When you are looking out for a family member or a loved one, it can be difficult to distinguish your emotions from fact. And when it comes to addiction, you need to be able to address the problem sooner rather than late.

The main signs to look out for are behavioral changes, but this is a broad subject, and in this article, we are going to review what these changes can look like on a day-to-day basis.

What is Drug Abuse?

This is a serious issue that can have profound effects on a person’s life. Drug abuse is characterized as any misuse of a substance; whether with self-medication or to help cope with negative emotions. Furthermore, using substances to get high (whether illegal or prescription) constitutes drug abuse. In fact, using a substance in any way other than its original intent constitutes drug abuse, and you can find out more about this.

Abusing drugs is just the first step on the path along addiction. Addiction can be a challenging thing to deal with, and an even more significant challenge to treat. If you see signs of drug abuse in either yourself or a loved one, then you should seek out professional help before the abuse transforms into a full addiction.

Let’s take a look at some of the Behavioral Signs of Drug Abuse

It does not matter what type of drug is being abused, behavioral changes are sure to manifest. The following are some of the most commonly experienced behavioral changes:

–    Issues arising in previously close relationships. Conflict and drug abuse go hand in hand. Relationships between friends, family, and even co-workers could suffer.

–    Financial and even legal issues. Using drugs can cost plenty of money. Furthermore, the drugs are often illegal as well. When a person begins to abuse drugs, then this habit starts to lead to debt, overspending and eventually getting in hot water with law enforcement.

–    Drop in performance. Whether it is a teenager at school or colleagues at work, you will definitely begin to see changes in performance as their interest lessens in these areas.

–    Becoming irresponsible. Once a drug habit is formed, it starts to take over the entire life. Responsibilities fall to the wayside as the focus becomes honed onto drugs.

–    Social issues. One of the most common signs is a withdrawal from social activities and socializing in general.

–    Changes in mindset and motivation. As drug abuse becomes more prevalent in a person’s life, apathy and disinterest begin to take root. Even simple things such as decision making and memory will be affected.

These are just a few of the behavioral changes. The physical signs are often easier to spot:

–    Tremors and shaking

–    Changes in sleeping patterns

–    Red eyes and dilated pupils

–    Affected speech (slurred or does not make any sense)

–    Physical hygiene is affected

–    Pale or puffy face

–    Weight loss/gain, changes in appetite

If you notice any of these signs and think that drug abuse and/or addiction is behind them, seek professional help before the damage takes root.

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