Even though drug addiction is a prevalent health condition throughout the world, people with drug addiction often face stigma, which includes shame, social disapproval, and discrimination. Instead of considering addiction as a chronic illness, other people might blame a person’s actions and look down on them. These types of negative consequences prevent people from speaking openly about their drug use, causing them to hide their struggles because they don’t want to be judged.
It’s not always easy to know if someone is struggling with drug use, much less yourself. Understanding more about drug use and learning to recognize the signs of addiction can help you figure out what type of support or treatment is needed. Here are some ways to recognize a problem with drugs.
Strong urges and cravings to use drugs daily or several times throughout the day
Always having or buying drugs
Needing more of the same drug to have the same effect
Acting in a risky way to get drugs, such as stealing or lying
Engaging in dangerous behavior while on drugs, like driving or having unsafe sex
Taking drugs even though it causes issues with loved ones or work
Taking drugs in larger amounts or over a longer time than intended
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after the effects of the drugs wear off
Drugs can also change personalities and behaviors, or make people act in different ways than normal, including:
Wanting to spend more time alone or doing things in private
Losing contact with old friends
Not having an interest in favorite activities
Forgetting to do routine things or being unable to keep a schedule
Feeling more irritable or annoyed with other people
Drug addiction is related to a variety of different health issues, including:
Bloodshot or glazed eyes
Frequent or unexplained injuries
Sudden weight changes
Poor hygiene or bad skin, hair, teeth, and nails
Memory loss or problems with recalling information
Speech changes like slurred words, rambling, or fast-talking
Drug addiction is also associated with the development of mental health conditions, or the worsening of existing conditions, including:
Sudden mood swings
Aggressive or violent behavior
Apathy, or lack of motivation or care
Suicidal thoughts or self-harm
It can be challenging to recognize your struggles with drugs, but seeing the early signs is the first step towards recovery. No matter what your challenges are with drugs, addiction treatment can help you rebuild the confidence to regain control now and throughout your long-term recovery journey.
Are you worried you or a loved one may need help with an addiction to drugs? Find out more by taking this quiz about drug use.
If you need help with your substance use disorder, we are here to help you build your confidence and momentum towards the future you want. We provide treatment services for adults with alcohol, opioid, and other substance use disorders. We are currently located in Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.