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The Warning Signs of Drug Addiction

man getting support from a group for his drug addictionIt’s often difficult to come to terms with the fact that a family member, friend, or co-worker is suffering from a drug addiction. You may try to blame stress, lack of sleep, or other causes when it’s clear that something deeper is going on. Though it’s unpleasant to face these facts, understanding this issue allows you to help this person. Should they seek recovery, they will probably feel appreciative of your efforts during a difficult time.

Common Warning Signs of Addiction

Each person responds to drug and alcohol abuse differently.  However, there are many common traits that appear that indicate the possibility of substance abuse behavior.   For instance, a person who is abusing substances may display some of the following:

  • Loss of interest in hobbies and relationships

When a person becomes wrapped up in a drug addiction, they may begin to withdraw from the activities and people they used to love. An athlete may stop working out, an artist may put away her paintbrushes, and a musician may stop practicing his instrument. This person may demonstrate no interest in furthering relationships with friends and family members, even those who once played a major role in their life. This is because their attention is focused solely on their addiction.

  • Visible drug paraphernalia

Many drugs require the use of syringes, lighters, pipes, and other instruments in order to consume them. If you notice these items, your loved one is probably using drugs. Another sign is having an unusual amount of eye drops. Many drug users get red, itchy eyes and use eye drops to take care of this problem. While contact users and allergy sufferers often possess these drops, having an especially large amount of this solution around the house can indicate drug use.

  • Changes in mood

Drugs have the ability to alter an individual’s personality. Someone who used to have a calm demeanor may become manic and erratic. An individual who used to have a large amount of energy may suddenly seem sluggish or depressed. Frequent mood swings are also an indicator that your loved one is struggling with drugs.

Noticeable Physical Signs

In addition to the above, drug users often display physical characteristics. Some of these traits include:

  • bloodshot eyes
  • dilated pupils
  • runny nose
  • frequent itching
  • visible injection marks
  • a puffy face
  • abnormal skin color

While everyone may experience bloodshot eyes or a puffy face from time to time, someone who constantly displays these traits is probably demonstrating signs of a larger problem.

While it’s not easy to come to terms with the fact that someone you care about is suffering from addiction, understanding this allows you to help this person get on a path to recovery. Understanding the warning signs allows you to identify a problem before it becomes advanced.

What to Do When You Suspect Someone of Drug Abuse

It is important to note that the last thing you want to do is cause a scene with the individual.  If you suspect your friend or loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol, your best course of action is to talk calmly and try to convince him or her that you are concerned.  The goal is to get the person to enter treatment.   However, if they are in denial or simply refuse treatment, your next option is to form an intervention group.

To form an intervention, you should first contact a professional interventionist.  He or she will direct you step-by-step how to prepare, who to invite, where to hold the group, and so forth.  It’s best not to attempt an intervention on your own because the addict could become hostile or physically threatening.  For that reason, having a professional to defuse the situation and prevent harm is your best option

Whether you need help for yourself or a loved one, call now and let us help you choose a drug addiction treatment program.  We can also give you information regarding interventions if you are preparing to go that route first.


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