Although reasons and risk factors for drug abuse may be at least somewhat unique to each user, there are a variety of drug addiction symptoms that are common to most users. If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one it is important to acknowledge the problem and seek help.
When getting your next dose becomes more important that your work, school or family it is a clear sign of addiction. When the brain is addicted to a substance, the significance of getting the next dose becomes akin a survival instinct like eating or drinking. When this happens, the responsibilities of everyday life can become neglected.
lack of responsibility due to drug addiction can lead to job loss, failing classes at school, fights with family members and loss of friends.
Drug addiction can interfere with a user’s judgement. Driving or operating machinery while high, having unprotected sex or using dirty needles are all indicators of abuse and addiction. Some people may begin to commit crimes such as doctor shopping, theft or other behaviours in order to get the money that they need to support their habit.
Over time, addicts find that they need more and more of a drug in order to get the same high or euphoric feeling that they used to get. This is because the body builds up tolerance to the drug. If you are using a drug for recreational purposes and find that you have to keep taking higher doses for it to be effective, it is a sign that you are becoming or have become addicted.
Many people will start to feel withdrawal when they are unable to obtain their drug of choice. This is an awful cycle as now the person is taking the drug not for the high but to avoid the awful withdrawal symptoms that they experience when they have gone too long without taking the drug. Withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety, shaking, depression, sweating, insomnia and nausea.
Some peoples drug of choice can consume their thoughts and actions. They will often spend more time than they planned using drugs even if they promised themselves that they would not.
It is normal for individuals to be embarrassed about their problem and common for them to try to hide it or make excuses.
Activities that the person once used to enjoy such as socializing with non-users, sports and hobbies fade away because of their drug use. Even when the addict knows that their drug use is causing harm to themselves and their loved ones they may continue using.
It is normal for addicts to be embarrassed about their problem and common for them to try to hide it. If you are concerned that a loved one is abusing drugs, here are a few signs to watch for:
While any one of these signs by no means is proof that a person is a drug addict, persistence of these signs or a combination of them is a good indication that there is a problem. The early an addict gets help the better, so it is important not to ignore these symptoms.