Drug Addiction

Warning Signs Of Drug Abuse And Addiction In Adults

According to the World Health Organization, around 31 million people worldwide suffer from substance use disorders. Sadly, because it is so easy to miss the signs of drug abuse and addiction in adults, many of these people do not get help soon enough. Alcohol alone is, directly and indirectly, responsible for over three million deaths a year worldwide. More than half of those who die from overdoses are younger than 50.

One of the things friends and family members fear the most is that their addicted loved one will become “part of a statistic”. By understanding the effects of drug abuse, and by recognizing the red flags of addiction, tragedy can be avoided.

What Is Substance Abuse?

What Is Substance Abuse

In order to understand the signs of addiction, it is important to first know what substance abuse is. In general terms, substance abuse is a pattern of behaviour in which someone uses any substance in a manner that is harmful. The substances included in this definition range from tobacco and prescription drugs to hallucinogens such as LSD. Even everyday substances like paint thinner and cleaning solutions can be subjected to substance abuse.

The 5th edition of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) lays out 11 criteria for substance use disorder. The more criteria that are present, the more severe the substance abuse is.

  • You take the substance in higher quantities, or for longer than intended
  • You have tried unsuccessfully to stop using the substance
  • You spend a lot of time obtaining or using the substance, or recovering from use
  • You experience cravings to use the substance
  • You renege on work, home or school commitments because of your substance use
  • You continue to use the substance in spite of it causing conflicts with loved ones
  • You lose interest in activities that were previously important to you
  • You continue to use the substance in spite of the potential dangers
  • You continue to use the substance in spite of negative effects on your physical or mental health
  • You need to use higher doses of the substance in order to achieve the desired effects
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms after not using the substance for a while

How Can I Tell If I Have A Substance Use Disorder?

The signs of drug abuse and addiction in adults can be easy to miss, especially early on. If you are using any substance, such as alcohol or prescription drugs, you should familiarize yourself with the signs and effects of drug abuse.

Addiction Affects Everyone Differently

It is important to remember this. We are not robots, we are human beings. Each of us comes with our own genetic makeup, circumstances, pre-existing conditions, needs, and challenges. What this means is that substance abuse can look and feel different depending on a wide range of factors, including:

  • Age, weight and biological sex
  • Physical and mental health conditions
  • Family history
  • Personal history, including abuse or trauma
  • How long the addiction has been going on
  • What substances are involved
  • How often substances are used, and in what doses
  • The presence or absence of a support network
  • Prior history of substance abuse disorders

While it is important to bear these differences in mind, there are some common signs of drug abuse that you can look out for.

Related article: Signs Of Alcohol Abuse, Dependence And Addiction

What Physical Signs Of Drug Abuse Should I Look Out For?

Signs Of Drug Abuse

The physical symptoms depend not only on the substance but on how it is ingested and how frequently it is used. Physical effects of drug abuse can be apparent after the first use, or they can build up over time.

Common physical effects include:

  • A marked increase or decrease in appetite
  • Weight gain or weight loss that cannot be attributed to other causes
  • Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia and night sweats
  • Collapsed veins and track marks on the body resulting from intravenous use
  • Sores and blisters around the nose and mouth from snorting substances
  • Respiratory complaints resulting from smoking substances
  • Digestive complaints, such as nausea, vomiting diarrhea and abdominal cramps
  • Trembling or shaking

What Are The Psychological Signs Of Drug Abuse?

Psychological Signs Of Drug Abuse

The biggest factors affecting the psychological effects of addiction include the substance, whether the addicted individual has a history of trauma or abuse, and whether there are coexisting mental illnesses.

The psychological signs of addiction include the following. These also mean you need professional addiction rehab:

  • You are unable to stop or reduce substance use in spite of having attempted to do so
  • You are aware that substance use is affecting your physical or mental health, but you continue to use anyway
  • Your initial response to a stressful situation, such as an argument or a bad day at work, is to take drugs in order to cope
  • You feel uneasy or anxious when you do not have access to the substance
  • You experience mood swings
  • Symptoms of existing mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, are exacerbated
  • You feel agitated and irritable, and you cannot avoid lashing out at the people around you

How Can Substance Abuse Change My Behaviour?

