Top 5 Signs of Drug Abuse

There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching your loved one suffer, especially at the hands of substance abuse. Such a serious health condition, such as drug abuse, can have serious consequences such as overdose or death. If you’re not sure whether your loved one is suffering from drug abuse or not in order to take your concern to the next level, keep reading for the top 5 signs of drug abuse and how to get help.

Signs of Drug Abuse #1: Physical Changes

One of the first signs of drug abuse that you may begin to notice right away are physical changes. Drug abuse can cause changes in one’s appetite, making them want to eat either more or less than usual. This can cause a sudden change in weight and skin color.

In addition, drug abuse can cause individuals to care less about their appearance and hygiene. If you find your loved one lacking in these areas and they are usually well-groomed, this should be cause for concern. Not taking showers, having an unkempt appearance, body odor, not brushing teeth, and not keeping their surroundings tidy can all be physical signs of drug abuse. More physical signs include dilated pupils, runny nose, poor coordination, and more.

#2: Changes in Mood

When drugs take over the brain’s reward system, they can cause serious mood changes. Some of the changes to look for include:

Increased agitation
Short temper
Bursts of energy

It is important to pay attention to these changes in mood, especially if they are unexplained. Crashing from a drug high, being hungover, and looking for drugs can cause an individual to have negative mood swings that can eventually lead to a possibly abusive or volatile situation if left untreated or ignored.

#3: Isolation and Change in Social Circle

When an individual is using drugs, they will usually seek privacy and become hard to reach. If your loved one is exhibiting signs of isolation and you are noticing a change in their social circle, this should be cause for concern.

Signs of isolation include:

Distancing from loved ones. Your loved one might be attending less and fewer family functions, are harder to get a hold of, and only come to you if they are in need of something.
Frequently leaving and not returning for long periods. If this is starting to happen, then chances are, your loved one has found a “safe” place to use drugs and is preferring this location over being home.
No interest in activities once enjoyed. If your loved one isn’t going to the gym anymore, not spending as much time with the dog, or has quit the football team, it is time to take your suspicions more seriously.

#4: Drug-Seeking Behaviors

Drug-seeking behaviors are one of the major signs of drug abuse that should be taken seriously. If you suspect your loved one is addicted to prescription pills, take note if they have multiple prescriptions at multiple pharmacies and spend a lot of time (and excuses) to go to the doctor or emergency room.

Drug-seeking behaviors can also include selling possessions for money, especially important items like a wedding ring or family heirloom. You may also find paraphernalia, your loved one spending a lot of time on the phone, individuals coming around the home that you do not recognize, or your loved one frequently coming-and-going.

#5: Legal and Financial Problems

Drug abuse can cause individuals to act in ways they normally would not when they are sober. Some of the quickest things that this can lead to are legal and financial problems. Your loved one might start engaging in risky behavior due to the drugs, and this can lead to arrest and possible jailtime.

Some signs of financial issues include:

Your loved one asking to borrow money
Becoming fired from their job
Issues in their career or workplace
Unexplained cash in their wallet
Credit cards are maxed out
Items around the home are missing without explanation
Bank accounts are drained

Luckily, the only good news about drug abuse is that it is a treatable condition. If you think your loved one is suffering from drug abuse, it is important to get them help as soon as possible before it leads to deadly consequences.

Drug Abuse and How New Hope Ranch can Help

New Hope Ranch is a residential treatment center focusing on prevention, assessment, treatment, and reintegration for people suffering from substance abuse. Services are provided on our beautiful 49-acre ranch just 15 minutes from downtown Austin, Texas.

New Hope Ranch’s mission has two basic purposes: to improve social behavior and enhance personal recovery and growth. The organization has a culture of innovation that thrives on the creation of new services that meet the community’s needs while maintaining effectiveness, excellence, and professionalism. New Hope Ranch values an integrated system of high-quality care focused on best practices, easy access to services, and providing a full range of services in an efficient manner.

Our Treatment Philosophy consists of providing the highest quality services while ensuring that each patient has a personalized treatment plan. New Hope Ranch met the rigorous standards and regulations the Joint Commission requires for a behavioral health provider to achieve accreditation and we strive every day to represent our gold standard joint commission accreditation proudly.

For more information on New Hope Ranch, visit contact us today.