Addiction can have tragic effects for the addict and everyone who loves and depends on them. However, addiction doesn’t have to be the end of the world. With the proper treatment and the love and support of family, many people have overcome addiction to lead productive lives. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, here are some signs of addiction to look for.
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.
Withdrawal From Life
Many addicts choose to isolate themselves out of shame over their addiction. The fear of judgement and the fact that most drugs cannot be openly used drives a lot of addicts away from their friends, family, and their career. Many addicts give up hobbies as well. Also, they may have new friends that you may hear about and never get to meet. These new friends will likely be other people who share the same addiction and only further enforce the urge to use illicit drugs.
This withdrawal from social life will likely show up in some form or another in the individual’s school or work attendance and performance. Responsibilities and expectations are likely to take a back seat to addiction and will ultimately lead to sub par performance or complete absence in the classroom or the workplace.
Financial problems can be another indicator that you or a loved one has a problem with drug addiction. When a substance has control over someone’s mind it has control over their wallet, as well. Bills and other fiduciary duties are likely to get neglected if it comes down to buying drugs or handling responsibilities. They may also ask to borrow the same amount of money frequently. This could be a sign that they are borrowing money to get high. They may also result to stealing money or objects of value to sell and buy drugs. For an addict, managing money can be a bit of a Rubik’s cube.
Mood swings are another tell-tale sign of drug addiction. Many harsh drugs cause chemical imbalances in the brain and can even do permanent damage to the brain over time. This could result in an inability to cope with reality and present circumstances which may ultimately lead to frequent changes in mood. Those who are addicted to a controlled substance may be prone to overreactions and violent temper tantrums. The same situations that trigger their moods may also trigger them to get high.
Changes in Appearance
Weight loss and malnutrition are some of the harsher side effects of addiction. Some drugs suppress appetite and cause individuals to lose weight. For others it may be as simple as a financial decision to choose drugs over food that leads to weight loss. Also, dental, hair, and skin problems may occur as visibly noticeable side effects of drug use. Many addicts develop rotting teeth, start to lose hair, and develop open sores on their skin because of the drugs that they are using.
Many addicts get to a point where their appearance simply no longer matters to them. They may go out in public wearing dingy and worn-out clothing that doesn’t match. They may neglect to comb their hair and take care of their hygiene because the need to get high takes precedence over self maintenance.
Drug addiction has claimed the lives of millions and ruined many families along the way, and the number of drug overdoses in America has climbed to historic levels, recently. It is important, possibly now more than ever, to know what signs indicate drug addiction. Always remember, if you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, help is available.