How Can Substance Abuse Change

When you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, behavioural changes are inevitable. The substance itself can cause you to behave in ways that you ordinarily wouldn’t, and you alter your behaviour to support the addiction.

Some behaviour changes that are signs of drug addiction include the following:

  • You engage in high-risk behaviour during or after substance use, such as driving a vehicle or stealing
  • You start to forego activities and interests that used to be important to you because you would rather use drugs or alcohol
  • You continue your substance use in spite of loved ones asking you to stop
  • In the case of alcohol, you purchase from several stores in rotation to avoid arousing the suspicion of any one of them
  • In the case of prescription drugs, you take more than the prescribed dose, or you use the medication for non-medical purposes
  • You visit multiple doctors hoping to score additional prescriptions
  • You decline social invitations if you find out that alcohol will not be served
  • You hide your substance use from other people
  • You start spending large amounts of time alone
  • You call in sick to work in order to use the substance

What Should I Do If I Show Warning Signs Of Substance Abuse?

Warning Signs Of Substance Abuse

There is a common misconception that people with addictions have to hit rock bottom before they can get help. This line of thinking can be dangerous: for some people, rock bottom means death.  And when the addiction involves certain substances, any delay in seeking help can result in permanent damage to the brain and central nervous system.

If you are showing signs that you need professional addiction treatment services, you should make those arrangements right away. Inpatient addiction treatment is not only for those with late-stage addictions. By getting help early, you can avoid some of the long-term damage and dangerous withdrawal symptoms that can accompany an established addiction.

At 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre, we believe that it is never too soon or too late for people with addictions to get the help they need. When you come to our facility, we will conduct a thorough assessment of your challenges, goals, and needs. Based on that, we will develop an addiction treatment program that is customized for you. 

Using a variety of treatment modalities ranging from traditional talk therapy to mindfulness coaching and life skills training, we will guide you through the process of overcoming your addiction and reclaiming your life. 

The effects of drug abuse can extend to all areas of your life, including your family, your job, and your health. But if you call us today, you can instead enjoy a positive, productive life that is free from addiction. Call us at 855-601-0555 to get started or to find out more.

Related article: Common Signs of Cocaine Abuse

Drug Addiction

The Relationship between Loneliness and Drug Addiction

The relationship between loneliness and drug addiction is one you may quickly notice. If you or a loved one suffers from an addiction, loneliness can worsen the situation.

We at Addictions CA know this. In this article, we will inform you of the connection between substance abuse and loneliness. We will also provide practical tips to help the situation.

How Loneliness Creeps In

How Loneliness Creeps In

Humans are generally social. For most of your daily activities, you are interacting with one person or the other. Because of this, you get a significant level of happiness from your interactions with other people.

Loneliness is a world apart from being alone. With being alone, it may be a personal decision. You may want to take a break from people. It may also be that there just aren’t many people around you at a particular time. This generally doesn’t affect health negatively. Interestingly, it may be healthy if you have alone time frequently.

However, loneliness occurs when you fail to connect with people. It is possible to be in relationships and have family around but still feel lonely. Loneliness often comes with the feeling of a void needing to be filled.

Feelings common in lonely people are anxiety, depression, rejection, invalidation and exclusion. Therefore, it comes as little surprise if you are lonely, and your level of happiness tanks. 

Sadly, a lot of people are lonely. Recent surveys reveal a high percentage of people experience feelings of loneliness. Another report, by Forbes, indicates the number of lonely people has quadrupled in the last 40 years.

The Vicious Cycle

The Vicious Cycle

Loneliness is such an unpleasant feeling. Very likely, you feel like you need something to take the sensation away. Why this is scary is because loneliness can drive you to drugs and alcohol. 

The drugs actually do take unpleasant feelings away. You may be in better spirits and generally feel good. Unfortunately, these feelings are only temporary. When they wear off, you are left feeling even worse.

This drives you further into the drugs. You feel you need another fix, this time stronger. Before you know it, you have developed an addiction.

