Drug addiction can be completely devastating to individuals with problems. Their friends and families also suffer in many ways. There is not much that can be considered beneficial, or even positive, when it comes to battling various forms of addiction. One aspect of this unique problem however, highlights a natural way that the human mind and body innately battles against it. In short, addictions radically alter people in ways that are noticeable. The signs and symptoms of drug addiction can be physical, emotional, and behavioral. The changes are noticeable, and are often the catalysts for intervention, treatment, and recovery.
Functional and Non-Functional Addicts
Signs of drug use in individuals are often difficult to spot. Some people are cognitively and genetically better able to handle addiction than others. These people might live with addictions for years, but not show obvious signs. This is what is known as being a functional addict. Other people are powerfully affected by drug use in harsh ways. The drug takes over every aspect of their lives, and overwhelms the ability to make the simplest wise choices. Non-functioning addicts occupy the position that society understands as the classic addict type.
Eventually, with both types of addicts, the drug will erode elements of life. Physical declines will continue until medical treatment is needed. Losing a sense of how to properly make decisions will lead to financial ruin, the breaking of relationships, and even trouble with the law. All addicts will eventually exhibit the signs and symptoms of drug use. This is an encouraging natural outcry by the body, mind, and spirit for help. Some addicts are lucky enough to have a personal “wake up call.” They choose to seek treatment on their own. Sometimes, it’s the recognition of symptoms by others that causes change.
Typical Signs and Symptoms of Drug Addiction
Depending on the drug of choice, addicts will show certain signs that indicate a problem. Immediately after the use of a substance, some people will manifest physical changes quickly. A sharp increase in agitation, sweating, breathing, and anxiety can indicate the use of a stimulant. On the other hand, red eyes, slurred speech, and an increased appetite can indicate the use of a depressant. For people who show physical signs of drug use, the changes will be markedly different than their normal states. It can truly be a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde scenario.
When addiction continues over a long period of time, other classic indicators will emerge. Addicts will eventually lose interest in maintaining a good appearance. This can be as simple as a general lack of hygiene, or as involuntary as losing teeth, body weight, and hair. Drugs, in some way, will eventually create noticeable classic symptoms in addicts who abuse them.
Addiction Signs that are Harder to Spot
Society is made up of extremely diverse individuals. It is easy to dismiss certain behaviors as eccentricities, not signs of a problem. Drug addicts usually will develop a collection of behaviors that work to sustain their lifestyle. In general, these signs are self-centered and gradually become tied to drug use frequency.
An addict will increase their off-limits personal space. They will create living spaces where no social activity takes place. Along with this change in unwelcoming behavior, addicts will often work to make personal space more conducive to their lifestyle. They will darken home areas, keep odd hourly schedules, and avoid contact with family and friends. This is a natural reaction to other habits that stem from the need to keep up a pattern of addiction. Theft becomes common, as well as, other disturbing “sneaky” behaviors. What an addict learns about continuing a habit will result in behaviors that are quite antisocial and odd. These are not one-time behaviors. They become a daily routines.
The presence of physical and behavioral changes in people indicate problems that could be related to drug abuse. No addict is immune from exhibiting certain signs and symptoms of drug addiction that gain attention. It is a wonderful benefit that the human body and psyche is equipped with mechanisms that somehow relay dependence stress to others.
Detecting addiction to drugs is one of the most powerful means that friends and family can use to direct a person to services that counter addiction and its negative effects. It is a wonderful thing that the human body exhibits these signs of addiction. A person suffering from the disease of addiction cannot always help themselves. It is sometimes up to others to help the individual recognize and seek treatment. Typical and non-typical signs and symptoms of drug addiction identify a person in need of drug addiction help.