Signs of Drug Abuse

Symptoms and Signs of Substance Abuse

Drug use affects people from all walks of life and all socioeconomic statuses. Whatever the reason a person starts taking drugs, whether recreationally or as prescribed, tolerance, patterns of increased use, physical dependence and, ultimately, addiction may develop—sometimes before the user even realizes it.

When a full-blown substance-use disorder (SUD) develops, it can be extremely difficult to stop using drugs without professional treatment. Drug use can wreak havoc on the body and mind and may eventually become deadly. When you realize that you or someone you love has a problem, it’s essential to get help right away. There is no shame in admitting that you need treatment for drug use; doing so can be life-saving. Learn about drug detox helplines.

Use of most substances will produce noticeable signs and symptoms. These may include physical or behavioural symptoms—most likely both.

What are Physical Signs of Drug Abuse?
Some of the most noticeable symptoms of drug use are those that affect certain physiological processes. For example, your body’s tolerance to a drug develops when a drug is used long or often enough that it adapts to the consistently elevated presence of the substance. When tolerance grows, increased quantities or strengths are required to achieve the previous effects.

Individuals using a drug to get high may come to take such large doses to overcome their tolerance that they place themselves at increasing risk of potentially fatal overdose. Changes in appearance can be additional clues to possible drug use and may include:

  • Bloodshot eyes, poor skin tone, and appearing tired or run down
  • Dilated or constricted pupils.
  • Abrupt weight changes.
  • Changes in hygiene.
  • Dental issues.
  • Skin changes.
  • Problems sleeping or sleeping too much.
  • Signs will vary based on the substance and the method used (i.e., smoking, injection, etc.).
  • Changes in physical appearance, such as wearing inappropriate or dirty clothing and a lack of interest in grooming

What are Behavioural Signs of Drug Abuse?
Drug use tends to significantly alter a person’s behaviour and habits. Some drugs can impair the brain’s ability to focus and think clearly. Changes in behaviour, such as the following, are sometimes associated with problematic substance use:

  • Increased aggression or irritability.
  • Changes in attitude/personality.
  • Lethargy.
  • Depression.
  • Sudden changes in a social network.
  • Dramatic changes in habits and/or priorities.
  • Involvement in criminal activity.
  • Learning to recognize the physical or behavioural signs of drug use can help prevent the problem from progressing further.
  • Altered behaviour, such as an increased desire for privacy
  • Defensiveness when asked about substance use
  • Difficulties at school, disinterest in school-related activities, and declining grades
  • Poor work performance, being chronically late to work, appearing tired and disinterested in work duties, and receiving poor performance reviews
  • Drastic changes in relationships
  • A noticeable lack of energy when performing daily activities
  • Spending more money than usual or requesting to borrow money
  • Issues with financial management, such as not paying bills on time
  • Changes in appetite, such as a decreased appetite and associated weight loss

If you or your loved one are exhibiting signs of addiction or substance use disorders but you don’t know where to turn, Yes to Life Campaign team can help. Our professional team will help you or your loved one to get back on their feet and lead a life in recovery through proper support and referrals if required. We offer support for substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders, treating the whole patient and setting them up for a lifetime of success. 

Take the next step by contacting us today @ or WhatsApp us on +91 93098 45469

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