so caught up in someone else’s drug problem that you neglect your own needs. Make sure you have people you can talk to and lean on for support.
Avoid self-blame. You can support a person with a substance abuse problem and encourage treatment, but you can’t force an addict to change. You can’t control your loved one’s decisions. Letting the person accept responsibility for their actions is an essential step along the way to recovery.