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Signs of a Drug Addiction

How to tell if your loved one needs help

Drug addiction is a rising problem – with more and more people finding themselves trapped by drugs, it’s important to know what to look for if you suspect someone has a drug addiction.  There are plenty of visible signs and cues that will let you know there is a problem, all you need to do is look for them.

While many drugs have drastically different effects on the mind and body, the signs of addiction are generally the same no matter what drug is being used.

Here are some signs to look out for:

Neglecting Responsibilities

If you’re noticing that someone you know is neglecting the responsibilities that they rarely or never neglect, that may be a sign of drug abuse and addiction.  This can range from skipping work and classes to neglecting children – there is a difference between missing a class and failing a class because a person never shows up.  If someone you love is exhibiting these signs, it may be caused by drug abuse.

Taking Serious Risks

There is a difference between a one-time use and regular drug usage – taking major risks while taking drugs may be another sign of an addiction.  If you know someone that does use drugs occasionally, this may be a sign that they have progressed to addiction.  These risks include a wide range of dangerous activities including unprotected sex and driving while on the drug.

Legal Issues

When legal issues arise because of drug usage, there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.  If you or someone you know is regularly getting into legal trouble due to drug habits, this is a major sign of addiction.  Legal trouble can range from driving while intoxicated to stealing to support a drug habit.


Building up a tolerance is another clear indicator of drug addiction.  If more of the drug is needed to feel the same affect, this can lead to addiction or already is an addiction.  The more of the drug you use, the faster you'll become addicted.

Physical Changes

Aside from behavioral changes, there are plenty of physical signs that you should look out for in drug addicts.

Eyes are an indicator of drug abuse - if the eyes are bloodshot, or the pupils are drastically smaller or larger than usual for no reason, drug abuse may be at hand.  If you are noticing someone with different sleep patterns, either sleeping much longer or getting no sleep at all, that is another sign of drug abuse.

Drugs can change more than just a person's mental state, they can seriously change the way a person looks.  Heavy drug use is deteriorating to the body, and rapid weight loss or gain is an indication of drug addiction.  If the addiction is serious enough, it can cause permanent tremors, slurred speech, and coordination impairments.  There are extremely serious physical and mental consequences to taking drugs.

These changes can alter a personality as well, and there are a lot of personality signs to look for as well as behavioral and physical signs.  Mood swings and sudden bursts of anger are very common in drug abusers – they are not only unexplained, but they can cause serious harm to those around them.

If you notice someone with unexplained fits of hyperactivity, this may be another sign of drug use.  You should also look out for signs of extreme fatigue – drugs alter different people in different ways.  Another common side effect of heavy drug use is paranoia and excitement for no reason.

The signs of drug addiction can vary widely from person to person, so it is important to know as much as you can about what to look for.  Each drug may have specific side effects, but the general signs of addiction are the same for most people.

At Meridian Treatment Solutions, we are always here to help – whether it’s you or someone you love that may have a drug addiction, we can provide the care and compassion you need to get back on the road to recovery.

Drug addiction affects more than just the drug abuser – it has a massive impact on everyone involved in that person's life.  Family, friends, spouses, children, and co-workers are all invested in that person's life one way or another, and drugs can easily change the way people see them as well as the health of those relationships.

It is important to address any issues as soon as possible, but if you suspect someone of having a drug issue, direct confrontation may not be the best initial step.  You want everyone involved to have a comfortable experience dealing with the issue rather than forcing results.  At Meridian Treatment Solutions, we can provide an unparalleled experience while helping those you love escape the trap of drugs.

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