To determine if someone has a drug addiction, there are specific signs to look for in the person.
Based on information presented by the Mayo Clinic, drug addictions will begin with the casual or social use of a drug. For some people, about 35 percent, this is far as their drug use will go but for the remaining people, it will become an addiction. These people will form a habit and begin using the drug frequently to achieve desired effects. The longer a person uses a drug, the more of a tolerance they will develop and they will need more of the substance. It has been reported that 21.8 million people over the age of 12 have used an illicit drug in the past month. This has been an increase of three million people since 2006. With these rising numbers, it becomes even more important to be able to spot the signs of drug addiction.
- 8.7 percent of the US population has an addiction to an illicit drug.
- The most abused drug is marijuana, having more than 14 million users.
- In America, 2.4 million people have a cocaine addiction.
- In high schools across the United States, heroin is the most common drug being used.
How to Spot a Problem – What to Watch For
There are some symptoms and signs that can indicate that a person may have a drug addiction.
From information offered at the Mayo Clinic,
some of the addiction signs and behaviors that people should watch for include:
- Feeling that the drug must be used regularly, either daily or several times in a day
- Failed attempts to stop using a drug
- Making sure there is always a supply of the drug
- Spending a lot of money on the drug even when it cannot be afforded
- Feeling the drug is necessary to deal with stress and other problems
- Driving and doing risky activities when under the influence of a drug
- Focusing time and energy on obtaining and using the drug
Each drug addiction will manifest in a different way. People who have an addiction will often have personality and behavioral changes that can be related to the addiction. There are also many long term drug addiction effects to your body which is able to be recognized pretty easily.
Marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs and more than 25 percent of its users are teens.
To determine a dependency of marijuana addiction
, look for the following signs:
- Heightened visual, taste and auditory perception
- Lack of memory
- Increased heart rates and blood pressure
- Red eyes
- Decreased coordination
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased appetite, sometimes called binge eating
- A decrease in reaction time
- Paranoid thought processes
Cocaine use has increased over the past 10 years. In 2000, 1.2 million US residents were using cocaine. That number is now 2.6 million. Cocaine addictions are serious and will often require drug treatment. Reports have shown that 52 percent of cocaine addicts will overdose if they do not get treatment for the addiction.
Signs of cocaine use and addiction include:
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid speech and thoughts
- Bouts of depression when the drug begins to wear off
- Weight loss
- Nasal congestion
- High blood pressure, temperature and heart rates
Ecstasy is a drug now being used by many teens. Studies have reported that the use of this drug has increased by 27 percent among users between the ages of 12 and 18. An ecstasy addiction can be treated if the signs and symptoms are noticed.
- A feeling of happiness and euphoria
- Feeling less inhibited and/or becoming overly social and talkative
- An increased sense of sound, taste and sight
- Impaired coordination and trouble walking
- Loss of memory
- An increase or decrease in heart rate and blood pressure
Prescription Painkiller Addiction
More than 35 percent of people who are prescribed a painkiller will end up abusing the drug and becoming addicted. A prescription drug addiction can lead to other addictions, including those of heroin and cocaine. This is because the user will stop feeling the effects of the painkiller and move on to a drug that produces more effects.
The signs of an addiction to painkillers include:
- Reduced state of pain
- Breathing slowly