Signs of Drug Use to Recognize

It's important to understand the signs of drug use, as this can help you identify addictions in your loved ones, friends and even yourself. There are a variety of different signs you should look out for and each person is different with those that they show. By understanding more about these you may be able to help someone out and approach them when it matters the most.

1. Change in Physical Appearance

When an individual is using drugs their appearance is going to change, even if it's just slightly at first. Even if someone tries to cover up the changes, most people will be able to easily identify them. The most common physical signs include: injection marks on the body, red eyes, dilated pupils, itching, puffy face and darkness under the eyes.

Someone who is trying to hide their addiction may put on a lot of makeup, use a lot of eye drops and do anything else they can to alter their appearance until it's somewhat normal.

2. Change in Interests

Someone who starts using drugs will rapidly lose interest in things that they used to do. For example, someone who used to play sports may stop doing that. Loss of interest can even mean not fulfilling household duties, not going to sports games for kids or just not doing any hobbies that they used to in the past. This can be night and day for some people, especially for individuals who were once social and always doing something.

3. Lack of Hygiene

Drug use often makes people forget to do things like eat, take a shower, brush their teeth or even change their clothes. This can lead to weight loss, weight gain, foul odors and just looking dirty because they have forgotten to take care of themselves.

If you notice that someone's eating habits have changed or they are wearing the same clothes for a week, then it's likely they have a drug problem. This is especially true if they are showing other signs of drug use as well.

4. Daily Routine Changes

Everyone has a daily routine that they stick to for most of their life. For some people this is getting up at a certain time, going to work, having dinner and then watching television for bed. For others this could be working all night, doing errands during the day and then sports in the late afternoon.

Individuals who are using drugs will likely change their daily routine in order to accommodate their use. This can mean not doing activities they once did, making appointments that aren't real and cutting out on things they should be doing.

5. Privatizing Life

Drug users make it a point to hide their drug use, which is a big reason why they become so private when they start. Generally this means they start staying in their bedroom more often, they start going to the bathroom for longer and they lock all doors that they enter. You may also notice that they stop telling you things and aren't as open as they used to be.

6. Mood Swings

Drugs can easily change a person's mood and make them go from one extreme to another. This can happen within minutes, even for individuals who used to be calm and even-tempered. For example, one minute they could be calm and fine, but the next minute they could be extremely hyper and ready to run around. Depression is also common with drug use, which increases the risk of suicide.

7. Strange Behavior

Crazy and strange behavior is often something that people notice first when they suspect a friend or family member is showing signs of drug use. This could be by them noticing that their loved one is more hyper than normal, but it could also mean noticing that they are depressed and have a lot more anxiety. Erratic behaviors can become serious, especially for individuals who are heavily using drugs.

8. Changes in Sleep

Drugs change the chemistry in the brain and can deeply affect the way a person is able to sleep. Most people will not be able to get to sleep, and those who can will find that their sleep is erratic instead of straight through. Changes in sleep can lead to a lot of mental problems, which will only worsen with continued drug abuse.