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Article Summary

Drug Addiction Signs

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to spotting drug addiction signs. The main thing to look for is changes in behavior, attitude, appearance, friends, or activities. People who have a problem with drug addiction are often trying to self-medicate or find escape from the issues that are really bothering them.

Keep in mind that many of the signs listed below may also be the result of stress, depression, or other problems. Whatever the cause, these symptoms and signs may warrant attention, especially if they persist or if several of them are taking place at once. Consult a trusted professional to identify the best way to address these signs. It is important to remember that getting help early on can help your loved one to get back on track and develop more effective coping skills, often preventing further drug addiction problems. Different drugs produce different drug addiction signs resulting in slight variations in outward indications. Some signs and symptoms are specific to opiates and narcotics and are very different than the signs of stimulant use such as cocaine or meth.

Telltale Drug Addiction Signs

  • Change in friends. Hanging out with a new group.
  • Reclusive behavior - long periods spent in self imposed isolation.
  • Long, unexplained absences.
  • Lying and stealing.
  • Involvement on the wrong side of the law.
  • Deteriorating family relationships.
  • Obvious intoxication, delirious, incoherent or unconscious.
  • Changes in behavior and attitude.
  • Decrease in school or work performance.

10 Physical Warning Signs of Drug Addiction

Most drugs have physical side effects that are noticeable if you know what to look for. They include:

1. Slowed or staggering walk; poor physical coordination.

2. Red, watery eyes; pupils larger or smaller than usual; blank stare.

3. Cold, sweaty palms; shaking hands.

4. Puffy face, blushing or paleness.

5. Smell of substance on breath, body or clothes.

6. Extreme hyperactivity; excessive talkativeness.

7. Runny nose; hacking cough.

8. Nausea, vomiting or excessive sweating.

9. Tremors or shakes of hands, feet or head.

10. Needle marks on lower arm, leg or bottom of feet.

Again, remember that any one of the above drug addiction signs may not be enough to indicate substance abuse but should be enough to suggest that there may be a problem.

Overlooked Drug Addiction Signs

  • missing aluminum foil -or- foil found in strange places (like under a bed)
  • small rolled up balls of foil in soda cans or bottles
  • bent spoons
  • lots of lighters
  • missing belongings like CD's, video games

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