Signs of Drug Addiction
Signs To Look Out For:
Family members or friends may notice changes in the appearance and behaviour of a drug addict:
- Has their behaviour or personality changed recently? Are they withdrawn, irritable, anxious, apathetic?
- Have their eating habits changed?
- Do they seem to be neglecting their hygiene and appearance?
- Do they socialise with a different set of friends?
- Are they running into financial difficulties?
- Are they getting into trouble with the law?
- Frequently missing school or work, a sudden disinterest in school activities or work, or a drop in grades or work performance
- Changes in behavior — exaggerated efforts to bar family members from entering his or her room or being secretive about where he or she goes with friends; or drastic changes in behavior and in relationships with family and friends
- Spending money — sudden requests for money without a reasonable explanation; or your discovery that money is missing or has been stolen or that items have disappeared from your home, indicating maybe they're being sold to support drug use
Opioids are narcotic, painkilling drugs produced from opium or made synthetically. This class of drugs includes, among others, heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone and oxycodone. Some people who've been using opioids over a long period of time may need physician-prescribed temporary or long-term drug substitution during treatment.
Signs and symptoms of narcotic use and dependence can include:
- Euphoria or feeling "high"
- Reduced sense of pain
- Drowsiness or sedation
- Slurred speech
- Problems with attention and memory
- Constricted pupils
- Lack of awareness or inattention to surrounding people and things
- Problems with coordination
- Sweaty, clammy skin
- Runny nose or nose sores (if snorting drugs)
- Needle marks (if injecting drugs)
Staging an intervention
People struggling with addiction usually deny they have a problem and are reluctant to seek treatment. An intervention presents a loved one with a structured opportunity to make changes before things get even worse and can motivate someone to seek or accept help.
An intervention should be carefully planned and may be done by family and friends in consultation with a doctor or professional such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, or directed by an intervention professional. It involves family and friends and sometimes co-workers, clergy or others who care about a person struggling with addiction.
During the intervention, these people gather together to have a direct, heart-to-heart conversation with the person about the consequences of addiction and ask him or her to accept treatment.
Drug Addiction Recovery
Many who are dependent on drugs will require treatment in a residential rehab centre where there is access to 24-hour medical care, supervised detox and a daily routine of individual counselling and group therapy sessions. For additional questions or assistance contact LifeVSDrugs or call 978-609-7163.