If users snort the drug, nasal congestion is a common sign of use. Snorting drugs like cocaine can damage the mucous membrane inside the nose. While overall moodiness can simply be part of adolescence and the teen years, drug use is generally signified by more drastic changes in mood or behaviors in this age group. Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), signs of drug use in adolescents include acting withdrawn, tired, depressed, or hostile. Use may become addiction when users continue to seek and use drugs or alcohol despite the negative impacts of using the substance.

  • “You hear that all the time. This is the soup kids are swimming in,” she said.
  • Not when it causes financial, emotional, and other problems for you or your loved ones.
  • An increasing problem, prescription drug abuse can affect all age groups, including teens.
  • An intervention specialist will help your family approach the topic of addiction with clarity and understanding and can provide invaluable support and advice.

A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again. Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to.

If you or a loved one are seeking help for addiction, our network of addiction facilities are ready to welcome you.

In general, the more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs will lead to drug use and addiction. Risk and protective factors may be either environmental or biological. It https://ecosoberhouse.com/ may be done by family and friends in consultation with a health care provider or mental health professional such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, or directed by an intervention professional.

Taking some drugs can be particularly risky, especially if you take high doses or combine them with other drugs or alcohol. If you’re not ready to approach a health care provider or mental health professional, help lines or hotlines may be a good place to learn about treatment. You can find these lines listed on the internet or in the phone book. The risk of addiction and how fast you become addicted varies by drug. Some drugs, such as opioid painkillers, have a higher risk and cause addiction more quickly than others.

Addiction vs. Misuse and Tolerance

Nitazenes are psychoactive substances, or “designer drugs,” that aren’t controlled by any laws or conventions but pose significant health risk to the public. These substances have recently surfaced as illegal street drugs. Two deaths in Boulder County, Colorado, in 2023 are the latest in the U.S. to be blamed on the powerful class of synthetic opioids called nitazenes.

signs of drug use

Some effects of drug abuse and addiction include changes in appetite, mood, and sleep patterns. More serious health issues such as cognitive decline, major organ damage, overdose, and death are also risks. Addiction to drugs while pregnant can lead to serious outcomes for both mother and child. Addictive disorders, including alcohol use disorder, most often begin during late adolescence and early adulthood, when there is increased risk of use of many psychoactive substances. If you believe that your loved one may be dealing with substance abuse or drug addiction, reaching out to them is the best way to start a conversation help. Substance abuse can be overcome, and the odds of long-term recovery increase when a person seeks help through a professionally trained recovery center.

Addiction May Have Genetic Risks

Most people are not going to be very public about their drug use, especially if it’s to an illegal substance. You may notice your loved one is lying about where they are or who they’re with. Maybe their story keeps changing, and they can never seem to be honest about what they’ve been up to.

signs of drug use

This results in rapid or noticeable changes from what was previously considered “normal” for this person. Daily routines and activities get rearranged or abandoned, and relationships with friends and loved ones come under stress. If you or someone you know is turning into someone unrecognizable, it could be a consequence of drug abuse. There are many substances that a person struggling with addiction could abuse, with different symptoms of intoxication, different paraphernalia, and different long-term consequences.

Social, emotional and mental isolation are common signs that someone needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction. People who face a substance use disorder may isolate themselves from their partners, friends or family members to keep their addiction a secret. They’ll try to avoid questions about unexplained physical changes, like track marks or weight loss, or odd behaviors. Of the behavioral signs of drug abuse, secretive behavior may be one of the most common and telling.

signs of drug use

You may notice this person spraying areas such as their room or car, wearing very strong cologne or perfume, or even burning candles and incense to cover it. Some drugs, like alcohol, marijuana, crack, or meth, have distinct smells that individuals may try to cover up. You may notice those smells on their clothes, in their car or bedroom, or on their breath or skin. There is often a direct link between chemical alterations of the brain becoming visible through the eyes.

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