What are the signs and symptoms of drug addiction?
The number one sign of drug addiction is that individual continues to use drugs despite consequences. The consequences could be of any sort--fighting with a spouse, damaged relationships with friends, difficulty at work, financial problems, physical health consequences, mental health consequences and others. Drug addiction often involves craving when the drug is not available and withdrawal, which is a characteristic set of physical symptoms that an individual experiences upon discontinuing drug use. Specific signs of drug addiction vary depending on the drug that is being used. Often, friends and loved ones recognize a developing addiction before the individuals who is affected. This is particularly true for adolescents and teens. Unfortunately, if you see a change in their behavior, emotions or school performance, you have to consider that alcohol and drug use may be playing a role. A Parent's Guide to Teen Addiction: Professional Advice on Signs, Symptoms, What to Say, and How to Help has great guidance on how to recognize the signs -- and how to respond if you see them.
If you think a friend or loved one may have an addiction, consider attending an Alanon or Naranon meeting to learn more about the illness, and how to help your friend or loved one get help.