glass of alcohol and pills on table

Drug abuse is becoming more and more prevalent in the United States. The families of those suffering from substance abuse often struggle with seeing a loved one go through the increasingly difficult stages of abuse.

These trends can often end in addiction if not treated early on. Intervention at any point in the addiction roadmap is important, meaning that you should be familiar with the warning signs of drug abuse in order to help those around you.

Warning Signs Impacting the User

Drug abuse takes hold in a user’s life through any and every crack it can find in the foundation. These cracks can include insecurities, anxieties, genetic predispositions and any amount of emotional or psychological disorder. Setting up shop in this manner allows drug abuse to negatively impact the user in almost every manner.

Personal Appearance

One of the easiest to spot signs of drug use and abuse are changes in the user’s appearance. Changes in pupil size can showcase mood altering drugs with small pupils pointing towards stimulants and large, saucer-shaped pupils meaning depressants have been used.

Nosebleeds are signs of drug abuse where ingestion is done through inhaling powdered substances through the nose. The tissues that comprise your sinuses are ruined by the drug use which leaves capillaries unprotected and nosebleeds an all-to-common occurrence.

On the personal hygiene side of things, problem users will start to neglect basic self-care routines such as showering, brushing teeth or proper nutrition which can lead to rapid weight loss. All of these combine with the internal damage drugs cause, resulting in a once radiant person looking as though they were battling the flu constantly.

Abnormal Behavior

Even the most outgoing personality can make a 180 degree turn to a life of isolation and pushing away friends and family. These changes can come as a result of drug-induced paranoia, an anxiety that everyone around you is either out to get you or is judging you constantly.

Similar to that of someone avoiding the law, those suffering from these anxieties can become transient in their location and hide behind baggy clothing in public even in new areas. At times this can be a double-edged sword as the abnormal behavior can lead to decisions that carry legal consequences with them, furthering their suspicions that they’re never safe.

Another behavioral change are sudden mood changes, with fits of rage being brought on by the tiniest inconveniences or perceived problems. An example could be an outburst while attempting to complete a task as their mind in unable to function as well as it could before, leaving the user frustrated with themselves and the situation.

Warning Signs Impacting Others

Unfortunately, addiction doesn’t just change the life of the user. Loved ones of a problem user will start to see less and less of them over time, sometimes losing all contact for long periods of time. Family members may become the target of their mood swings or even theft as abuse turns to addiction and impulse control is completely lost.

While these impacts are never pleasant, the fact that there is a way to spot abuse from the outside is a silver lining. If any of the signs above sound familiar either in yourself or in someone you know, please do not hesitate to reach out to Baystate Recovery Center for a confidential consultation. Our team of compassionate treatment providers can explore multiple different outpatient programs that fit your life while giving you back control of it.