Herein lies the danger. Addiction is known to cause relationships to break, making you disconnect with people. Furthermore, you may isolate yourself to hide a drug habit from your loved ones.

The resultant effect of this is even more loneliness. Loneliness then worsens the addiction, which then causes loneliness. A vicious cycle ensues. Loneliness causes addiction, and addiction results in loneliness and the problem becomes more difficult.

Your Treatment May Be At Risk Too

If you already checked into an addiction treatment service, loneliness can still mess up your recovery. It is normal to feel lonely during an addiction program. When you newly check into a rehab, you also newly check out from your old relationships. Fellow substance users or loved ones who enable your substance use are suddenly away from you.

Essentially, all your previous support systems are withdrawn from you. This leads to new feelings of loneliness and abandonment. There are drugs therapists may give to help with withdrawal symptoms. But there are no drugs for such a subjective feeling as loneliness. 

With such stronger feelings of loneliness, you are at a higher risk of relapsing during recovery. Addiction treatment services are available in Canada if you or a loved one is in such straits.

Loneliness and Addiction: How to Cope

You now know the relationship between loneliness and addiction. It is crucial to take steps to break out of such a cycle. Fighting loneliness helps you fight addiction in the process. One essential step in the journey to recovery is willingness. You must be willing to put a lot of effort into combatting this problem.

Here are tips you can take when dealing with loneliness and addiction.

Create a support system

The general hallmark of loneliness is not having people around you or not connecting with them. The first step in solving this is to get people close.

This step involves being open and vulnerable to close friends and beloved family members. They will be unable to provide the needed companionship if they don’t know what is going on.

Also, if you’re in addiction treatment therapy, you must make the best use of group therapy. Having people who face similar issues may make it easier to develop communal feelings. But if you continue to isolate yourself, you will not get the best from it.

Related article: The Importance Of Nutrition During Drug Addiction Recovery

Restore damaged relationships

Restore damaged relationships

Holding on to hurt from your relationships is also a straight ticket to loneliness. The presence of a chasm between you and those you hold dear will disturb your healing.

With the relationship between loneliness and addiction, chances are you’ve pushed your loved ones away. With the path of recovery, you’re on, you can fix this.

Restart those relationships. Give them a new life with new levels of openness and understanding. This significantly helps to strengthen the feelings of being part of a community. Do this, and you will stave those lonely feelings away.

End the unhealthy ones

It will be a grave mistake to assume all relationships are right for you. As much as you’re looking for a connection with people, those connections must be healthy for you.

Believe it or not, some might not support your addiction recovery journey. Some others might have contributed to the addiction and loneliness one way or the other. All these make up negative influences. If they aren’t going to become favourable for your sake, it’s best to end them.

Distract yourself

Distract yourself

The peculiar relationship between loneliness and addiction may leave you lethargic and disinterested in activities. Now, to help recovery, this will be a great time to start things up again.

Sign up for those music lessons you’ve been eyeing. Go on that trip. Learn to dance. Essentially, it is much helpful to do things that expose you to other parts of life. 

Also, such activities help you meet people with similar interests. They can form the basis for future friendships and relationships. These new activities have immense benefits to your mood and wellbeing. This, together with the appropriate recovery programs, improve your healing. You will enjoy being in your skin more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Loneliness and Addiction

In this section, we will answer pointed questions you have about loneliness.

I feel lonely many times. What can I do?

Loneliness is not entirely unusual. It only means you desire human contact. It is certainly nothing to blame yourself for.

If you have this feeling for a long time, it may become a problem. The first thing to do is to think about the situation. If you can identify why you feel lonely, you will be able to stop it.

Another thing you can do is look after yourself. By taking care of your mind and body, you are in a higher state of wellbeing. Hence, you will feel better and more confident. Besides this, you can also share your time by volunteering in local organizations. Participating in community and neighbourhood programs will also help stave off the lonely feelings.

Will I ever stop feeling so alone?

Yes, you can. You just have to be intentional about it. Once you figure out the cause, you can begin to address it.

