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Teen Drug Abuse Statistics, Facts, Signs & Symptoms

It’s important to approach the situation with care and concern when suspecting drug use in someone. It’s crucial to remember that these physical signs alone do not confirm drug use, but they can serve as potential indicators. If you believe someone may be using drugs, it’s essential to seek professional help and support to address the situation appropriately. According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the following criteria are used to diagnose a mild, moderate or severe substance use disorder. You can use these criteria to alert you to a possible addiction or physical dependence on a drug. If you or someone close to you develop these signs, it is wise to consult a physician or addiction treatment professional to obtain a diagnosis and seek appropriate treatment.

  • As addiction progresses, the psychological and life problems it causes tend to increase—and the trap can feel too deep to climb out of.
  • In 2018, opioids played a role in two-thirds of all drug overdose deaths.
  • Addiction also is different from physical dependence or tolerance.
  • As drugs become the primary focus of someone’s life, they often spend more and more time using and obtaining drugs.
  • We do not receive any compensation or commission for referrals to other treatment facilities.
  • Irritability, agitation, restlessness, and sleep disruption are common withdrawal symptoms for many drugs as are muscle cramps, headaches, and changes in blood pressure and heart rate.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol abuse can cause blackouts and memory loss. A person may have flushed skin and broken capillaries, particularly in the face. With severe alcohol use disorder, the hands may tremble, and the voice may take on a huskier tone. Long-term abuse of alcohol can lead to chronic diarrhea and even vomiting blood. Lawmakers heard testimony from around 10 people who said they had lost a child or another loved one to a drug overdose.

Signs of Drug or Alcohol Addiction

While the signs of drug use can vary depending on the drug being used and the individual’s specific circumstances, there are several common indicators to be aware of. These signs can manifest physically, behaviorally, socially, and in various lifestyle changes. Firstly, early detection allows for early intervention and increases the chances of successful treatment and recovery.

signs of drug use

Most people who take their pain medicine as directed by their doctor do not become addicted, even if they take the medicine for a long time. Fears about addiction should not prevent you from using narcotics to relieve your pain, but it’s smart to use caution. If your parents or siblings have problems with alcohol or drugs, you’re more likely as well. Not when it causes financial, emotional, and other problems for you or your loved ones. That urge to get and use drugs can fill up every minute of the day, even if you want to quit. People with an addiction tend to surround themselves with others who encourage their habits.

More on Substance Abuse and Addiction

While only a healthcare provider can diagnose an alcohol use disorder, there are several physical and behavioral signs that may indicate an individual struggles with their alcohol use. Some substances can suppress appetite, leading to significant weight loss. On the other hand, certain drugs may cause weight gain due to increased cravings or changes in metabolism. If someone experiences rapid and unexplained weight changes without a clear medical reason, it may be worth considering drug use as a potential factor. If the signs and symptoms above remind you of yourself or they sound like the behaviors of a close friend or family member, it’s time to get help. Developing a physical tolerance to a drug, withdrawing from a drug or using a drug compulsively without considering the harmful consequences may signal the development of addiction.

A combination of medication and behavioral therapy has been found to have the highest success rates in preventing relapse and promoting recovery. Forming an individualized treatment plan with your healthcare provider’s help is likely to be the most effective approach. However, men are more likely than women to use illicit drugs, die from a drug overdose, and visit an emergency room for addiction-related health reasons. Women are more susceptible to intense cravings and repeated relapses. Discuss the positive changes that can come from seeking treatment, such as improved physical and mental health, stronger relationships, and a brighter future. Remind them that they are not alone and that there are resources available to help them navigate the recovery process.

Signs and Symptoms of Drug Use

The areas of the brain affected and changed by drug abuse are the same areas of the brain that control cognition and include learning, memory, and higher reasoning. This disrupts normal functions and may cause a deficit in memory. Some drugs will suppress appetite while others may cause rapid weight gain. If you notice that your loved one’s weight has changed without explanation, it could mean that they have begun to regularly use addictive substances. If drug use is suspected, early invention is essential to ensure the most robust chances of successful recovery. Both alcohol abuse and alcoholism come with a variety of signs and symptoms.

  • Drug cravings can be fierce, and fear of withdrawal symptoms often drives continued drug use.
  • Hobbies, sports, and social engagements that were once a significant part of their life may take a backseat or become entirely abandoned.
  • Brittany Tackett is a transformational life coach, writer, and speaker in the mental health field.
  • It’s crucial to remember that these physical signs alone do not confirm drug use, but they can serve as potential indicators.

If someone can recognize the symptoms of addiction, they may be able to help a friend or family member who struggles with this disease. The use of most substances will produce noticeable signs and symptoms. These may include physical or behavioral symptoms—most likely both. Opioids include both prescription painkillers, like Vicodin and OxyContin, and the illicit drug heroin.

People struggling with addiction usually deny they have a problem and hesitate 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. Signs and symptoms of inhalant use vary, depending on the substance. Some commonly signs of drug use inhaled substances include glue, paint thinners, correction fluid, felt tip marker fluid, gasoline, cleaning fluids and household aerosol products. Due to the toxic nature of these substances, users may develop brain damage or sudden death. Use of hallucinogens can produce different signs and symptoms, depending on the drug.

More serious health issues such as cognitive decline, major organ damage, overdose, and death are also risks. Addiction to drugs while pregnant can lead to serious outcomes for both mother and child. Addiction can reveal itself in physical signs, as well as psychological and behavioral ones, although they are not diagnostically specific for the condition.

This results in rapid or noticeable changes from what was previously considered “normal” for this person. Daily routines and activities get rearranged or abandoned, and relationships with friends and loved ones come under stress. If you or someone you know is turning into someone unrecognizable, it could be a consequence of drug abuse. Long-term abuse of drugs and alcohol can result in drastic changes to physical appearance. Many drugs have appetite suppressing or other altering side effects, meaning abuse often results in visible weight changes. People who become addicted to opioids are often prescribed prescription drugs, such as painkillers, often following something like an accident or surgery.

Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), signs of drug use in adolescents include acting withdrawn, tired, depressed, or hostile. Knowing these signs can help to identify whether a loved one may be using drugs and risking harmful consequences to their health, school, job, and family life. Learn more about the many signs of drug addiction or call Turnbridge’s young adult drug rehab center to get help for your teen today. If you have noticed several of the above changes occurring in your teen, there is a good chance that he or she may be using. Do not be afraid to make these changes apparent to your teen, as well.

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