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Signs of Addiction | Drugs, Alcohol, & Prescription Drugs

When a loved one has a drink problem What can I do to help? Coping with a partner's drinking How drink can affect families Looking for help? What you can expect when you look for help Find a service. Signs and symptoms Tweet. Share this:. The extra energy received from the drugs burns calories resulting in losing a significant amount of weight. You might find that a close friend or family member suddenly lost a large amount of weight within a few months. Another sign to look for is a change in appetite, which often goes along with a change in sleep patterns.

Drugs can cause major changes in the way they eat and drink as well as sleep. They may only want to watch television or spend time with other people who also use. Addiction can also result in spending long hours awake and alert. Although meth and heroin are among the more commonly abused injected drugs, they are far from the only ones. Some use cocaine in the form of crack cocaine or morphine.

Some people also mix heroin with cocaine to make a substance called a speedball. Some of the other drugs taken intravenously include:. Those who take prescription drugs intravenously often do so because they want to feel the full effects of the drug as quickly as possible. In the same way that doctors often recommend that patients take a prescription painkiller before they experience any pain because it can take up to an hour or more for the effects to kick in, shooting up the drug helps it kick in quickly and provides both pain reduction and a euphoric feeling.

Oxycodone, including both the name brand and the generic, is a common IV drug. Some of the common signs of drug use include a loss of interest in activities and hobbies, a change in personality, constant thoughts of using and abusing drugs, and physical changes. When IV drug use occurs, you might notice that the eyes appear sunken and that bones show through the skin. Recognizing that an addiction is present is the first step on the road to recovery.

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More than 13 million people around the world use and abuse IV drugs and a large portion engages in something called a drug binge. A binge can last anywhere from a few days to a week. While some like to sit down and watch television or movies during a binge, others prefer to be physically active and to do things around the house. Some prefer to be alone and locked in their homes or apartments, and others like being around people. During a drug binge, you may not see your loved one or have any way to reach that person. He or she may stop answering the phone and may ignore anyone who knocks on the door.

You may worry so much that you call the police and ask them to perform a wellness check. The highs that occur during a drug binge can make a close friend seem like an entirely different person.

10 Years Clean From Crystal Meth

A person binging can act in manic ways and have a hard time listening. Those who engage in IV drug use have an increased risk of developing other conditions later. While in the middle of a drug binge, people often are willing to do anything to get a fix and are more willing to take risks. A dirty needle is one that is shared by two or more people. If someone infected with HIV uses a needle and then an uninfected person uses that same needle, that uninfected individual can contract the disease.


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Anyone who uses drugs intravenously also has an increased risk of developing other conditions and diseases. One danger is that the drugs can cause memory problems. They may cause issues with a person remembering simple things, such as when to pick a child up from school or when to go to the grocery store. Long-term memory problems can make the individual forget the names of close friends. In addition to HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, there is also a chance that IV drug use spreads other diseases as well.

There are clean needle exchanges available for anyone who uses IV drugs. This is to ensure that clean or new needles are being used to avoid infections. If you worry that someone you love has an addiction to an IV drug such as heroin or meth, you should look for the physical signs of addiction.

You may want to look around the house for other signs as well. As benzodiazepines are sedatives, some of their side effects overlap with the general signs of addiction. Persons using benzodiazepines may experience the following side effects, including:. There are many well-known brands of benzodiazepines, including Xanax, Diazepam, Valium, and Klonopin. These pharmaceuticals can be acquired in numerous ways. Some people have legitimate prescriptions but may have used deceptive means to get them from more than one doctor. The illegal circulation of benzodiazepines does not only happen on the street, it also happens when those holding a prescription who may not have an abuse problem share these drugs with others.

It is important to understand that even though benzodiazepines are legal, they may be used in a way that makes the use illegal. If a person is showing the signs of abuse, it is critical to get them help. There are three main categories of prescription medications: depressants, stimulants, and painrelievers.


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While the general signs of addiction described above provide some guidance, the following is a breakdown by drug category of signs of prescription drug abuse. Depressants have some characteristic physical side effects. As benzodiazepines are included in this category and have been discussed above, some physical signs of depressant drug use include poor judgment, unsteady walking, and rapid involuntary eye movements. Prescription stimulants include amphetamines and methylphenidate such as Ritalin and are the most commonly abused drugs in this category.

In addition to the behavioral and psychological signs of addiction described above, physical signs of prescription stimulant abuse include:. Prescription painkiller abuse has reached the magnitude of an epidemic in America. These drugs are usually opioids, a synthetic or partially synthetic drug that resembles opium in its compound structure. This sign goes beyond simply being tired. The person using drugs may have droopy eyes and appear drowsy, or fall asleep at all hours of the day.

This drug can impair thinking, and the constant focus on taking the drug can make it hard to meet usual obligations related to work, school, or family. This can include getting prescriptions from different doctors, filling prescriptions at different pharmacies, asking people with legitimate prescriptions to share or offering to buy pills from them, and buying on the street.

Some telltale signs include pinpoint pupils even when the light is dim , flushed face and neck, head-nodding, unnatural calmness, slurred speech, and sudden itching of the arms, legs, and stomach.

‘I Feel Trapped’: Photos Capture Experiences of People Who Use Drugs

Using slang terms or code-names for drugs can help keep the use hidden, as does staying away from loved ones. Recognizing the signs of prescription drug abuse is not only for trained professionals. Family and friends are the first line of attack against an advancing drug problem. One of the best responses to witnessing the signs is to talk to a qualified counselor about how to get help. Advanced Recovery Systems has over 30 years of treatment and referral experience. We have proven instrumental in the successful placement of our clients in expert rehab programs across our extensive network.

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