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Twelve Red Flags Of Drug Addiction

Articles, Australia, International, Understanding Addiction

Most people have no clue how to identify an addict. A lot of people will object, saying that how could they know what some random person on the street is doing with their lives. Granted, but the problem is that an alarming amount of people are unable to notice huge red flags of addictive behavior in their closest friends and even family.

Trouble with the law

A very obvious sign that something is not right. If an otherwise law-abiding citizen suddenly takes risks of breaking the law, finds himself in aggressive confrontations or otherwise disruptive odds with the law, some eyebrows should be raised.

Risky behavior

Many illegal chemicals make people mellow, so this is not one to focus on too much. However, if suddenly someone you know is taking risks that go against their usual behavior, it could be a sign of drug addiction and use. It could be an indication hard drugs are involved since they may make the user feel invincible and ready to take on any challenge.

Irritability

Watch out for signs of drastically different mood swings in a relatively short time. If one day your friend is depressed and doesn’t want to see anybody and the next day throws a party and is the pinnacle of joy, pay attention and make a mental note to look out for him. Drug addicts suffer from severe depression when experiencing withdrawal symptoms. This feeling takes an immediate turn the moment they score their next hit or have meaningful supplies of their drug of choice.

Keeping secrets

A person suffering from addiction has to spend obscene amounts of money on their drug while hiding it from the law and their loved ones. Addicts lie through their teeth to support their addiction. Pay close attention to someone in your family or close friends that get caught in small lies. They often have lied for so long and with contradictory evidence, that they will slip up sooner or later.

Abandoning responsibilities

Depending on the person it can manifest in many different ways. Otherwise punctual and organized people start missing work, school or social activities. An addict will, of course, come up with excuses, but over time they get thinner and thinner as they cancel arrangements, blow off meetings and break other commitments.

Relationship issues

Addiction and the vast amount of lies, deception and hiding can make relationships with their loved ones and close friends very fragile. Drugs can drive a wedge between the closest of lovers and family members. Either directly, when it is known that the person has an addiction problem, or even worse when it’s being hidden and manifests itself through lies, and any number of other signs that we are covering this article.

Loss of interest in hobbies

A person who used to devote their free time to any number of hobbies out there, be it fishing, mountain climbing, video games or stamp collecting, but suddenly abandons them altogether or simply does not care for it anymore could be a tell-tale sign of addiction. They might be distracted from their choice of hobbies by more pressing matters, like scoring the next hit and making sure spouse or friend does not find out about it. Depression, anxiety and paranoia can get in the way of enjoying even the simplest of things.

Coordination impairments

Shaky hands, rocking back and forth, twitching and a general struggle to use basic motor functions can be a sign of the person going through drug withdrawal, is high at that very moment or experiencing the deflating effects of a come-down.

Strange smells

A new and odd smell on persons clothing, hair or even skin can be the sign of drug use. Most of these chemicals have very potent and unmistakable smells. They are untreated chemicals and not designed to look or smell good but to be effective and potent. Pay attention to recurring odd smells in the presence of your friends and loved ones.

Lacking hygiene

This sign works hand in hand with the strange smells and abandonment of responsibilities. This is a step forward in severity though, as dirty clothing, unkempt hair and clear signs that the person does not care for their personal hygiene can be a very prominent sign of addiction and drug use.

Financial issues

Drugs are expensive. Their illegality and strong demand hike their prices up very high and as a result, most people cannot sustain prolonged drug addiction without going broke. A person who is living from paycheck to paycheck, never has money for social gatherings and is always borrowing money could be a sign of addiction.

Sudden weight loss

Someone you know suddenly lost a lot of weight. Good for them, they must be going to gym or trying out a new diet, right? On its own, this sign could mean very little, but in conjunction with other signs, this is a big one. Most addicts would rather choose to pursue their next hit than to eat and look after themselves. Many hard drugs suppress appetite and increase the metabolism of the user. Someone high on cocaine and other hard drugs feel energized and on top of the world. This, sadly, comes at expense of the body literally cannibalizing itself, rapidly losing muscle mass and fat deposits.

 

It’s important to understand that one or two of these symptoms may mean very little. These signs, however, are very easily noted once you know what you are looking for. When a person suffers from a number of these signs, odds are the rest are just well hidden. Look after your friends and family and upon discovery of drug abuse and addiction, encourage them to get professional help.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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