It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of drug addiction. Alcohol or drug addiction changes the way a person looks, acts and feels. The symptoms of substance use disorders are linked to changes in the body, behavior and emotions. Thankfully, you can discover when a friend or family member has become addicted to drugs by observing the following signs of substance abuse in adults.
Common physical signs of drug or alcohol addiction are:
- Bloodshot eyes: Anyone who is addicted to heroin usually has constricted pupils, also known as miosis. They may also have bloodshot eyes.
- Sudden weight loss: People who are addicted to cocaine, ecstasy or methamphetamine may lose their appetite and subsequently lose weight quickly.
- Interrupted sleep patterns: Common signs of substance abuse include insomnia (difficulty sleeping at night) or hypersomnia (sleeping for too long).
- Change in complexion: Repeated drug use can lead to acne, paleness and jaundice. There may also be scabs, scars, bruises and track marks on the body.
- Poor personal hygiene: Bathing, brushing teeth and physical cleanliness may decline in anyone who is drug dependent.
Changes in Behavior
In addition to physical changes, a person who is misusing alcohol or drugs may act abnormally. Some of the significant behavioral signs of drug abuse in adults include:
- Secretive behavior: The person withdraws from friends and family and constantly looks for a private place to use drugs.
- Ignoring responsibilities: Becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol can make a person avoid their daily responsibilities such as work, school or taking care of the home.
- Financial distress: Most illicit drugs are very expensive, so a person using drugs may need to keep borrowing money without a reason. They may also sell their belongings to get money for drugs.
When someone misuses drugs, they may experience changes in their feelings, which will also affect their behavior. Some common psychological signs include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Low self-esteem
- Poor motivation
- Irritability and mood swings
Get Help for Drug Abuse in Adults
When you observe any of these changes in appearance, behavior or feeling in your loved one, do your best to get them professional help immediately.
Gateway Foundation has been providing evidence-based treatment for drug abuse for the past 50 years. Call our 24-hour helpline at 877.505.4673 for a confidential consultation or send a message through our contact page today.