You may need to institute a few changes in your life. First is to not dwell on negatives for too long. This frees your mind to be able to accept change.

Will I ever stop feeling so alone

What is the relationship between loneliness and addiction?

Addiction is a compulsive behaviour. You seek out to do things with minimal control. Many times, you also don’t want anyone else to know of it. This makes you crave alone time. You are willing to cut your friends and family off. All you can think of is the next fix. 

This is the relationship between loneliness and addiction. Your addiction creates and then feeds the resulting loneliness. What’s worse? The loneliness also drives you to drugs, fueling your addiction. It makes it harder to get out.

What can I do to help my recovery?

Addiction recovery hinges on four things: motivation, humility, restoration and perseverance. Motivation perhaps is the most important. Without it, the others may not come to play.

Think about why you want to get better. It may be you not feeling great physically and mentally. It may be the bad decisions your addiction has caused you to make. As long as you’re motivated to change, you’ll be willing to do what it takes.

Once you’re motivated, you have to be humble. Humility means subjecting yourself to all you are to do in therapy. It also means actively participating in whatever your caregivers deem necessary.

Restoration involves mending your broken relationships. You need people to be on your side for recovery. You should repair frayed relationships with friends and family.

Perseverance is a sustained effort. There will come a time where you feel you may be better off with the addiction. This can come because of the pain and discomfort of addiction treatment.

Here, you need to stay tough mentally. You must push yourself to continue with the program. It will help if you also believe your actions will pay off at the end of the day. Do this, and your recovery will come much faster.


Understanding the relationship between loneliness and addiction is helpful. You know what can worsen your addiction. You will also be able to take the right steps to prevent it.

At 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre, we offer addiction treatment services that cut across Canada and the USA.  We are versatile and have solid knowledge in treating addiction to different substances. Contact us today, let’s come up with a custom treatment plan for you.

Related article: Tips to Help You Prevent a Prescription Drug Addiction

Drug Addiction

The Importance Of Nutrition During Drug Addiction Recovery

We cannot overemphasize the importance of nutrition during addiction recovery. When your body is healthy, it is easier for your mind to flourish. Addiction recovery is a long road that is not always easy to travel. 

Throughout the process and beyond, you have to spend large parts of each day looking deep into yourself for difficult answers. At the same time, you have to fight cravings and try to mend your relationships. It is a process that can take a toll not only on your mind but on your body. 

By the time you enter an addiction treatment program, your body may be feeling broken. Addiction can affect you physically in many ways:

  • The substance you are using can damage various organs in your body, including your stomach, liver and kidneys
  • Loss of appetite is a side effect of many substances of abuse
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are common withdrawal symptoms that can lead to nutritional deficiencies
  • Many people with addictions prioritize drugs over food when it comes to their spending, resulting in them simply not being able to afford to eat
  • Some people with addictions also suffer from eating disorders

The role of nutrition during addiction recovery is critical. Not only do you need to strengthen your body. Also, you need to learn healthy habits that will endure when your treatment program comes to an end.

Water Is Part Of Nutrition

Water Is Part Of Nutrition

Nutrition is not only about what to eat during addiction treatment. Eating all of the right foods means very little if this is not paired with good hydration. 

Water plays a critical role in delivering nutrients to your cells so your organs can function effectively.

Hydration During Detox

Hydration is especially important during the detox phase. This is when the drugs you have been using are working their way out of your system. Your body needs water to flush out toxins, and since vomiting and diarrhea are common withdrawal side effects, water may already be in short supply. 

One of the reasons most experts recommend medical detox is that it allows for supervision by medical professionals who can ensure that you are receiving adequate hydration.

Hydration During Rehab

Drinking enough water is a key part of acquiring or maintaining a state of physical health. Here are some reasons why it is so important:

  • It supports a healthy nutrition plan
  • It strengthens your immune system – something that may have taken a hammering during your phase of active addiction
  • It improves your sleep quality and cognitive abilities, which in turn can result in a better therapeutic experience

What To Eat During Addiction Treatment

What To Eat During Addiction Treatment

Now that we know the importance of nutrition during addiction recovery, what does a good nutrition plan actually look like?

