If you’re going to live in this day and age, you need to know a thing or two about drugs. You have to understand what they are, the effects they have on the human body and mind, and why people want to take them in the first place. The only way to protect yourself and your family from ever falling prey to drug abuse is to be as educated as possible.
One key facet of getting educated is to know the signs of drug abuse so that you can help out any friends or family that might be dealing with a drug habit. Here are ten signs of drug abuse.
1. Acting confused
At their simplest level, drugs affect the way the body and mind work. No matter what the drug is, it is going to change the way the user thinks and the way he acts. This will often take the form of the drug user acting confused or “out of it.”
2. Getting violent
Many drugs (even alcohol) can cause the user to get overly aggressive or even violent. One of the reasons for this is that many drugs take away a person’s ability to censor or control his own actions. His inhibitions are totally gone when he’s drunk or high, so he doesn’t see anything wrong with attacking someone that insulted him.
3. Changes in dietary habits
Another effect of several drugs is that the change the way the user eats. Marijuana, for example, causes the user to get hungry and he may then overeat (this is called the munchies.) Several other drugs decrease the appetite to the point that the user may look like she is starving herself simply because she never feels hungry anymore.
4. Acting overly secretive
When someone starts using an illegal drug, they don’t want others to find out. This means that the drug user will start acting overly secretive even in situations that don’t warrant it. When you see someone you know start getting way to secretive and unwilling to talk to you about seemingly normal parts of their life, that person may be hiding an increasing drug problem.
5. Dropping out of normal activities
Drug use changes your priorities. While you may have enjoyed sports and going out with friends in the past, the constant need to get high can make you forget about your old pastimes. When you see a family member showing several of the other signs and dropping hobbies or activities they used to enjoy, dig deeper to find out what is going on.
6. Frequently showing up late or missing activities altogether
Drug users frequently lose track of time because drugs make them so “out of it.” When someone is always showing up late or not even arriving at important functions, it may be due to drug use.
7. Not caring about one’s appearance
Another example of changing priorities is that drug users often stop caring about their appearance. Someone that frequently smokes weed may start looking like a slob, where the hardcore heroin user just doesn’t have time to think about what he’s wearing at all.
8. Increasing use of legal drugs
If someone seems to be using more and more pain pills, this could be a sign that they are actually abusing the pills to get high. The point of legitimate medicinal use is long past.
9. Tolerance to prescription drugs
Another side of this coin is that someone using a legal, prescribed drug can build up a tolerance to that drug and start taking unhealthy amounts of it in order to try to get the same result. This is a form of drug abuse.
10. Hostile response to talking about the issue
If you’re ever concerned or feel that a loved one may be using drugs, you have every right to talk to them about it. If you are met with hostility or an unwillingness to discuss the issue, this could mean you are definitely on the right track.
Medline Plus: Drug Dependence http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001522.htm