“Addiction is an illness that has a strong behavioral component,” explains David Sack, MD, board certified in Addiction Medicine and Addiction Psychiatry. “Those who are susceptible to addiction experience drugs and alcohol in a very different way than average people.”
Here are some signs on people using the “common” drugs:
Marijuana: Bloodshot eyes, talking loudly, weight gain or loss, inapt laughter and then sleepiness, and loss of motivation
Stimulants: Dilated pupils, hyperactivity, irritability, paranoia, excessive talking then excessive sleeping, depression, long period of not sleeping or eating, weight loss, and dry mouth and nose.
Inhalants: Watery eyes, damaged vision and thinking, secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth, headaches and nausea, looking intoxicated, sleepiness, uncoordinated muscle control, appetite change, anxiety, irritability, and aerosol cans in the garbage.
Hallucinogens: Dilated pupils, paranoia, aggression, hallucinations, mood swings, being detached, speech impediments or tremors, and confusion.
Heroin: Contracted pupils that don’t respond to needle marks, sweating, unusual sleeping pattern, twitching, coughing, vomiting, sniffing, and loss of appetite.
Warning Signs Of Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse has been gaining notoriety especially ones involving opioid painkillers and sedatives. What starts as an intake for medical problems like for painkillers turns into abuse over time as they increase the dosage to achieve pain relief to the point of having withdrawal symptoms. An early warning sign is using up the medication faster than expected.
To avoid this, only take medication as prescribed and use the dosage recommended by the doctor. Recognizing the problem early on can help prevent addiction.
Physical Signs Of Prescription Drug Abuse
Opioid painkillers: Drooping eyes with thin pupils even in dim light, sudden itching, slurred speech, sleepiness, lethargy, difficulty concentrating, work or school performance decrease, and neglect of social relationships.
Anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, and hypnotics: Contracted pupils, slurred talk, difficulty concentrating, poor judgment, sleepiness, and slowed breathing.
What To Do When A Loved One Has A Drug Problem
Speak up. Lend an ear and support your loved one without judgment. Try to do it as early as possible.
Take care of yourself. When helping others, don’t let it consume you to the point that it’s affecting you negatively.
Avoid self-blame. You can give all the help in the world, but if your loved one doesn’t want to change, you can’t force the person. Accept that it’s out of your control and their responsibility now.
Avoid Doing These Things Concerning A Drug-Addicted Loved One
What If The Drug Issue Is With A Teenager?
“If you are beginning to have concerns about your child’s well-being, you may begin to imagine that substance use, abuse, or addiction are a part of the problem,” says Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D. She wrote, “…what you hope is a “one-time fluke” may very well be a “fluke” only in that this is the tip of the iceberg and the first time a pattern of risky choices has been exposed.” You might feel afraid if you find out your teen is using drugs, but you should remain calm when talking to them.
Warning Signs Of Teen Drug Abuse
Drug abuse in teens can also happen with prescription drugs like painkillers just like with adults, and these are easier for them to get. Simply using drugs won’t lead to abuse but it can cause vulnerability to it especially when going under emotionally stressful situations like divorce.
Here are some red flags for your teen:
7 Steps Parents Can Take Concerning Their Teenager Using Drugs