We’ll get into some healthy eating tips in a moment. But first, we need to look at which nutrients the body needs not only to stay alive but to thrive. A well-balanced diet includes the right balance of macronutrients and micronutrients.

Related article: The Advantages of a Growth Mindset for Addiction Recovery

The importance of macronutrients during addiction recovery

Macronutrients are our sources of protein, fat and carbohydrates. We use these for energy; they are where our calories come from.


Protein is critical at any time when the body is in a vulnerable state. It heals the body by repairing damaged cells. It also helps keep your blood sugar stable, which helps reduce cravings.

Where you will find it: seafood, chicken, red meat, eggs, nuts, dairy


The body cannot produce fat on its own, so healthy fat is an essential part of nutrition. One of its roles is to protect your organs. 

Many people with addictions lose their will or ability to eat. In order to survive, the body draws on the stores of fact that are protecting the organs, leaving them vulnerable to damage and infection. A primary role of nutrition during addiction recovery is to replenish those stores.

Where you will find it: eggs, fish, seeds, nuts, avocado, dairy


Complex carbohydrates help your body digest everything else you are eating. Also, they help regulate serotonin levels, which improves your ability to be calm. The fibres in complex carbohydrates help with digestion and make it easier for the body to retain nutrients.

Where you will find it: whole grains, vegetables, fruit


While macronutrients play a key role in keeping us alive, micronutrients help the cells in our bodies function more effectively. They include the all-important vitamins and minerals. 

When determining what to eat during addiction treatment, it is important to remember that some substances affect the body’s ability to absorb micronutrients. Your nutrition plan will, therefore, need to consider how you can replenish depleted micronutrient levels and maintain healthy levels.


The use of some substances, such as heroin, can result in the loss of bone density, especially in women. Calcium helps keep the bones and teeth strong. Also, it helps the nervous system function well.

Where you will find it: dairy, leafy greens, nuts, tofu

Vitamin B

There are several forms of vitamin B. Collectively they help with the healthy functioning of the brain and central nervous system. Also, they boost the production of red blood cells, energy, proper digestion and overall cell health.

Where you will find it: leafy greens, whole grains, meat

Vitamin D

Methamphetamine can destroy the brain’s ability to produce dopamine – the natural chemical that makes us feel good. This is where the importance of nutrition during addiction recovery comes in. Vitamin D can reverse some of this damage. 

This is especially pertinent in Canada and part of the United States, where vitamin D deficiency is very common.

Where you will find it: natural sunlight, egg yolks, fatty fish

Tips To Eat Healthy During Addiction Treatment

Tips To Eat Healthy During Addiction Treatment

If you are in an inpatient addiction treatment program, you may be assessed by a nutritionist. Then, an expert will advise you on the specific nutrition plan to follow in order to heal and derive maximum benefit from your treatment. 

The recommendations you receive will be highly individualized. You see, the role of nutrition during addiction recovery varies from one person to the next based on 

  • Individual circumstances
  • Substances they have used
  • What their withdrawal experience was like
  • What medical conditions they may have.

However, there are some general guidelines that everyone can follow:

  • Avoid processed and refined foods such as fast foods and TV dinners
  • Eat a varied diet that includes a wide selection of vegetables
  • Ensure that vegetables are raw or lightly steamed so that nutrients are not cooked out of them
  • Eat whole, unprocessed food whenever possible
  • If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, ensure that you get proteins from a variety of plant-based sources
  • Ensure proper hydration at all times, especially in hot weather and during periods of intense physical activity
  • Eat until you feel full: Don’t feel compelled to finish everything on your plate

The Nutritional Benefits Of Inpatient Rehab

The Nutritional Benefits Of Inpatient Rehab

One of the biggest benefits of an inpatient addiction treatment and rehab program is you don’t have to worry about any of your survival needs. Everything is taken care of, from your therapy and exercise programs to your food and shelter. 

At 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre, we understand the importance of nutrition during addiction recovery. We do not just feed you in order to keep you alive. Our dieticians provide nutritious meals toward helping you heal physically and mentally.

