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How to Recognize the Symptoms of Drug Abuse

Although many people can drink alcohol or use drugs without becoming dependent on them, for some people, drug use can quickly lead to drug abuse. It can happen to anyone; according to the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, over 17 million Americans are dependent on alcohol, and as many as 20 million Americans abuse illegal drugs. Therefore, if you worry that you or a loved one may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, here are some symptoms of drug abuse you can look for.

Physical Symptoms of Drug Abuse

Drugs are toxins, and they have visible adverse effects on the bodies of addicts. Watch out for these physical symptoms in drug abusers:

  • Poor hygiene or grooming
  • Sudden change in appetite
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Loss of physical coordination

Mental Symptoms of Drug Abuse

It is important to note that substance abuse puts users in a constantly altered mental state. Additionally, substance abuse can eventually cause long-term behavioral changes, like:

  • Mood swings
  • Periods of manic behavior
  • Periods of lethargy
  • Loss of motivation
  • Paranoia
  • Change in personality

Behavioral Symptoms

In addition to the physical and mental symptoms of drug abuse, you may also notice patterns of behavior in people affected by addiction. These include:

  • Poor performance at work or school
  • Constant, unexplained financial need
  • Theft
  • Switching social circles
  • Risky behavior like driving under the influence
  • Inability to control drug intake
  • Frequently becoming more intoxicated than planned
  • Getting into legal trouble

Understanding Addiction

Most healthcare professionals view addiction as a disease. Like most diseases, some people are more at risk for contracting it than others. These are some factors that predispose individuals for drug abuse:

  • Addiction in the family
  • Being abused as a child
  • Traumatic life experiences
  • Starting to use drugs at an early age

How to Get Help for Drug Abuse

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, only 2.6 million of the estimated 24 million Americans with substance abuse issues went to a rehab facility for treatment in 2013. This is bad news because drug abuse treatment can be very effective.  Furthermore, the National Institutes of Health says that most people who enter treatment for substance abuse show improvements in their mental, physical, and behavioral well-being.

Inpatient Treatment

A good option for substance abuse treatment is an inpatient rehab center. Inpatient care works well for addiction issues because inpatient centers treat the underlying mental and physical problems that go along with substance abuse as well as the abuse itself. Also, people in inpatient treatment are shielded from the stresses and temptations of the outside world that can lead to relapse. All in all, these benefits of inpatient treatment can often result in better outcomes for people who seek help coping with addiction.

More information on the symptoms of drug abuse can be obtained by calling our toll-free number today.

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