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Signs of Drug Addiction – Dying To Be Noticed

Dillon McClernon

Authored by Dillon McClernon

If you’re worried about a friend, coworker or family member’s potential drug use, it’s important for you to know the signs of drug addiction so you can be confident when reaching out to them. It is not unusual for people who have become addicted to drugs to feel isolated, helpless, or ashamed.  Silenced by social stigma surrounding substance abuse, the person suffering from addiction may be hopeful that you will notice their symptoms and reach out to them with an offer of help. So, take the time now to learn the signs and symptoms.

The signs of drug addiction can vary widely depending on the individual, the substance being abused, and the degree of use. With that said, there are certain signs that overlap and give a good indicator. Typically, you can divide signs of substance use disorder into three categories.


Professionals commonly refer to the first kind of sign as a symptom: a physical manifestation of drug use. Specifically, these physical manifestations can vary widely depending upon the substance being used and the method of intake, although some general physical substance abuse symptoms include:

  • Lacking energy and motivation.
  • Ocular changes: bloodshot eyes, or pupils larger or smaller than usual.
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination.

Behavioral Changes

The second kind of sign is a behavioral change: a recognizable shift in lifestyle or mentality. These include:

  • Failing to meet obligations, such as school or work responsibilities.
  • Someone seeking social withdrawal or isolation.
  • Stealing, reckless driving or engaging in other risky behaviors.
  • Spending money on drugs can lead to uncharacteristic requests for money without a reasonable explanation.
  • Neglecting personal hygiene, grooming or appearance.

Psychological Indicators

There are also psychological signs of drug abuse, which can be difficult to categorize as either behavioral or physical, such as:

  • Changing mood, personality or attitude.
  • Exhibiting unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness.
  • Appearing lethargic or “spaced out”.
  • Appearing fearful, anxious, or paranoid without a reasonable explanation.

Noticing Signs of Drug Addiction? There’s Help

If you do recognize some of the signs and symptoms listed above, it is important to remember that hope and help are both within your reach. Recovery Centers of America provides a full continuum of evidence based treatment, addressing the unique needs of each patient’s mind, body, and spirit.  For more information about our drug addiction help, please call 1-800-RECOVERY today.  Our care advocates are available 24/7 to provide information and assistance.

Authored by

Dillon McClernon

Dillon McClernon

Dillon currently serves as the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at RCA. After his tenure as Chief Communications Officer and senior advisor to RCA, he opted for a full-time position at RCA where he could build a new team linking sales and marketing to directly impact RCA’s mission of saving 1 million lives.


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