Not only do we provide healthy meals that are an integral part of our holistic addiction treatment programs. We will teach you about nutrition, show you which foods are best for you, and help you develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. To find out more or to get started, call us at 855-601-0555.

Related article: The Advantages Of Music Therapy In Addiction Recovery

Drug Addiction

Drug Abuse and Addictions: Warning Signs To Look Out For

Alcohol and drug addiction come in many forms. Consequently, it means that the signs of drug abuse and addiction differ from person to person. It is the lonely teenager smoking marijuana in order to cope with the anguish of being bullied. It is the survivor of sexual assault who uses drugs to escape into a world without pain. It is the high-level executive whose cocaine provides the energy rush needed to meet a crushing deadline. It is the war veteran who uses opioids for chronic pain, the student using “uppers” to get through exams, the bereaved parent who seeks comfort in bottles of wine.

Although we have pictures in our minds of what we think the signs and symptoms addiction looks like, there is no way to tell. The spectre of addiction could even be hiding within your own family – possibly even within you – and you may not realize it. And without recognizing the signs and symptoms of addiction, people with addictions are unable to seek or accept help.

The Difference Between Drug Abuse And Drug Addiction

Drug Abuse vs Drug Addiction

If drug abuse and addiction can lurk so secretively in our lives, how is it possible to tell whether or not it is there?

The first step is to understand that although many people use the terms “drug abuse” and “drug addiction” interchangeably, there is a difference.

Drug Abuse

Drug abuse is either the use of an illicit substance such as heroin, or the misuse of a legal substance such as alcohol. Examples of drug abuse include the following:

  • Drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol (generally, eight units per week for adult biological females, and fifteen units per week for adult biological males)
  • Using any illegal street drug, such as cocaine or heroin
  • Using a prescription medication intended for someone else
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose of a prescription medication
  • Using prescription medication for a purpose other than that for which it was intended
  • Ingesting a household substance not meant for human consumption

Drug abuse can happen over any period of time. Furthermore, the signs of drug abuse are far easier to spot. A single instance of substance use can be classified as drug abuse. For some people, drug abuse is a pattern of substance use over time.

Drug Addiction

For most addicts, addiction is the step that follows drug abuse. What happens is that the individual develops a tolerance for the substance, meaning that they have to use higher doses in order to achieve the same effects. 

Ultimately, the body and mind become dependent on the substance. Hence, it means they cannot function without it, and in some cases, withdrawal from the drug can have life-threatening consequences. This is without a doubt one of the common signs of drug addiction.

Knowing When Your Substance Use Is A Problem

when using substances is too much

Knowing when your use of substances is too much is not an exact science. Although the signs of addiction may be an indicator, there are varying factors.

Everyone is different, and the amount of anything that you ingest, whether it is food or alcohol, depends on your age, how much you weigh, whether or not you have any medical conditions, and other factors.

Bearing in mind these individual factors, there are some general signs that can be an indicator of whether you or a loved one are entering the territory of drug abuse:

  • You are using an illegal substance in any quantity
  • You are using alcohol in any quantity and you are underage – the legal age of alcohol use may vary depending on where you are
  • You are not using prescription medication in accordance with your doctor’s instructions, or you are using someone else’s medication
  • You have developed an illness or disability as a result of prolonged drug use
  • You drug use results in you engaging in potentially risky behaviour without regard for the dangers
  • Your close friends and family members have approached you about your use of drugs or alcohol
  • You have dipped into money intended for bills or living expenses in order to buy drugs or alcohol
  • Your substance use has led to you losing interest in pursuits that were previously important to you
  • You have tried unsuccessfully to stop using the drugs or alcohol

Physical Signs Of Drug Abuse

Physical health is often the first thing to be affected, and yet it can be the last thing to be noticed. Many of the physical signs of addiction can also be caused by other conditions. 

