UNDERSTANDING SIGNS OF ADDICTION
There are many indications or signs that your loved one could be abusing or even addicted to drugs. The fives signs on this post discuss more specifically factors to look for when it is an addiction.
- Physical Changes – Perhaps the most noticeable for anyone is the physical changes that alter an individual as they abuse drugs. What you must understand is when a person is addicted; their mind is centered on obtaining and using their drug of choice. Things like eating regularly, dieting, hygiene, and exercise can all go by the wayside. You may be able to see this in an individual with weight loss or gain and personal hygiene changes. Side effects of drug abuse can also lead to change in skin color, complexion or with the development of sores on the body. You may see these physical changes in a loved one struggling with drug addiction.
- Change in Behaviors – Behavioral change in a drug addict is a very broad subject. There are many ways that a person can change behaviorally when addicted to drugs. They can lose interest in things that once was very important to them. Active people can become very lazy. People that at one time were very upbeat on things can be very depressed and have a negative outlook. Others that are usually pleasant people can have serious and scary swings in moods. Now this can be normal behavior for many folks, but with a drug addict it can be very often, can change at the drop of a hat, and can seem out of the ordinary. It can also be important that professional help is brought in to help with behavioral struggles, which can be pretty serious. Many drug rehab programs have moved to provide dual diagnosis services to help individuals dealing with behavioral health issues.
- Sleep Habits – Daily routines and sleep habits can be very erratic in someone who is abusing drugs. Depending on a drug of choice, these habits can result in the person keeping very odd hours, or even falling asleep in the middle of a conversation. Stimulant drugs, such as methamphetamines or cocaine tend to keep a person awake, but can be immediately followed by a crash. Large amounts are needed to help individuals avoid a crash, which keeps them from sleep entirely. Opiates, like heroin and prescription painkillers tend to slow down the functions of the body and induce the effects of sleep. Erratic changes in sleeping behaviors can be an indication of drug addiction.
- Changes in Performance – The behavior of seeking and using that drug of choice can result in changes and neglectful actions in other aspects of life. The drug addict can shirk in their responsibilities around the home, at school or at work. Those who were once dependable can be difficult to trust when addicted to drugs. They can lose jobs, get kicked out of school or struggle with other aspects of regular daily life that come in the way of getting that next high.
- Getting into Trouble – The behaviors and activity of drug addiction can lead to trouble in different ways. When a person is addicted, this trouble can be very frequent in nature. Seeking and using drugs oftentimes involve doing a number of things that are against the law. Illegal activities can lead to criminal offenses, fines and confinement. The abuse of drugs can also lead to trouble in a different way, medically speaking. Over time, the body can develop a tolerance to that drug of choice and more can be needed to have the same desired effect. This can lead to medical problems, including overdose. Overdosing on prescription medications in many states of the U.S.A. has overtaken car accidents as the #1 form of accidental death.
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