Why are You Acting This Way? The Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse

The Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse

Do you remember how you felt when you were high? Not the euphoria, but the drowsiness, lethargy, and overall crummy feeling that went along with getting high. Do you miss feeling sick all the time, suffering headaches, stressing out over money, or nosebleeds from snorting? Probably not.Now that you are in treatment or have already finished treatment, you can probably look back and see how drug abuse changed your thoughts, behaviors and emotions. You could not see it at the time, but you were most likely displaying the classic signs and symptoms of drug abuse.Fortunately, you or someone who loves you took notice of these signs and symptoms, which prompted you to seek treatment. Taking action when the signs and symptoms of drug abuse became severe may have saved your life.

Physical Signs of Drug Abuse

There are many physical signs of someone who has a drug abuse problemDrug abuse caused a variety of unhealthy changes in your body. Each drug produces slightly different changes. The primary physical effect, of course, is the pleasant euphoria that attracted you to drugs in the first place.

Other physical effects are not so pleasant, and may have included:
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Large or small pupils
  • Frequent nosebleeds related to snorting drugs
  • Changes in appetite, sudden weight gain or loss
  • Seizures with no history of epilepsy
  • Poor grooming, body odor
  • Unusual smells on body, breath, or clothing
  • Sores, bruises and unexplained injuries
  • Shaky hands, tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Unstable coordination
Instead of feeling these symptoms, you probably feel great now that you no longer abuse drugs. If you have drug-abusing friends, you may see this signs in them.

Behavioral Signs of Drug Abuse

Drug abuse probably caused profound changes in your behavior and, if you are like most people, drugs did not turn you into the person everyone wants to be around. Drug abuse may have turned you from a compassionate and enthusiastic person into a sleepy, boring person who never wants to have fun, or into a hyperactive maniac that everyone tries to avoid.

Other changes in your behavior may have included:
  • Drop in performance or attendance at school or work
  • Loss of interest in a favorite hobby
  • Decreased motivation
  • Complaints from co-workers, teachers or supervisors about your friend’s behavior
  • Unexplained financial problems or strange cash flow issues
  • Begging, borrowing and stealing money
  • Silent, sneaky, secretive
  • Dumping old, upstanding friends in exchange for friends who like to party
  • A new propensity for finding trouble, including fights, arguments, accidents, and legal problems
Now that you do not abuse drugs anymore, your behavior has likely reverted back to your old, charming self.

Psychological Signs of Drug Abuse

psychological side affects and signs of drug abuseDid drug abuse once replace your happy-go-lucky personality with that of an old man screaming at kids to get off his lawn? Were you so out of it that you once burst into tears at a birthday party or laugh hysterically at a funeral? Drugs can scramble your thinking to cause psychological signs and symptoms, including:
  • Unexplained changes in attitude or personality
  • Moodiness, irritability
  • Inappropriate emotional response to situations
  • Unexplained agitation or hyperactivity
  • Poor motivation and focus
  • Appearing unjustifiably anxious, fearful or paranoid
Now that you have stopped using drugs, you may have noticed many of these physical, behavioral and psychological signs and symptoms of drug abuse have subsided. Most effects will disappear completely with time and will not return, provided you abstain from drug abuse.

  1. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Is Your Teen Using? Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse. http://www.drugfree.org/resources/is-your-teen-using-signs-and-symptoms-of-substance-abuse/

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