What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Addiction?

Substance abuse is specified as a pattern of continued drug or alcohol use that is taken in excessive quantities despite the adverse consequences that occur as a direct result of that use. Drug addiction can lead to numerous severe, long-term symptoms of drug addiction, such as mental and physical health problems, disruptions in employment, relationship difficulties, and, in some cases, interaction with law enforcement. An addiction will likely develop after extended substance abuse, making it very hard for someone to stop using despite any desire. This will indicate the symptoms of drug addiction. Most often, an addicted person will need support and services from a mental health expert and family members to break this risky habit. While drug addiction is a severe condition, it is significant to acknowledge that there are many treatment choices available that can deliver an individual the skills essential to learn how to overcome drug addiction and live a sober, healthy lifestyle.

Drug Addiction Statistics 

In the US, substance abuse stays a prevalent difficulty. It has been assessed that nine percent of Americans, roughly twenty-four million people, have used or abused drugs at some point in life. This approximation comprises people of all ages, and according to those who study substance abuse rates, this assessment is expected to increase. Acknowledging the signs of addiction is the initial step to getting help for yourself in rehab. For this reason, it is vital to have an understanding of the symptoms of drug addiction. There are behavioral, physical, and psychological signs of addiction.

Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Addiction 

Behavioral Signs Of Drug Addiction

Behavioral signs involve a person’s external relations with the world, whereas physical indications relate to the body’s body’s indication of side effects due to drugs in the system. Behavioral signs and symptoms of drug abuse comprise but are not limited to the following:

  • Obsessive actions and thoughts: Obtaining and using the drug become the significant priorities of life while all or most other responsibilities, including family, work, or school, are sidelined.
  • Disregard the harm caused: Although drug addiction causes mental and physical distress to the individual, the person struggling with addiction continues using alcohol or drugs.
  • Loss of control: Even if a person wants to stop or reduce their drug use, they can’t do so.
  • Denial of addiction: When confronted, the person combating addiction will deny their drug use. To avoid having to explain themselves to others, the person may use drugs secretly.

Drug addiction can’t remain hidden for long. Its consequence is too dramatic, and the person taking drugs can spiral out of control fast. Modifications in behavior, neglecting obligations, exhausting financial resources, and committing criminal conduct are some of the most apparent signals of a drug problem. Loved ones, family members, and coworkers are generally in the best position to acknowledge a drug problem as they are familiar with the person’s habits and behavior.

Physical Signs Of Drug Addiction

Physical signs of drug addiction can exemplify as side effects of use, during an overdose, or as an outcome of withdrawal. It may be challenging for somebody to identify the reason for the physical signs, but severe consequences will require immediate medical therapy. Also, it is significant to comprehend that withdrawal signs arise when the body adjusts to the quantities of a drug. It is a natural procedure, but withdrawal can be hazardous.

General physical signs and symptoms of drug addiction comprise but are not limited to the following:

  • Looking unkempt
  • Enlarged or small pupils
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Insomnia 
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Unusual body odors
  • Poor physical coordination
  • Slurred speech 

Typical indications of an overdose may comprise but are not limited to:

  • Agitation
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Drowsiness or trouble walking
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hallucinations 
  • Aggression or violent behavior
  • Delusions
  • Loss of consciousness

As per the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, signs of drug withdrawal may contain but are not limited to:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression 
  • Shakiness, trembling, and jumpiness
  • Confusion and hallucinations
  • Insomnia and fatigue 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches and fever
  • Seizures 

Psychological Signs Of Drug Addiction 

Drug addiction also influences the person’s  psychological condition. When they are in the grasp of the addiction, the person might not recognize these changes. The psychological symptoms of drug addiction may contain but are not limited to:

  • Inattentiveness
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Anxiousness
  • Irritability or angry outbursts
  • Emotional and mental withdrawal from people 
  • Changes in personality or attitude
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Unexplained paranoia

Loved ones and family members are often key players in getting someone into rehabilitation. Although there may be impediments to lending help, like refuting the problems’ existence as a coping mechanism, noticing the signs and symptoms of drug addiction will often encourage a concerned person to act. Also, when a person understands the particular drug of abuse, they can heighten their understanding of it and learn different ways to help their loved one.

Effects Of Drug Addiction 

If left untreated, substance abuse can wreak devastation on a person’s body and mind, resulting in a host of long-term adverse consequences. Below are some negative signs of drug addiction that can occur if a person fails to obtain care for a substance abuse problem:

  • Addiction
  • Memory loss
  • Academic failure 
  • Dependence
  • The onset of another type of mental health condition 
  • Conflict among friends and family
  • Worsening symptoms associated with a mental health condition
  • Damage to the central nervous system 
  • Increased risk for certain cancers
  • Engagement in self-harming behaviors 
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Possibility of exposure to viruses, such as hepatitis or HIV/AIDS
  • Heart damage 
  • Compromised immune system
  • Interaction with law enforcement
  • Heart failure 
  • Stroke
  • Impaired lung functioning
  • Malnutrition
  • Coma
  • Financial difficulty
  • Homelessness 
  • Inability to acquire or maintain employment
  • Suicidal ideation and attempts
  • Overdose
  • Death 


If your drug abuse is out of control or results in problems, get help. The sooner you pursue service, the greater your opportunities for long-term recovery. Talk with your doctor or see a mental health provider, like a doctor specializing in addiction medicine or a licensed drug counselor.

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