Drug addiction is a major problem in the United States, with an estimated 23.5 million Americans addicted to drugs or alcohol. Most worryingly, only a small percentage of addicts ever receive professional treatment, making lasting recovery immensely difficult.
Many people who have an addiction are either unable to recognize their problem or refuse to do so. It can also be difficult for friends and loved ones to recognize if someone is a drug addict, making it difficult to provide them with the support they need.
In this blog post, we will highlight 3 common signs of a drug addict, including changes in personality and health, as well as the presence of drug-related paraphernalia.
1. Changes in Personality
Major personality or behavior changes are a sign that a person may have a drug addiction. These changes typically include:
- Neglecting relationships
- Lack of interest in activities/hobbies
- Ignoring the consequences of their actions
- Missing obligations (such as work)
- Increased secrecy
- Change in sleeping patterns
- Increasing risk-taking
At first, these changes may be infrequent but often become more established after the early phase of addiction. In the case of changes in sleeping patterns, drug abuse tends to have a major impact on a person’s sleep habits. For example, a loved one may spend much of the night awake and sleep during the day.
2. Changes in Health
Looking at changes in the mental and physical health of a person can also offer clues. In almost every case, a person’s health will decline if they are addicted to drugs. Health changes to look out for include:
- Constant illness
- Glazed or bloodshot eyes
- Memory loss/problems with recall
- Bad skin/teeth/hair/nails
- Weight changes
- Unexplained injuries
- Changes in speech
Mental and emotional changes may also include irritability, aggression, depression, apathy, and suicidal thoughts.
3. Presence of Paraphernalia
An often obvious sign of drug addiction is when a person starts to have a range of items related to drug-taking. These include syringes, pipes, lighters, burnt spoons, bongs, rolled-up banknotes, and medicine bottles from more than one doctor.
It should be noted that not all drugs require paraphernalia to use, though the presence of the above items in the person’s home may offers clues, especially if their health or behavior has recently changed.
Unfortunately, many people suffering from addiction are scared to go to rehab. If you notice any signs that a person is a drug addict, your support can be of great help on their journey to recovery.
Signs of a Drug Addict Everyone Should Know
The long-term consequences of drug addiction are incredibly serious. If you suspect that a loved one or friend is a drug addict, it is important that you try to ensure that they get the support that they need.
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