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Symptoms of Drug Addiction

Written on: March 20th, 2009 By:

Symptoms of Drug Addiction

Those who struggle with drug addiction often try to hide their addiction for as long as possible.¬† Occasional use of drugs can often be concealed and even drug abuse may be hidden for a limited time.¬† However, once drug abuse has crossed the line into drug addiction, it’s only a matter of time before the signs, symptoms and consequences give them away.

If you suspect a loved one is using drugs, there are symptoms of drug addiction that friends and family will notice.  The most noticeable change is personality followed by appearance and mental state. For example, someone who is normally very active and social may suddenly become more withdrawn and spend time isolating. These are the first signs that a loved one is suffering from drug addiction.

Drug Addiction Symptoms: Stimulants and Depressants

There are both physical and mental symptoms of drug addiction.  When a person is under the influence of a drug, both the mind and body are directly affected.

Drug addiction symptoms vary depending on which drug is being abused.¬† Someone who is using a stimulant such as cocaine or methamphetamines will likely be alert, hyperactive, and speak and move rapidly.¬† They may not sleep for days at a time and experience concentrated bouts on “tweaker tasks”, paranoia or delusion.¬† On the other hand, an individual struggling with opiate addiction (prescription drug painkillers, heroin) operate in a much slower, relaxed, even drowsy state. They may have shallow breathing , low blood pressure and slowed heartbeat. Some people mix drugs, taking cocaine to get “up” and opiates to come “down.” These drugs impair judgment and at the point of drug addiction, interfere with daily responsibilities to the point that relationships and productivity suffer. Some people are able to function in the midst of drug addiction for long periods of time, but eventually there are negative consequences.

General Drug Addiction Symptoms

There are dozens of symptoms of drug addiction.  Every person has an individual genetic make up and as such, while the properties of the drug remains constant the effects vary with each individual. Some people prefer the effect of stimulants while others enjoy the calming effects of depressants.

General drug addiction symptoms may include changes in normal behavior patterns, extreme weight gain or weight loss in a small period of time, unusual sleep cycles, change of friends or routines, loss of interest in normal activities, confusion, forgetfulness, mood swings, extreme or inappropriate reaction to comments or situations (sudden violent outburst). At a more severe level of drug addiction there may be disorientation, loss of coordination, nosebleeds, sinusitis, bronchitis and dental problems. Financial difficulty or distress is often directly related to drug addiction.

Again, the most obvious symptoms of drug addiction will be a noticeable change in your loved one’s behavior and appearance. They may begin wearing layers of sweaters or long sleeved shirts and pants even when it is hot because of extreme weight loss or the attempt to cover up track marks.

Physical and Mental Symptoms of Drug Addiction

Drug addiction affects the mind just as much as it affects the body.  In this case, you will notice extreme personality changes in your loved one to the point where you may not even recognize him or her. Depending on his or her age, you may attribute these behavioral changes to adolescence when in actuality they are symptoms of drug addiction.

For example, those taking stimulants will often walk very fast, be very talkative and overly cheerful for long periods of time while those who are taking opiates will seem mellowed out and mentally distant. Other emotional and mental symptoms of drug addiction include easy irritability, outbreaks of anger which may result in physical or verbal violence, a mixture of paranoia, hallucinations and delusions, becoming completely unattached to the real world, zoned out, spending days in bed or isolating and depression.

Treatment for Physical and Emotional Symptoms of Drug Addiction at SouthCoast Recovery

At SouthCoast Recovery, we can help. We offer 30, 60, 90 day and 6 month residential treatment for those suffering from the symptoms of drug addiction. If you need help convincing a loved one that he or she needs help, we also offer professional intervention services. Our drug rehab facility combines the finest clinical and holistic care to heal both the mental and physical aspects of drug addiction. For more information on how we can help your loved one recover, call us today. Professional assistance is available 24/7.


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