Drug Use, Abuse and Addiction Signs
One should be wary of the signs of a drug addiction in order to help a loved one or a family member get the help they need when this is identified. Appropriate support for drug dependents should start at home, or it may not be possible for them to endure the treatment process. Unless someone sees the signs, treatment cannot be started. The individual should not be alone in overcoming drug addiction when possible.
Signs of Drug Addiction
If you suspect that a loved one or a member of the family is dependent to drugs, the signs of a drug addiction should help you decide whether or not to seek professional help. Drug abuse can lead to a more serious problem if not treated as soon as possible. Listed below are the indications that you should watch out for.
- Mood Swings – Drug abusers can be irritable and change moods from time to time. Although mood swings is typical of people with bipolar disorder, drug addicts too can be extremely happy one second, and then depressed a few moments later. It is important to know that when depression sets in, drug addicts are likely to hurt themselves and other people.
- Euphoria – Substance abusers can be in incredibly high spirits for no reason at all. If this person seems to have detached him or herself from the real world, and dreaming with his or her eyes wide open, there must be something going on. Drug intoxication can cloud the mind and make people lose themselves.
- Sleeplessness – It could possibly be just a sign of insomnia; but people who are abusing drugs also find it hard to fall asleep either because they are overly concerned about when and how to take drugs again, or that their last ‘session’ caused their mind to become hyperactive. This person may lie in bed trying to sleep but to not be able to, and may not have the energy to get up and do his or her usual duties.
- Anxiety – This is one of the most common signs of a drug addiction. People who are drug dependent are usually scared of something that does not exist. You will notice them looking out the window apprehensively, and acting as if they are trying to avoid someone. Drug addicts seem to be restless and worried all the time. They often do not eat well nor do things the way they used to.
- Changed in Appearance – Drug addicts do not only change their behavior, they often also show significant changes in their appearance, and this is the most obvious of all signs of a drug addiction. Because they lose the appetite for eating and have trouble sleeping, their physical appearance can change. Drug addicts are also psychologically disturbed, so you may see them looking pale and haggard. In addition, they may lose the desire to groom themselves so they may rarely wash up, shave or comb their hair.
Overcoming Drug Addiction
Overcoming drug addiction does not take place overnight. It is an extensive process that involves certain things like the willingness of the drug addicts to undergo treatment, support from the people who truly care about their well-being, help from substance abuse specialists, and encouragement from support groups.
Drug addicts do not always realize that something is wrong until someone they trust tells them so. It is usually their family who encourage drug addicts to seek treatment and conjure up the will to endure the drug addiction withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand, it is also important to find a specialist that the drug addict is comfortable with.
Without a good patient-doctor relationship, a treatment process may not go well. Patients should be able to tell the doctor their opinions about the medication, of what they think can quicken their recovery and the problems they encounter along the way. Patients need to be involved in the treatment so that the doctor can find options that best suit their condition.
Drug addicts can also find their motivation from support groups. It usually feels better to know that there are other people in the same situation as you are. From support groups, drug addicts can get ideas about how to cope with treatment, how to think and act normal again and how to stop the urges for drugs. Personal experiences from drug addicts themselves are usually shared through support groups, although not everyone is forced to speak.
It is important to recognize the signs of a drug addiction to help a drug dependent seek appropriate treatment. Sudden changes in behavior and appearance are the common indications that someone is using drugs; and drug addicts do not always realize by themselves that something is wrong with them. Overcoming drug addiction is possible if the drug abuser has the will to recover and if he or she has a strong support system such as family, friends, doctors and support groups.