Drug Addiction Symptoms and Signs

Curiosity is often the main factor which leads to taking drugs and what seems like fun can soon become a serious problem very quickly. Peer pressure is often involved with drug taking, especially for those of a younger age who may be more vulnerable. Addiction to drugs often develops as a way of dealing with an underlying situation or pressure at home or at work. The chemically induced high which drug takers experience can act as a way of escaping problems, however the more often you take the drug the more tolerant you become of the effects. This leads to an increase of drug taking in order to experience a better ‘high’ as well as becoming either psychologically or physically dependent.

If you think a friend or relative is suffering from a drug addiction, they may be experiencing problems within their relationships and are very likely to be in financial trouble, especially if they are taking illegal drugs such as cocaine or heroin. Taking large amounts of drugs, either legal or illegal, is an expensive habit which can then cause greater stress due to the financial burden.

There are also certain behaviours which drug addicts may demonstrate, for example they may appear agitated, distracted and totally focussed on the addiction alone. Getting drugs and consuming drugs becomes the main priority leaving behind other responsibilities, including family and work, and the sufferer may even steal from family or friends in order to feed their habit

Do I have a drug addiction?-

  • Taking drugs for stress relief on a regular basis is often the trigger for many of those who eventually become addicted.
  • Increased tolerance towards drugs so the more you take and the more often you take drugs will eventually lead to an increased tolerance of the particular substance. Therefore in order to feel the initial ‘high’ that the substance brings, those who are addicted will need to take even more to feel the effects.
  • Anger if the sufferer is already experiencing anxiety, stress or depression as an underlying issue it is often the case that the consumption of drugs will exacerbate this pre-existing condition, leading to anger and even physical violence.
  • Appearance of withdrawal symptoms  such as fatigue, nausea, anxiety, feeling shaky or emotionally volatile can occur if the sufferer hasn’t taken drugs after a certain period of time 
  • Feeling clammy and sweating without reason. For example, not having physically exerted yourself but sweating regardless
  • Weight loss or gain due to lack of/increase of appetite caused by consuming alcohol
  • Headaches caused by dehydration, a side effect of excessive alcohol consumption
  • Lack of sleep due to headaches, dehydration, nausea etc.
  • Feeling nauseous if you haven’t taken any drugs over a certain amount of time
  • Lack of concentration at work, home and  any other aspects of your life as the addiction has become your main priority

What are the emotional symptoms?-  

  • Impatience
  • Anger and irritability
  • Feeling tearful and emotionally tired
  • Increased or reduced sleep
  • Feeling nervous and on edge
  • Anxious
  • Social isolation
  • Diarrhoea 

7 Tips on dealing with the initial stages of drug addiction-

1 Spot the signs – if you are experiencing any of the above emotions or physical
symptoms know that it has gone too far
2 Speak to a trusted friend or relative about your concerns and habits
3 Consider any negative influences within your social circle
4 Make sure that you live in a positive environment
5 Remove any temptations
6 Set yourself a target and take small steps to achieve this
7 Speak to a trusted friend or relative about your concerns and habits

If you would like further information about addiction and the treatment options available then please call: 0800 144 8969.