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5 Signs of Drug Abuse


Understanding addiction and the signs and symptoms of drug abuse is an important part of moving past the denial that many addicts often experience. People generally do not develop an addiction overnight. The steps leading up to a drug dependency include:

  • Experimenting

Experimentation is the user’s first introduction to drugs. It can result from a combination of peer pressure or curiosity.

  • Regular Use

The user begins to use substances to cope with stress and other negative emotions and starts to develop a tolerance.

  • Daily Fixation

The preoccupation with the substance becomes the user’s main focal point. He/she begins to experience financial, legal and/or personal consequences as the result of their use.

  • Addiction

The user’s life is in shambles. There is a complete loss of control.

Obviously, the most definitive way to determine if someone is using drugs is to perform a drug test. The frequency and amount of the substance being used can affect the results of the drug test.

  • Opiates (heroin, prescription painkillers) can show up in a urine drug screen for 12 to 36 hours
  • Central Nervous System stimulants (cocaine, meth) can show up in a urine drug screen for 1 to 12 days
  • Central Nervous System depressants (Xanax, Valium) can show up in a urine drug screen for up to 7 days
  • Marijuana can show up in a urine drug screen for up to 28 days

However, drug testing isn’t always an option, so it is important to know the signs and symptoms of drug abuse.

5 Signs of Drug Abuse:

  • Uncharacteristic behavior

Depression, anxiety, sudden mood swings, irrational behavior and volatile or even violent outbursts can indicate that a substance abuse problem is present.

  • Hiding/lying about drug and alcohol use

When someone hides or lies about what or how much they are using, it is because part of them knows that it is a problem—but isn’t ready to stop—and does not want to be confronted about their use.

  • Financial, legal or personal consequences

As the addiction progresses, everything else seems to fall away. Arrests, unemployment and broken relationships are all part of active addiction.

  • Change in physical appearance

This can include sudden weight loss or gain, glassy or bloodshot eyes, “pin-point” pupils, a disregard for personal hygiene or appearance.

  • Experiences withdrawal

If when an individual stops using/drinking suddenly and begins to suffer withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, muscle aches, cold sweats and, in some cases, seizures this is a sign of a serious drug problem.

If someone you love is demonstrating any of these signs of drug abuse, call Recovering Souls today. Recovering Souls is a free treatment placement service. We help people get the help they need.

To learn more about our services, call us today at 1-800-832-5250.

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  • Don’t waste any more time living in agony. Recovering Souls Network is a real life solution to problems associated with addiction of any kind. We can help you into detox and addiction treatment programs whether you need alcohol rehab, drug rehab, holistic rehab, or dual diagnosis treatment. We also specialize in substance abuse counseling through Relapse Prevention, Didactic Therapy, EMDR Therapy, Expressive Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Psychodrama Therapy, TIR Therapy, Organized Recreation, and Support Groups.

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Nick Cirio
561-797-8437
ncirio@recoveringsouls.com