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Unique Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse

The signs and symptoms of drug abuse vary from one person to another. They also vary depending on age.

In this blog, I will narrow down to the most common signs and symptoms of drug abuse. In general, the signs are in two main categories; Behavioural and Physical. Your ability to see and identify a sign will help you determine whether your colleague, friend or siblings are suffering from any drug addictions.

In addition, not every drug addiction is similar to the other therefore you will still need a deeper understanding before you make a conclusion

Behavioural Signs of drug abuse

These signs are a result of dependence on drugs such as cocaine, heroin, cannabis, methamphetamine, marijuana, alcohol etc.

Behavioural signs are seen in how a person conducts his daily activities and how he or she behaves.


Aggressiveness is an attribute of exhibiting violence, hostility and forcefulness in doing things. From research on drug use, drug addicts tend to exhibit these behaviours to those around them in comparison to non-addicts.

Personality changes

Drug above stimulates leading to a change in an organ known as the prefrontal cortex inside the brain leading to an adverse impact on attention to detail, ability to plan and also affecting emotions and self-control.

Ultimately one becomes volatile and easily aggrieved. Further, a drug addict becomes anxious and full of mood swings.


This is the condition that makes someone feel extremely sleepy and with fatigue and sluggishness. Whereas this condition can also be present in mental issues, it is one of the signs and symptoms of drug use.


Depression is a condition that consistently brings sadness and a lack of interest in anything however good.

This is a sign of anyone who is an addict, they tend to show disinterest and have feelings of sadness and self-pity

Changes in social network

A drug addict will suddenly change his or her close associates without an explanation. They may become lonely or even change friends to those with questionable characters.

Sudden change in priorities

All of sudden someone who had a love for their work or family will change. They will start refocusing their energy on other things and this is one main sign of drug addiction

Adoption of criminal activity

Drug use requires a lot of money to purchase. It becomes strenuous when one is a student and not earning. He or She may engage in criminal activities as a way of raising more funds.

If you have a friend or a relative exhibiting these signs and symptoms you can seek help from a Drugs and Detox Centre near you.

Physical Signs of drug abuse

Physical signs of drug abuse are mostly visible and one can easily assume his or her relative or friend is under the influence of drugs. They include;

Bloodshot eyes

This is also known as the redness of the eyes. It is caused when blood vessels in the eyes expand because of using drugs such as alcohol, cocaine and marijuana.

Weight changes

This can happen in two ways. You can either add weight or lose weight. This is because one can either reduce body fats or increase them.

Changes in hygiene

Most drugs addicts tend to prioritize the desire to ingest more drugs and forget about self-care and cleanliness. Some end up not taking a shower or changing clothes.

Dental problems

Some drugs such as cocaine can cause tooth crushing, others cause dry mouth and tooth decay. It is even worse when the addict does not brush their teeth. This leads to the risk of gum infections. In severe cases, they cause cancer and chronic teeth challenges.

Skin changes

In some cases, drug abuse can affect skin pigmentation and affect veins. This condition can cause diverse effects on the skin colour and general appearance

Sleeping Challenges

Drug addicts may tend to struggle with either getting sleep or sleeping too much. At times, the drug may keep you active for prolonged hours and in other cases, you just sleep for long hours.


You will find the victim with equipment that they use for drug abuse. Some of them include; cigarette wrapping paper, syringes, lighters etc. All these are the tools drug addicts use as they abuse drugs.


Anyone struggling with drug abuse is most likely going to hide their activities from the rest of his friends and family. They will stay indoors for longer periods of time and shut down anyone trying to inquire about details from them

Being overly defensive

Being extremely private is mostly accompanied by extreme defensive tactics by the drug addict. They tend to argue more and defend their actions extremely even when not necessary.

Frequent hunger

Due to taking heavy quantities of drugs, most addicts tend to eat more food than their normal quantities and intervals. This can be an eating disorder as a result of drug abuse.

Avoiding eye contact

This is mostly in adolescents, they will try as much as possible to avoid eye contact with parents, teachers and close associates. This is mostly a tactic to avoid questioning.

Laughing without a tangible reason

Stimulants cause most of them to laugh for no apparent reason. This is one sign that someone close to you is suffering from drug use.

How you can help a drug addict

There are various ways in which as a close person you can help a drug addict. One of the ways is encouraging the person to seek medical help from a Detox Centre. You can go further and make resources available for them to seek help. This includes but is not limited to finances, emotional support, physical support and societal support to avoid stigmatizing.

Don’t Wait. Get Help Today.

If you notice anyone close to you has any or all of the above symptoms or yourself, don’t fear, seek help. Rise Recovery Services are on standby to help you overcome any addiction. The Drugs and Detox Centre is ready to offer you the support you need to overcome drug and substance addictions.


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