Drug abuse symptoms are not universal, but some of the more common symptoms are listed below:

Disregard of Accountability/ Absence of Reasoning

Sometime the result of taking drugs alters your state such that you endanger yourself or those around you.  When dependence becomes so strong that it motivates you beyond anything else, there are countless things that may happen to you and anyone around you.


As your body adapts to the drug your abusing, the reaction becomes reduced following repeated use.  Increasing dosage may reamplify the drug’s effects; however this may accelerate tolerance, further reducing the drug’s effects.


After one develops a physical or psychological dependence on drugs, quitting triggers symptoms including irritability, fatigue, shaking, sweating, and nausea.

Warning Signs of Drug Abuse and Addiction

Physical warning signs of drug abuse

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits
  • Runny nose or sniffling
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination
  • Unusual odors on breath, body, or clothing

Behavioral warning signs of drug abuse

  • Using causes difficulties in one’s relationships
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
  • Frequently getting into legal trouble, including fights, accidents, illegal activities, and driving under the influence
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home, including neglecting one’s children
  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems. May borrow or steal money.
  • Using drugs under dangerous conditions (driving while using drugs, using dirty needles, having unprotected sex)

Behavioral warning signs of drug addiction

  • Increased drug tolerance (the need to use more of the drug to experience the same effects one used to achieve with smaller amounts)
  • Using drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms (nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, anxiety)
  • Loss of control over drug use (using more than intended, unable to stop)
  • Life revolves around drug use (always thinking of using, figuring how to get more, or recovering from use)
  • Abandoning enjoyable activities(hobbies, sports, and socializing) to use drugs
  • Continuing to use regardless of negative consequences (blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia)

Psychological warning signs of drug abuse

  • Appearing fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason
  • Lack of motivation; appearing tired or “spaced out”
  • Periods of unusual increased energy, nervousness, or instability
  • Sudden mood swings, increased irritability, or angry outbursts
  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude

Are you or someone you know potentially suffering from drug addiction or abuse?

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