What is drug addiction?
Addiction is the dependence on an illegal drug or even a prescription medication. When someone is addicted they cannot control their drug use. Most of the time those who are addicted will continue to use drugs despite the negative consequences. Addiction also causes an intense craving for drugs in the addict or alcohol. Those who are addicted may want to quit but they struggle to do it on their own. For most people with addiction their drug use began as casual or even recreational, “just for fun”. Then their drug use slowly progressed. Addiction causes serious problems, long-term consequences with physical, mental and emotional health, with relationships, holding a job, and the law.
So what are some of the physical symptoms of drug addiction?
The physical symptoms of a drug addiction vary depending on what drug the addict has been using and the addict themselves. There are some general physical symptoms of drug addiction though:
- Tolerance – A tolerance to drugs means that the addict has to use more and more of the same substance in order to achieve the desired effect.
- Withdrawal – If someone ever experiences withdrawal symptoms when they cut back or try to stop their drug use they are definitely addicted.
- Sleeping a lot more or a lot less
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Persistent coughs and sniffles
- Pupils of the eyes appearing larger or smaller than usual
- Unwell at times and better at other times
- Red eyes, glazed eyes, wandering gaze
- Incessant scratching or rubbing
What are some psychological symptoms of drug addiction?
- Mood changes from happy to sad to excited to anxious
- Increased irritability and a quick temper
- Having hallucinations
- Overly energetic mood
- Suspicious and paranoid
- Being mentally withdrawn-Spaced out or zoned out
What are the emotional symptoms of drug addiction?
- Increased feelings of loneliness and ostracism
- Increased irritability
- Unexplainable anxiety
- Inability to concentrate
- Feelings of abandonment (for both the addict and the people in the addict’s life)
- Stress from strained relationships
- Fear that the addiction is out of control
- Fear of rejection if addiction is discovered
- Fear that even if the addict gets sober, they will no longer be accepted by their social circle
- Anger at people who “don’t get it”
- Withdraws from social events
Some other symptoms of drug addiction are financial and within relationships. For instance the loss of a marriage, going to jail, legal issues, loss of job, loss of home, kicked out of school, abusive relationships etc. These outward consequences are not the symptoms of drug addiction that really effect the addict though, it is the emotional symptoms that really bring an addict down and may make them want to stop using drugs and break free from their addiction.
When someone is experiencing severe symptoms of drug addiction it can take them a short or long period of time to realize they need to stop using drugs because they have formed a dependence on the substance. But should they ever want help the best bet for someone experience symptoms of drug addiction is to seek outside help from a drug rehabilitation center.