Drug abuse so often leads to drug addiction and the effects that this can have on the individual, their family and their friends can be extremely damaging and long lasting. Recognising the signs of drug abuse in a loved one can help prevent addiction.
- Drastic changes in mood and behaviour – extreme highs and lows, periods of depression, irritability, constant moods changes, excessive energy and an inability to sleep, could indicate a problem.
- Paraphernalia – pay attention to possible drug equipment such as pipes, syringes, smoking devices and medicine bottles.
- Withdrawal from friends and family – hobbies and activities with friends and family that were once important may now be neglected.
- Grooming and clothing – drugs often affect a person’s hygiene as drugs consume lifestyle. Also, look out for an unusual change in clothing (i.e. long sleeved shirts to cover possible track marks).
- Health issues – drugs have a serious impact on health. Depending on how it is consumed, a user may be affected by sudden weight loss or gain, glassed-over eyes, sinus infections, nosebleeds, running nose, dental problems and track marks. Mental health can also be affected with confusion, disorientation, psychosis, and hallucinations all common.