Drug Abuse
clock_iconAugust 20, 2020 clock_icon5 min read
According to the NSDUH (National Survey on Drug Use and Health), there are more than 19.7 million Americans having drug problems. If you or someone you know have drug abuse problems - read on -  in this article West Valley Detox is going to explore the symptoms and warning signs of substance abuse.

Symptoms of Drug Abuse

There are a number of and various types of drugs and of course, not all of them have the same physical effects, however, the symptoms of drug abuse and addiction are quite similar. In this section we will tell about the following possible signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction: 

  • Neglecting responsibilities - neglecting people at home, flunking school, skipping classes, etc
  • Using drugs under dangerous conditions - taking risks while being high, having unprotected sex, driving while badly high, using dirty and used needles, and so on.
  • Having legal trouble - stealing for supporting drug habits (can’t help buying substances), driving under the influence, etc.
  • Losing control over drug use - Although you have told yourself you will stop whenever you’ll need, but now you do drugs more and often than you planned and feel powerless to stop.
  • Abandoning activities - another symptom you should worry about when they abandon activities you used to enjoy (habits, sports, socializing, and so on).
  • Revolving around drugs - your life revolves around drugs, like thinking too much about them, seeking ways to find them, recovering from thor effects.
  • You keep on using them even though you know you are hurting yourself.

Drug abuse causes major problems in your life such as blackouts, financial issues, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia, and more.
Keep on reading to learn about the other signs of drug abuse.

Warning Signs of Drug Abusers

Drug use affects people from all walks of life and all socioeconomic statuses. Whatever the reason a person starts taking drugs, whether recreationally or as prescribed, tolerance, patterns of increased use, physical dependence, and, ultimately, addiction may develop (sometimes before the abuser starts realizing it).

signs of being drug abused

If you are worried your people be abusing drugs, we are introducing the following warning signs, which may be physical, behavioral, and psychological:

Physical signs

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination

Behavioral signs 

  • Drop-in attendance and performance at work or school
  • Unexplained financial problems; borrowing or stealing
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
  • Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities)

Psychological warning signs 

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness
  • Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out”
  • Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid

Drug Use or Abuse?

Here we will study how and when drug use becomes abuse or drug addiction? People in any phase of their lives may experience issues with their drug use, no matter the age, race, even surroundings, background, or the reason they started using substances in the first place.
As already said, people start using drugs for different reasons - some of them do it just for curiosity, for having a good time, sometimes for easing problems, like depression, stress, or anxiety. Yet, it is not just illegal drugs, for example, heroin or cocaine, that can lead to addiction or abuse, as long as painkillers, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills can cause the same problems as hard drugs, which are, by the way, prescription medications.
Another horrible statistics tell, that in the United States and not only, people die from overdosing strong opioid painkillers more than from gun deaths and traffic accidents combined. 
And addiction to opioid painkillers can be so powerful it has become the major risk factor for heroin abuse.

Illegal or Prescription

Drug use, of course, no matter illegal or prescription, does not automatically lead to abuse. Some people are able to use prescription or recreational drugs without experiencing negative effects, while others find that substance use takes a serious toll on their health and well-being. 

There is no specific point at which drug use moves from casual to problematic. Drug abuse and addiction is less about the type or amount of the substance consumed or the frequency of your drug use, and more about the consequences of that drug use. If your drug use is causing problems in your life, for example at work, school, home, or in your relationships, you likely have a drug abuse or addiction problem.

If you are worried about your own or a loved one’s drug use, West Valley Detox is here to help you learn how drug abuse and addiction develop will give you a better understanding of how to best deal with the problem and regain control of your life. Recognizing that you have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery, one that takes tremendous courage and strength. Facing your problem without minimizing the issue or making excuses can feel frightening and overwhelming, but recovery is within reach. If you’re ready to seek help, you can overcome your addiction and build a satisfying, drug-free life for yourself.

Risk Factors for Drug Addiction

While anyone can develop problems from using drugs, vulnerability to substance addiction differs from person to person. While your genes, mental health, family, and social environment all play a role, risk factors that increase your vulnerability include:

  • Family history of addiction
  • Abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences
  • Mental disorders such as depression and anxiety
  • Early use of drugs
  • Method of administration - smoking or injecting a drug may increase its addictive potential.

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