Is your loved one exhibiting signs of a drug addict? Learn more at White Sands Treatment Center

There are many times in life when we our intuition tells us something may be going on in the life of a family member or friend. If you believe someone you care for is struggling with an addiction problem, you may want to learn more about the signs of a drug addict. Often, there are clear-cut signs that drugs and/or alcohol has taken over someone’s life. At first, these signs may be difficult to detect. Some people are functioning addicts and can hide their addiction issues well. But over time, addiction seeps in to every area of one’s life and there is no way to hide it in the long run.

If you suspect a friend or family member needs detox and rehab, consider these 8 suggestions of how to identify a drug addict. If these signs are noticeable, speak with the addict’s family and/or friends about the potential for setting up an intervention. This could be the opportunity to get the addict into a treatment program and onto the road to recovery.

Signs of Drug Abuse

  • Some addict’s drug behavior is “discovered” because of their lack of personal hygiene. It isn’t uncommon for an addict to put off bathing, hair styling, shaving, etc. They may wear the same clothes for days, or dress in ill-fitting or wrinkled clothes. Hygiene may not be a tell-tale sign of a drug addict at first, as high functioning addicts typically keep themselves well dressed and clean.
  • Excessive fatigue may occur when an addict is coming down from his or her high. This may eventually interfere with an addict’s work and/or school schedule, or other responsibilities.
  • Borrowing or stealing money could be another sign of drug abuse. The addict may have utilized all of his or her savings, and while they may claim the money is for rent, etc. it will most likely be to score more drugs.
  • Excessive lying or being dishonest about their behavior and /or whereabouts is another classic sign of a drug addict. The addict will do anything to hide their behavior because of shame and the fear of rejection. In addition to lying, manipulation often occurs as well.
  • Depression can also be a manifestation when someone is addicted to drugs. Some drugs (and alcohol) are depressants, and can radically change the user’s brain chemicals. If a friend or family member who is typically full of life seems hopeless, sad or even suicidal, it is time to ask if drugs are being used.
  • Sudden or excessive legal issues is another sign regarding how to identify a drug addict. It isn’t uncommon for an addict to eventually get into trouble with the law, be it driving while under the influence, stealing, etc.
  • Physical signs of a drug addict can also be apparent. These may include coughing, sniffling, bloodshot eyes, loss of appetite, losing weight, dilated pupils, dark circles under the eyes, diarrhea, vomiting, shaking, etc.
  • Bizarre changes in behavior can also occur when someone is using drugs. This could include angry outbursts, irritability, screaming, or physical altercations.

These are just a few signs of drug abuse that may be noticeable to people around the addict. As mentioned, high functioning addicts can be more difficult to distinguish as they often continue to hold down a job, spend time with friends and family, and keep themselves well put together. Even a high functioning addict is in desperate need for rehab, even though he or she may not believe so. Drug use wreaks havoc on an addict’s body and mind. With detox and rehab, recovery is possible.

To learn more about planning an intervention for your loved one, or to learn additional signs of a drug addict, visit

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.