Drug abuse is a thing that may be quite tricky to control. While there is an enormous number of various kinds of drugs that significantly differ in strength, one can quickly develop an addiction.
By definition, addiction is an intense and hardly controllable physical and psychological need to continue drug use. This is a serious condition that cannot be settled by mere desire of a person who abuses drugs. As substances affect our brain’s biochemistry, it is out of our will or even, in most cases, attempts to abstain from drugs for long periods of time. Addiction is the thing that needs a lot of attention and realization of necessity of treatment and a conscious approach to it.
Drug abuse in a stage of addiction provides both physical and psychological symptoms, making it quite noticeable for others if they keep in touch with such a person and pay enough attention to their state of health and behavior. Awareness of those symptoms helps people to determine whether their loved ones are in danger and start dealing with the problem at once.
Shaking. A person may start having those if they are developing or have already developed an addiction.
Sudden changes in one’s appearance. If someone has bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, has lost significant amount of weight within a short time, has bruises or any other physical traces in places where drugs are normally being injected, these are alarming signs that need immediate consideration.
Sudden change in behavior. If a person gets irritated, angry or aggressive for no significant reason or does not seem to have control over themselves, it may be necessary to take a closer look at them. Apathy, depression or insomnia (or hypersomnia) are alarming as well. Still, do make sure if these symptoms are accompanied by something else in order to not suspect in drug abuse a close one who has really fallen into depression or is having any of these conditions for medical reasons.
Financial problems. As drug abuse is quite a costly habit that continuously urges to seek for more money, this is one of the most reliable signs a person has developed an addiction.
Significant changes in goals or priorities for no obvious reason. If a person seems to be unable to provide meaningful explanations regarding their behavior, especially if there has been trust between you before, it is better to get cautious.
Abrupt mood swings. If one gets from happy to upset and vice versa in a single moment, you’d better pay attention to it. Interference may be necessary.
Problems with concentration, judgement or other cognitive issues. If one’s ability to analyze, discuss things or concentrate upon tasks for a certain period of time has significantly changed, an addiction is highly likely to be present, urging those close to a person to get alerted.
Social issues. If a person drops out of school or university, loses work, unexpectedly and seriously changes their circle of connections to evidently unhealthy relations (quite often even stopping all contacts with their family) or any other big change in their personal environment occurs, there is always a good reason behind it. Drug addicts very often experience this, too. Try to talk to such a person reassuring the, they still have a friend and a support in you.
There is, of course, a wider specific list of symptoms for every separate drug. The degree of their intensity may vary as well depending on the period one has been abusing, the dosage, the quality of drug etc. However, if the goal is to just make sure a person you care about may be a drug abuser, the aforementioned signs will fulfill this purpose well enough.