Signs of Drug Addiction

It’s important to know that not all drug users are considered addicts. Many people use drugs recreationally without developing addictions, although they still encounter the physical and legal risks of doing so. People are usually not addicted because they do not regularly smoke marijuana or take pills on a regular basis. However, it doesn’t take long for someone to fall into the vicious cycle of addiction.

people with signs of addiction problemWhat may start as experimentation with substances can quickly turn into abuse and addiction. Often, people who have a drug addiction may do almost anything to acquire and use the drug of their choice. The compulsion can lead to becoming homeless, overdosing, or going to jail. Over the years, more and more people have fallen victim to addiction, sometimes not even realizing it until it’s too late.

It is important to be able to identify drug addiction signs. While sometimes it can be tough to read the situation, there are many telling signs that indicate a deeper issue with drugs or alcohol. If you fear that a loved one may be abusing drugs, it may be time to get help. Free by the Sea is ready to help you get treatment today. It’s important to understand that you are never alone in your struggle with addiction.

Commonly Abused Drugs

With the availability and a large number of drugs on the market, it can be beneficial to know some of the most commonly abused drugs out there. Each of these has different effects on the person’s body and mind (varying in severity). Every year hundreds of thousands of people abuse these drugs and end up forming an addiction. Some of the most commonly abused drugs include:

Each of these can be highly addictive and cause numerous health problems in the short and long-term. With this in mind, it’s important to be aware of any and all drug addiction signs in a loved one or friend. Additionally, some of these drugs can be extremely deadly if left untreated. With an increased chance of disease, injury, overdose, and even death, don’t wait to reach out for help.

Signs of Drug Addiction

The Basic Drug Addiction Signs To Look For

There are multiple signs that can indicate an addiction in a loved one or friend. It is crucial to be able to identify these signs before it’s too late. If you notice any of these signs, don’t wait to reach out for comprehensive help. Family members and friends can look for warning signs when attempting to determine if their loved one is an addict. What many people fail to realize is that addiction can affect the mind, the body, and a person’s social life (with those around them). Let’s take a look at each of these signs.

Physical Addiction Signs

One of the most apparent and immediate signs of an addiction is the physical effects of the drug. If you frequently notice symptoms and the physical effects on a loved one, they may be dealing with an addiction. There are telling physical signs that someone is on drugs. With this in mind, there are many different and specific symptoms depending on the drug that is used. However, there are several common physical drug addiction signs – these may include:

  • Tremors
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Pale or poor skin
  • Slurred speech
  • Disturbed coordination
  • Sudden weight changes
  • Not sleeping enough or too much
  • Sudden lack of concern about the appearance

Behavioral Signs of Addiction

Another telling sign of drug addiction is in someone’s behavior. Drug addiction and substance abuse not only affect the body but the mind as well. Over time a person’s life can become completely consumed by a drug (or getting their hands on it). They may be distant and unaware of the damage that is being caused. While everyone may behave differently, here are a few common behavior drug addiction signs:

helping someone with addiction

  • Unable to see risks
  • Drugs are the chief priority
  • The desire to stop using but unable to
  • Tolerance leads to increased drug amount and frequency
  • Drugs are taken not to get high, but to fight withdrawal symptoms
  • Impaired judgment leading to a higher risk of overdose
  • Changes in appearance (ignoring hygiene and wearing dirty clothes etc.)
  • Withdrawal symptoms set in quickly without drugs
  • Spending lots of money or borrowing money to acquire the drug
  • Defensive when drug abuse is brought up
  • Isolation (need for privacy)

Social Signs of Addiction

The third aspect of a person’s life that can change due to addiction is their social life. This involves how their relationships with their family and friends are affected. The drug addiction signs listed above may play into broken and rocky relationships. When a person becomes consumed with a particular drug they may forget the importance of family and friends. This will result in several social issues including:

  • Refusal to attend work or school
  • Refusal to maintain old relationships
  • Sudden and drastic changes in relationships
  • Old friends move on while newer, less reputable friends replace them
  • Negative interactions with law enforcement such as court-ordered treatment and arrests

Spotting Drug Addiction Signs in Adolescents

It’s important to look out for your children especially as they continue to grow. Each year, thousands of adolescents will experiment with drugs of some kind and a percentage of them may end up building a dependence. It’s vital to look out for certain behaviors that may mean there’s a possibility they have an addiction.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), a few telling signs involving their daily behavior. This includes acting withdrawn, depressed, hostile, or tired. Another vital sign is the group of people they hang out with. This can be a big indicator of drug use and other negative behavior. If you suspect that your child may have an addiction, it’s essential to act fast and smartly. Get help from specialists and professionals.

Getting Professional Treatment

people with addiction problemIn cases of addiction and in co-occurring disorders (when a person has both an addiction and a mental illness), professional help is the next step. Rehab centers life Free by the Sea offer a number of effective and safe treatments for you or a loved one. Addiction also has a mental component as well, this is where behavioral and social changes come into play.

Psychotherapy and psychiatric care are typically part of all addiction treatment cases. Sitting down with a professional therapist and opening up about your feelings and emotions is essential during recovery. A person must learn what caused them to use drugs/alcohol in the first place. Traumatic experiences or underlying mental conditions can both be causes for drug use. If you notice persistent signs that someone is on drugs, it may be best to look for professional help.  Let’s take a look at some of the most common forms of treatment.


Detoxification (or detox for short) is a process that helps a person cope with the intense withdrawal symptoms that may arise after quitting drug use. Detox is always supervised by medical professionals to ensure that the process goes safely and smoothly. Medical professionals may administer medication during detox to relieve some of the symptoms of withdrawal.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment or residential treatment is a commonly used form of treatment that allows a person to stay at a rehab center. This is best for intense cases of addiction and co-occurring disorders. With around-the-clock supervision, a person has access to professional help no matter what. Inpatient treatment typically lasts a couple of months and has a person following a specific schedule (which include therapy, medication, and other activities).

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment does not require you to stay in residential rehab. Instead, outpatient treatment has a person attending weekly sessions while living at home. This is best for milder cases of addiction and can add a level of convenience for those who work or attend school regularly. It is best to consult a medical professional about which program will work best for you (depending on the case).

Why Choose Free by the Sea?

If you notice drug addiction signs in a loved one or friend, don’t be afraid to open up to them about your concerns. It’s essential for them to understand the damage drugs can do to their body and those around them. It’s best to look towards a rehab center that will accommodate all your needs in a focused and effective setting. Take the first step towards recovery at Free by the Sea.

Free by the Sea is a beautiful campus, located on the Long Beach Peninsula in Ocean Park, WA. Our community of dedicated professionals is committed to providing care to all individuals with dignity and respect. Client-centered care respectful of individual needs and concerns is the foundation of our approach. You are not alone in your struggles with addiction, now is the time to get help. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options and how to get started on your journey towards recovery.