Last Updated on May 29, 2024 by Dr. Alberto Solà

Drug abuse is a significant problem across the United States that often goes unaddressed. However, people who know the warning signs of drug abuse may be better equipped than others to help family members, friends, and colleagues who are dealing with addiction.

General Signs of Drug Addiction

Approximately 21.5 million American adults were dealing with a substance use disorder as of 2014, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Additionally, over 7 million Americans were battling a drug use disorder at this time.

The aforementioned statistics indicate substance and drug use disorders are prevalent nationwide. There are many signs that indicate a person may be dealing with a substance or drug use disorder, and these signs include:

  • Poor performance at work or school
  • Little to no interest in everyday activities that a person previously enjoyed
  • Lack of energy when performing assorted everyday tasks
  • Changes in physical appearance, such as a lack of grooming or wearing dirty clothing
  • Behavioral changes, such as an increased desire for privacy
  • Financial management issues, such as an inability to pay bills on time
  • Appetite changes, such as increased appetite or sudden weight loss
  • Poor skin tone
  • A tired facial appearance
  • Bloodshot eyes

People who are trying to hide a substance or drug use disorder may get defensive when approached about a possible addiction, too. In this instance, it helps to remain calm, cool, and collected, as well as to seek out professional support.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a major problem for American adults. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports 15.1 million American adults were dealing with alcohol use disorder in 2015. Also, an estimated 623,000 American adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 suffered from alcohol use disorder at this time.

People dealing with alcohol addictions may show many of the general signs of substance or drug use. Conversely, “functional alcoholics” sometimes hide their addiction symptoms in plain sight. In these cases, it may be tough to spot the signs of alcohol use disorder.

Ultimately, there are many warning signs of alcohol use disorder. These signs include:

  • Flushed skin and/or broken capillaries in the face
  • Hands that shake or tremble frequently
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Vomiting blood

If a person dealing with alcohol use disorder suddenly stops drinking, he or she may also experience a variety of physical symptoms, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Delirium tremens (DTs)

A person dealing with alcohol addiction may struggle to control how much he or she drinks, as well as how long he or she drinks. This individual may prefer to drink alone, in secret, or at different times throughout the day. Furthermore, he or she may continue to drink, regardless of any interpersonal, physical, or psychological problems.

Signs of Abuse Related to Specific Drugs

Certain drugs have specific warning signs associated with them. Now, let’s take a look at several drugs that are commonly abused, along with the warning signs directly associated with these substances:

  • Marijuana: Often causes heightened auditory and visual perceptions that may make a person seem uncoordinated and forgetful. Marijuana use may also lead to increased appetite, slow reaction time, and paranoia, as well as physical symptoms like droopy eyelids and bloodshot eyes.
  • Stimulants: May result in behavioral changes and/or rapid or rambling speech patterns. Stimulants may lead to physical symptoms such as dilated pupils, rapid breathing, and nasal congestion. If a person abuses stimulants, he or she may suffer paranoia or act hostile toward others, too.
  • Benzodiazepines: May make it difficult for a person to maintain his or her balance. Benzodiazepines have been shown to cause general confusion and involuntary eye movements.
  • Hallucinogens: May result in muscle twitching and nausea. LSD and other hallucinogens frequently lead to hallucinations that may make people feel drowsy, panicked, or at peace.
  • Opioids: May cause flu-like symptoms, lethargy, mood swings, and increased anxiety.

If a person displays one or more signs of a substance, drug, or alcohol addiction, it is important to remember that addiction can be extremely difficult to overcome. And if a person fails to address his or her addiction properly, the consequences may be dire.

For instance, relapse is likely if a person suddenly stops using a drug without a long-term treatment plan in place. This individual may struggle with overwhelming drug cravings for hours and days after his or her last use. If drug cravings persist, they may lead to relapse. Worst of all, these cravings may result in a fatal overdose.

How to Help Someone Who Is Dealing with Addiction 

Drug, substance, or alcohol addiction frequently causes mental emotional, psychological, and physical issues, as well as chronic health problems. If someone you know is dealing with an addiction, it is paramount to support him or her in any way possible. That way, an addict can take solace in the fact that you are ready to aid him or her throughout addiction recovery.

Professional assistance usually plays a key role in addiction treatment. Doctors are available to help all types of addicts. They work directly with patients, learn about their addiction symptoms, and offer tips and recommendations to address their addictions. Plus, doctors craft a personalized addiction treatment program for each patient designed to help him or her beat an addiction.

Ibogaine therapy may prove to be exceedingly valuable to treat addiction as well. At Clear Sky Recovery, we offer a world-class ibogaine treatment center staffed by an expert team of clinicians, scientists, psychologists, nurses, and support personnel. Our team works with patients to help them safely and effectively treat their addictions and prevent relapse.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a drug, substance, or alcohol addiction, ibogaine therapy from Clear Sky Recovery may be beneficial. To find out more about our ibogaine treatment programs, please contact us today.