If you suspect a loved one is abusing alcohol or other drugs, it can be difficult to know how to help. Understanding the signs and symptoms of drug abuse and addiction can help you be aware of a problem.
What is Addiction?
Addiction can be physical, psychological, or both. Physical addiction is bodily dependence on a drug, meaning a person may need more of the drug to achieve the same effect or “high.” He or she also may develop withdrawal symptoms upon stopping drug use. In psychological addiction, there is a mental desire for the substance. An addict’s mind craves the feeling the drug provides, and that person feels emotionally desperate when he or she stops using it.
Symptoms of drug addiction include:
- Seeing drugs as a solution
- Taking increasingly greater amounts of the drug
- Mood swings
- Engages in dangerous behavior, such as drunk driving
- Sleeping problems
- Physical withdrawal symptoms
- Weight loss or gain
- Preoccupation with getting drugs
- Loss of interest in school, work, or hobbies