However, certain combinations of signs and symptoms can be red flags that there is a substance abuse problem going on:

  • Bloodshot eyes, or pupils that are unusually large or small
  • Rapid weight gain or weight loss that cannot be attributed to another cause
  • Abrupt change to sleeping patterns reflected as insomnia, excessive sleep, or frequent waking
  • Impaired coordination
  • Crusted or flaking skin around the nose and mouth
  • Skin redness or track marks that could result from needles
  • Excessive coughing in the absence of illness or allergies
  • Frequent nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • A general feeling or look of being “run down”
  • Unusual body odours

Related article: The Connection Between Substance Abuse And Mental Health

Mental/Cognitive Signs Of Drug Abuse

While some substances are used primarily for their physical effects, such as painkillers, people generally use drugs and alcohol because of how it makes them feel. For example, cocaine creates a boost of energy and confidence, while opioids generate a rush of euphoria and relaxation.

Any substance used in excess can have a significant impact on mental health and cognitive functioning. The effects, which vary depending on individual factors, may include the following:

  • Increased intensity of depression and anxiety symptoms
  • Agitation, irritability and mood swings
  • Impaired memory
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Paranoia

Behavioural/Social Signs Of Drug Abuse

It is no surprise that even mild drug use can lead to behavioural changes. How many times have you seen someone have a single glass of wine and suddenly become uncharacteristically talkative or aggressive? Most people consume alcohol in a way that their behaviour is only altered while they are impaired. 

The morning after a good party, most of us might have a headache, but our behaviour is back to normal. Someone who requires substance addiction treatment may show some behavioural and social signs and symptoms that persist even when they are not actively using the drug. 

Examples of these signs include the following:

  • An obsessive need for privacy and a tendency to spend a lot of time alone
  • Aggressive behaviour that wasn’t there before
  • Loss of interest in activities that used to be important
  • Destruction of property
  • Lack of concern for close friends and family members
  • A sudden tendency to change or cancel plans
  • Secrecy with regard to finances
  • A tendency to be argumentative and to say hurtful things
  • Absenteeism from work or school
  • Failure to take care of family obligations
  • Involvement in criminal activity
  • Disregard for personal hygiene and grooming

The Dangers Of Drug Abuse And Addiction

The more we learn about drug addiction, the more dangerous it seems to become. This is because the drugs themselves are constantly evolving: new powerful strains of marijuana are being created every day. Producers of illegal drugs are finding ways to make substances stronger, and in some cases, more lethal. Drug dealers are combining their substances with products that are toxic to humans, like bath salts and chalk.

This results in a landscape of drugs that can have unpredictable effects. This can pose a problem not only to the user, who may not be aware of exactly how their drug is made up but to first responders, who may not have all of the information they need to effectively treat an overdose. What this means is that the risk of death from accidental and intentional overdoses is a lot higher than it used to be.

Adding to the complication is the fact that a lot of people use more than one substance. Someone who takes benzodiazepines may also be addicted to alcohol. Someone who is addicted to prescription opioids may supplement their drugs with heroin. Any two drugs used in combination can result in the effects of each drug being compounded, which again, can lead to medical complications.

If the signs and symptoms of drug addiction are not caught quickly, the situation may spiral into intense physical complications. Some of the dangers of extended drug use include the following:

  • Physical and psychological dependence, which can result in potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
  • Increased risk of stroke or heart attack
  • Collapsed veins from intravenous drug use
  • Breathing that is too fast or too slow
  • Accidental injury resulting from decreased regard for danger
  • Increased risk of HIV and hepatitis from shared needles
  • Suicidal thoughts and actions
  • Changes to brain chemistry, resulting in permanent cognitive declines
  • Seizures
  • Violent behaviour, leading to the breakup of relationships and the removal of children from the home
  • Job loss

Drug Abuse And Addiction Treatment

Drug Abuse And Addiction Treatment

Many people say that in order for someone with an addiction to get the help they need, they have to first hit rock bottom. The problem is that for many people, “rock bottom” means death or permanent disability. The truth is that anyone with a substance abuse problem can and should get help – the sooner the better.

Addiction can have a catastrophic effect on your life and the lives of those around you. By getting the help you need, you can stop the damage and start the process of healing yourself and mending your relationships with the people you love. Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: Beating the Holiday Blues: How to Avoid Depression