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The Signs of Drug Addiction


About 20 million Americans have used an illegal drug, such as marijuana, cocaine, crack, or heroin in the past month, making drug addiction extremely prevalent in this country. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), drug abuse also has staggering costs to society: $130 billion a year in lost productivity, $20 billion in healthcare costs and another $40 billion in the effort to stop drugs from entering the country.

Due staggering statistics such as these, it’s important to gain an understanding about the general signs of drug addiction so that you can get help and treatment for a family member or a friend if you think they are suffering from drug addiction.

There are three areas – physical, behavioral and psychological – where one can see the signs of drug addiction.

Physical Signs

• Eating less or more, resulting in weight gain or loss
• Pupils smaller or bigger than normal, or bloodshot eyes
• Loss of interest in appearance, or issues with cleanliness or grooming
• Frequent nosebleeds can be a sign that drugs are being snorted through the nose

Behavioral Signs

• Loss of interest in everyday activities or hobbies that once were enjoyed
• Financial problems such as not having enough money to pay bills, and even resorting to stealing from others
• Suddenly, for no apparent reason, changing of friends

Psychological Signs

• An overall change in personality, or sudden mood changes or irritability
• No longer having the drive to do certain things
• Lacking the ability to focus on topic at hand
• Withdrawing from normal, every day life
• Appearing anxious or paranoid for no apparent reason

Source: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADD)