The Physical and Behavioural Signs of Drug Abuse: What You Need to Know
Drug abuse can have serious physical and behavioural consequences. Whether it’s the result of experimentation, addiction or misuse of prescription drugs, identifying the signs of drug abuse can be the first step towards seeking help. In this article, we’ll explore the physical and behavioural signs of drug abuse, including changes in appearance, behaviour, and habits.
Physical Signs of Drug Abuse
Drug use can have a profound effect on the body’s physiological processes, and some of the most obvious signs of drug use are physical. These signs may include:
Bloodshot or Glazed Eyes
Bloodshot or glazed eyes are a common physical symptom of drug abuse. It’s often a sign of marijuana use, but it can also be a sign of the use of other drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, or prescription opioids.
Dilated or Constricted Pupils
The pupils can also be a tell-tale sign of drug use. Dilated pupils are often associated with the use of stimulants, such as cocaine or amphetamines, while constricted pupils can be a sign of opioid use.
Abrupt Weight Changes
Drugs can affect appetite and metabolism, leading to sudden weight gain or loss. For instance, methamphetamine use can lead to rapid weight loss, while marijuana use can lead to increased appetite and weight gain.
Changes in Hygiene
Drug abuse can also lead to changes in personal hygiene. Individuals may neglect their grooming, bathing or oral hygiene routines, leading to a dishevelled appearance.
Drug use can also have serious consequences for oral health. Methamphetamine, for instance, can cause dental problems, including tooth decay and tooth loss, which are often referred to as “meth mouth.”
Drug abuse can lead to a range of skin issues, including acne, rashes, or infections. Some drugs, such as heroin, can also cause itchy, scaly, or dry skin.
Problems Sleeping or Sleeping Too Much
Drug use can also affect sleep patterns. Some drugs, such as cocaine or amphetamines, can cause insomnia, while others, such as opioids, can cause excessive sleepiness.
Behavioural Signs of Drug Abuse
Drug use can also have a significant impact on behaviour, habits, and personality. Here are some behavioural signs to look out for:
Increased Aggression or Irritability
Drug abuse can lead to increased aggression or irritability. This can be a result of drug-induced paranoia or other psychological effects.
Changes in Attitude/Personality
Drug use can also lead to changes in attitude or personality. Individuals may become withdrawn, moody, or apathetic, and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.
Some drugs, such as opioids, can cause lethargy or drowsiness. Individuals may have difficulty staying awake or performing daily activities.
Drug use can also contribute to the development of depression or other mental health issues. This can be a result of the drug’s effects on the brain or the emotional toll of addiction.
Sudden Changes in a Social Network
Drug abuse can lead to changes in social networks. Individuals may start associating with a new group of people, or withdraw from friends and family.
Dramatic Changes in Habits and/or Priorities
Drug use can also lead to dramatic changes in habits or priorities. Individuals may neglect responsibilities or hobbies, or develop new, drug-related priorities.
Involvement in Criminal Activity
Drug abuse can also lead to involvement in criminal activity, such as theft, drug dealing, or other illegal activities.
Learning to recognize the physical and behavioural signs of drug abuse is an important step towards addressing the problem. If you or someone you know is struggling with drug abuse, seeking help
If you have any questions in regard to the above, or need some advice, feel free to reach out to us at AC Wellness: