Tell-Tale Signs of Drug Addiction

Learn the tell-tale signs of Drug Addiction in order to help your loved one

There are many tell-tale signs of drug addiction that become obvious as the drugs begin to take hold of an addict’s life. Some addicts are more high-functioning than others and have learned how to hide or make excuses for their behavior and state of health. Parents, teachers, friends and employers can all learn what these signs are so that they are able to detect if there is a problem with addiction among their group.

If you suspect someone of drug addiction, you may be able to set-up an intervention to lead the addict into a recovery program to receive help. An addict does not have to be on skid row before he can recover from drug addiction, he just has to admit that he has a problem and needs help. Whether he admits to a problem or not, many addicts are placed in rehab programs by drug courts, parents and surrogates of juveniles. If you suspect that someone has a drug problem, here are some tell-tale signs of drug abuse and addiction that can help you identify the problem:

  1. If a person seems to be having more “off days” than not, there is obviously a problem present. Once sickness is ruled out you can consider drug abuse.
  2. An addict may exhibit slurred speech, impaired coordination, excessive talking, distraction, tremors or tics; body functions and behavior may appear to be out of the normal range on a regular basis.
  3. There may be a lack of personal grooming and bathing; the addict may wear dirty, wrinkled clothing and have an offensive body odor and strange smelling breath. High functioning addicts may be able to keep themselves bathed and well groomed.
  4. Constant fatigue and falling asleep in school or on the job is another tell-tale sign of drug addiction.
  5. Most addicts will show a poor attendance rate at school or at work and there may also be a significant drop in their performance level. High-functioning addicts may be able to hide these problems better, and many attend school or work regularly and perform well.
  6. Addicts will spend most of their time obtaining, using and recovering from drugs. They often withdraw from their family and friends to be alone or with other drug users. They will also be secretive about their whereabouts, not wanting non-drug users to know their business.
  7. Drug addicts are notorious for lying and manipulation. They are deceitful about their behavior and will try to cover up any tell-tale signs of drug abuse. An addict will also manipulate others by making excuses or accusing other people for their problems, to get them to do what the addict wants. This is the game they often play with enablers; because they know that the enabler will give in to their demands.
  8. Financial problems are usually common signs of drug abuse. Addicts may become unemployed and begin to struggle to pay their bills and keep their head above water. Many addicts are always asking to borrow money for one thing or another, but most often they want the money to buy more drugs. Addicts fear going through withdrawal and will become desperate to get their drugs. They may steal or start dealing drugs to keep up their own habit. High-functioning addicts are able to retain their job, pay their bills and still have money left over for their drugs.
  9. Some drugs cause irritability, anger and hostility and addicts who take these drugs may begin to have altercations with other people. You may often see the addict with bruises or physical injuries.
  10. Addicts may also become hyperactive and there will be noticeable signs in their behavior. They may have insomnia and become restless and talkative. They may also be easily distracted because their mind is racing and not able to focus on one thing for too long.
  11. Many drugs are depressants that may cause the addict to become sad and depressed. They may lose their zest for life and become hopeless and suicidal.
  12. Some drugs will put an addict into a stupor and the addict will appear to be lethargic and spaced-out.
  13. Many drug addicts will exhibit risky behavior that they would not normally perform. They will have difficulty making sound judgments and decisions.
  14. Drugs can also make an addict exhibit bizarre behavior and they may become paranoid and confused. The addict may be having hallucinations that will produce fear and anxiety.
  15. A drug addict will usually exhibit signs of sniffling, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach problems, dilated pupils, watery eyes, memory loss and a change in appetite.

High-functioning drug addict symptoms will vary because the high functioning addict can cover their drug abuse much better. They often have successful jobs and enjoy a good social life. They may attest to their addiction as being normal for their type of profession and they may blame their behavior on other things instead of drug abuse.

Interventions should be held for regular or high-functioning addicts. Anyone who continually exhibits the tell-tale signs of drug addiction needs the professional help of medical addiction specialists. A life free from drug abuse is possible and an addict can recover from drug addiction and lead a healthy, happy life.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.