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Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction

Although different drugs have different physical effects, the symptoms of addiction are similar. See if you recognize yourself or your loved one in the following signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction. If so, it’s time to consider talking to someone about drug abuse.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse:


  • Neglected responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g. flunking classes, skipping work, neglecting children) because of drug use.
  • Previously enjoyable activities like hobbies, sports or socializing have been abandoned because of drug use.
  • Drug use under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
  • Drug use that instigates legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit.
  • Life – decisions, focus, interactions – revolves around drug use: a lot of time is spent using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, and recovering from the drug’s effects.
  • Drug use that puts unnecessary stress on relationships, such as fights with a partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends.
  • A drug tolerance that requires the use of more drugs to experience the same effects previously attained with smaller amounts.
  • Taking drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms like nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, or anxiety.
  • The feeling of no control over drug use; feeling powerless when trying to stop using, using more than planned, etc.
  • Continued use of drugs, despite major problems like blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, or paranoia.


If you or a loved one show any of the signs or symptoms above, it may be time to seek help. Have a question or not sure what the next step is? Call us and our dedicated staff can offer additional resources to assist you or your loved one.