Identifying the Signs of Addiction
Misinformation about addiction is prevalent in the United States. Because addiction is widely regarded as deserving of shame and ridicule, few people are willing to get help after realizing that they have a problem.
In fact, the problem is worse than many people imagine:
- 21 million Americans struggled with substance abuse in 2014. (National Survey on Drug Use and Health)
- 8 million Americans dealt with an addiction and co-occurring mental health problem in 2014. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- Just 10% of Americans struggling with addiction will receive treatment this year. (American Society of Addiction Medicine)
- Over 64,000 Americans were killed by a drug overdose in 2016. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
That’s why it’s so important to educate as many people as possible about the signs, symptoms and underlying causes of addiction. This resource provides helpful insights for anyone wanting to know more about the signs and consequences of drug and alcohol addiction.
Common Drug and Alcohol Addictions
While there are similarities between each case of addiction, substance abuse issues are extremely personal. The history and motivation behind one’s addiction will have a major impact on treatment. That’s why it is important to understand the unique symptoms and signs of the most commonly abused substances. This knowledge may help you spot a problem in a loved one’s life before it escalates out of control.
If you suspect a loved one may be abusing illegal drugs and in need of drug addiction treatment, look for the following signs and symptoms:
- Cocaine/Crack – Chronic sinus problems, the appearance of powdery residue beneath the nostrils and sudden increase in confidence are all signs of cocaine and crack abuse.
- Methamphetamine – You may suspect meth addiction if your loved one loses a large amount of weight, no longer appears to sleep soundly and seems constantly anxious.
- Heroin – Look for heroin users to fall asleep in public and experience chronic vomiting and nausea. These signs, along with paraphernalia like syringes, point toward heroin use.
- Codeine – A loved one abusing codeine that’s not prescribed for them may often exhibit sluggishness or drowsiness. They may also experience seizures and chronic dizzy spells that put them in harm’s way.