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The signs of drug addiction are sometimes obvious, but can also be very subtle. Those who suffer from drug addiction may exhibit outward physical signs that are a cry for help or suffer silently, hoping that subtle cues are noticed and addressed.

Disorders like drug addictions are difficult to determine and diagnose many times because their signs and symptoms cross many health-related lines. One symptom in drug addiction can be resemble a symptom in another illness. The best way to gauge whether or not there is in fact a drug addiction is (in addition to studying the signs and symptoms) to watch carefully the person’s behavior and actions. Notice their interactions, both socially and professionally, and be able to detect any abnormal or unusual behavior. Along with the accompanying signs, the drug addiction may be addressed and dealt with immediately.

Drug addiction signs include:
  • exhibiting out-of-character behavior, i.e. stealing, lying
  • wanting to keep a supply of the drug on hand
  • the inability to stop using the substance
  • exhibiting reckless behavior while using the drug (driving, cooking)
  • using the drug as a crutch (to solve problems, to cope)
  • substance smell on body, hair, or clothes
  • heightened nervousness
  • abrupt and abrasive attitude and personality changes
  • changes in friends, social environments
  • poor school and/or work performance
  • inexplicable moodiness or irritability
  • violent temper or bizarre behavior
  • suspicious behavior; very secretive
  • a feeling of a frequent need for the drug several times a day
Some drug addiction symptoms may include:
  • An increase in appetite
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Red eyes
  • A decrease in coordination
  • An increased sensory awareness such as in increased visual perception, hearing and taste
  • Poor memory or memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Paranoia and paranoid thinking
  • An increase in blood pressure and heart rate

These are but a few of the many signs and symptoms that an individual may experience when they have a chemical dependency. Simply possessing several of these signs will not confirm that there is a drug addiction present, but may be an indicator that more investigation is needed or that intervention needs to take place. However, if there is an addiction present, the sufferer will need a solid support system, resources and guidance on the road to drug addiction recovery. Rehabilitiation can be an effective option if the addict is willing to try to change, so it's important that the addict's friends and family gather together to show the addict the impact his or her behavior is having on him or herself and those around him or her.

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