Signs of Drug Abuse and Addiction

November 1st, 2011


Some people will try drugs and never have a problem with addiction where as others quickly find themselves spiralling into a full blown addiction after experimenting with a drug.
Nobody really know what makes one person more resilient to drug addiction than another but it’s important to know the signs of drug abuse and addiction if you think you or someone you love may be heading down that path.
Drug addiction can happen in a number of ways and so it’s important not to assume that just because someone is dependent to a drug that it’s a self inflicted condition. For example someone who is taking an opiate pain medication for a medical condition over a long period of time is very likely to be dependent on the drug; they will be unable to function and lead a pain free existence without it and cannot stop taking the drug suddenly without experiencing adverse withdrawal symptoms.
When someone suffers from a combination of both physical and psychological dependence this is often known as addiction. Steps can be taken to help an addict over the physical dependence but the long term psychological dependence makes treatment much more difficult. Addicts will find themselves consumed (mental obsession) with thoughts of their substance of choice and will return to it even when the physical dependence leaves them and despite knowing the negative consequences of doing so. Self control when it comes to the drug becomes nonexistent and dangerously high quantities may be consumed.
Some of the more common signs of drug abuse and addiction are well known, for example ‘Track Marks’ In other words the marks left on a users arm (or other parts of the body) when they inject their drug of choice into their bodies. Track marks are usually temporary but if the same area is used for continually injecting drugs then permanent scars will occur. People engaged in drug abuse and addiction will initially be discrete when injecting drugs and may use other areas of their body to inject, although the arm is the most common and may be the starting places for most users and they will wear long sleeved clothing to hide the tale tell marks.
Other signs of drug abuse or addiction may be more subtle depending on which substance is being used. Key things to look out for are unexplained changes in personality, changes in performance be it at work or school, if attendance and performance drops with no explanation as to why, changes in the people they socialize with, maybe dropping old friends for a new set of people you don’t know. Physical signs include changes in eating and sleeping habits, eating more/less than usual, sleeping more/less than usual, tremors, vomiting, a general lack of care about their personal hygiene and appearance.
This above list is by no means exhaustive and there are many other signs of drug abuse and drug addiction. The most important thing to remember is that anything you notice that doesn’t quite sit right with you is probably in need of some closer inspection. It’s important to get the right help as soon as possible if you suspect someone you know may be abusing substances and getting in touch with a qualified addictions counsellor is the best place to start.
Call us right now to talk about drug abuse concerns or admission to a private addiction treatment centre.

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