Signs and Symptoms of Drug Addiction

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Addiction to drugs has become an epidemic across the country affecting the lives of thousands of people. Identifying the signs and symptoms of drug addiction can be beneficial for helping someone who is struggling to get the proper care in order to get better and begin healing. Addiction can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or social status. Identifying the signs of addiction, and education on how to help a loved one is crucial to addressing the problem in a productive manner. 

How Does Addiction Occur?

Addiction to drugs is something that can happen to anyone. It can sometimes even occur accidentally. Sometimes people get prescribed highly addictive medications for legitimate ailments, and their body develops a tolerance and dependence on these substances. It can lead to them turning to other substances that may be easier to obtain, and produce greater desired effects. Another way addiction can occur is through recreational use. Drugs tend to act on the reward center of the brain by causing the release of dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitter in the body. This release of dopamine leads the mind and body to associate these harmful substances with a good feeling, causing continued use. With continued use, the body begins to develop a tolerance and dependence on these substances. Addiction to drugs can wreak havoc not only on the personal lives of those who are struggling but also on their mental and physical health. Damage to vital organs such as the heart and brain can occur with continued drug abuse. Getting proper help as soon as possible can help prevent these negative results from occurring. Drug addiction can occur quickly and without warning. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of drug addiction can help to prevent negative consequences from occurring. 

Signs and Symptoms of Drug Addiction

Addiction to drugs is a dangerous position to be in and the signs and symptoms of drug addiction can sometimes go unnoticed until the person struggling is so deep in the grips of addiction that they have an extremely difficult time stopping. Being knowledgeable of potential signs of drug addiction can help someone identify a problem in loved ones, or even themselves. However, some things to look out for include:

  • Inability to stop or control using
  • Lack of interest in enjoyable activities
  • Avoiding friends and family
  • Isolation
  • Nodding in and out of consciousness
  • Behavioral changes
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Continued use despite negative consequences
  • Constantly asking to borrow money, financial hardship
  • Engaging in risky behavior while using
  • Withdrawal symptoms when unable to use substances


The signs and symptoms of drug addiction can vary from person to person. Some may exhibit certain signs that others may not. The effects that commonly abused drugs produce contribute to their continued use, eventually resulting in addiction. Withdrawal from drugs is an unpleasant experience. The symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable, making it hard to stop using. Professional help can make this process easier, and allow healing to begin in a safe and healing environment.


Detox is a process that is necessary for anyone struggling with drug addiction to begin getting better. During the detox process, the harmful toxins introduced to the body during drug use are removed and the body becomes accustomed to living without the substance. Withdrawal symptoms that an individual may experience can vary from substance to substance. However, a generalized list of potential withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Hallucinations or delusions

Withdrawal from drugs can be extremely dangerous. It is never recommended to use the “cold turkey” method and try to end drug use without professional help. Having medical staff available to monitor these withdrawal symptoms, and address any potential dangers is a benefit that can make the withdrawal process safer and easier. Being able to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal helps to allow those struggling to begin a recovery journey that can lead to long-term abstinence from drug use. Often, when people try to stop using drugs on their own, the withdrawal symptoms get too intense so they return to using the substances. Using again only perpetuates the drug addiction, leading to further decline in overall well-being. Proper professional care can make a huge difference in the journey of someone who is struggling with these toxic substances.

Break Free of Drug Addiction

Addiction to drugs is dangerous. The effects that these substances can have on a person both physically and mentally can result in permanent changes or damage. Addiction can result in broken trust, lost relationships, and trouble with work or school. There is hope for those who find themselves struggling. If you or a loved one are struggling with drugs, The Healing Center can help. Our team is here to help as you begin your journey. Call us today.