Substance use disorder, commonly known as drug addiction, is a medical condition resulting from extreme drug or medication usage. This disease targets the brains, behavior, and other organs of the body.
A person may start using drugs to fit into social circles or for the sake of experimentation. But when drug usage becomes more frequent, it leads to addiction. Once a person develops a habit of using such drugs, they tend to ignore all the possible side effects and continue to use it anyway. Continued consumption increases the body’s tolerance, and thus, more is required for an enhanced ‘high.’ Eventually, a time comes when the person feels unable to function without the drug in their system. Any attempt to leave the drug causes extreme emotional distress along with physical withdrawal symptoms. This is why the friends and family and the affected person themselves should look out for warning signs and know when to get help.
The internet is a valuable resource in this regard. There are many websites dedicated to providing quality drug abuse rehabilitation services. ADAPT Texas is excellent if you’re in the region and want a range of rehab program choices to help yourself or a loved one.
With that being said, many addicts often fail to identify when they need help due to a lack of awareness. If you’re experiencing a similar dilemma, here are some signs that’ll help you through.
1. Secretive Behavior
The most common and telltale sign of drug addiction is increased behavioral sensitivity. Addicts tend to withdraw from their loved ones and seek extra privacy whenever they need to use or buy drugs. They will try to keep their substance use habits a secret from everyone in the fear that their people will judge them or even try to stop them. So if you have to deliberately hide your whereabouts and activities from your family and friends to use or buy drugs, that’s your queue to get professional help. Or, if you suspect that a loved one is behaving similarly, then investigate further immediately.
Sometimes it is okay to want some time and space all to yourself. However, that’s not the same as isolating yourself. One of the reasons why people end up doing drugs is because they’re depressed. People suffering from depression will socially, emotionally, and mentally isolate themselves. They do so because they don’t want to be questioned about their deteriorating mental health or odd behavior. Suppose you are deliberately isolating yourself from your loved ones. In that case, it is time to get help because your behavior has surpassed the stage of recreational purposes and turned into an addiction.
3. Neglecting Responsibilities
A person with an addiction is more likely to disregard their responsibilities often. They will miss school, office, or start being irresponsible towards house chores. The third in the list implies that your state has deteriorated to a point where you’ve started forgetting things. This can have long-lasting severe consequences on your physical and mental health. So if you face difficulties remembering your duties or find yourself not caring about them, you must seek help immediately.
4. Psychological Changes
Drug abuse will make a person act out in odd ways. They will think and act differently than usual because the drug will have changed their thinking patterns, believes, attitudes, and the way their bodies function. Some of the most common psychological signs of substance addiction include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Low motivation and apathy
- Decreased cardiovascular health
Experiencing any combination of these signs and symptoms while actively taking drugs warrants concern. Please don’t take them lightly.
1. Bloodshot eyes
Every drug will affect the eyes in some ways. Consuming heroin causes miosis, a condition where the pupil is constricted to a small size leading to visual problems. People also get bloodshot eyes because of using marijuana. Habitual drug users experience these conditions often and tend to avoid making eye contact for this reason.
2. Sudden Weight Fluctuation
Sudden weight fluctuation is a telltale sign of substance use. The loss or gain varies according to the drug in use, but it always happens. Marijuana users tend to gain weight because it increases their appetite, and they eat more than usual. People with meth addiction experience sudden and drastic weight loss. It is very common for people to fail to associate these signs with substance abuse, raising even more health concerns. Changes in eating habits and weight can lead to obesity r malnutrition. Experiencing either a weight gain or loss should prompt you to seek professional help regarding an addiction.
3. Change In Sleeping Patterns
People with drug addiction and depression face a change in their sleeping patterns. The difference may be in the form of insomnia or oversleeping (hypersomnia). Not getting enough sleep or even falling asleep at odd hours can result in tremendous amounts of fatigue and unproductivity. Waking up on time can be a life-saving choice, pun intended!
4. Change in Skin
Just like weight fluctuation, changes in the skin are also lesser-known signs of substance abuse going overboard. Apart from all the scars, track marks, and bruises that take forever to recover because of a weakening body, skin discoloration and acne become extremely prevalent.
5. Lack Of Personal Hygiene
Depression and the desire to isolate oneself due to substance abuse make people neglect their responsibilities, including personal hygiene. This includes an unruly personal appearance, bad dental not showering, body odor, and more. This can become particularly unpleasant for other people and cause health problems such as skin allergies and fungal infections.
As mentioned earlier, it is common for people to ascribe many of these physical signs and symptoms to other medical condotions, both intentionally or out of sheer ignorance. One must always be wary of them and consult an expert immediately.
Substance abuse disorder is a severe condition that can destroy lives. Drug abuse not only ruins the life of the person doing these drugs, but it also affects the people around him or her. So never take drug abuse lightly. Avoid recreational drug usage. If you notice any of these signs along with knowledge of an ongoing substance use habit, get professional help immediately. If you ARE the person yourself, it’s about time you woke up and quit before it’s too late!