What are the signs that someone is addicted to drugs?

What are the signs that someone is addicted to drugs?

Sadly, drug use has been significantly increasing in recent years. According to the World Drug Report 2022, around 284 million people aged 15-64 used drugs worldwide in 2020, a 26 per cent increase over the previous decade.

The report revealed that young people are using more drugs too, so this is an issue that’s just going to keep growing. It also showed that cannabis legalization has increased daily cannabis use and this has led to increases in people with psychiatric disorders, suicides and hospitalizations, associated to its use.

This is a very concerning trend, as increased drug use in society leads to the increase of drug addiction. Sadly, this is something we see first-hand at our private rehabilitation centre.

Drug addiction can destroy all areas of your life and even end your life prematurely and so we’re passionate about educating people about the dangers of drugs and helping family and friends to spot the signs and give their loved ones the help that they need.

What drugs are used and abused the most?

The charity Drug Wise UK identifies caffeine as our favourite drug, followed by alcohol and nicotine. When talking about illegal drugs, the most widely used drug is cannabis, followed by cocaine and ecstasy.

If you’re educating yourself about drug use, it’s important to be aware that some drugs are more addictive than others. All drugs can cause harm, but the more addictive they are, the bigger the problems they can create.

The top five most addictive drugs are; Heroin, Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, Alcohol and Nicotine. However, people also commonly get addicted to prescription drugs such as painkillers, methamphetamine, barbiturates and cannabis.

Signs of drug use to look out for

As there are a wide range of drugs in common use, they also have a wide range of symptoms and signs, but here are some common warning signs that your loved one is using drugs.

  • Their eyes are bloodshot or their pupils look different than normal
  • They seem different, are eating and sleeping in an unusual way and you notice changes to their appearance
  • Their attendance or performance at work or school drops
  • The are experiencing mood swings, personality changes or paranoia
  • They are being secretive or suspicious
  • They are taking more risks than normal
  • They are experiencing shakes, tremors or slurred speech
  • They are having financial problems, or asking people for money
  • They have changed their social group or activities
  • They start to have trouble performing normal daily tasks and can neglect personal hygiene

Some people are able to use drugs recreationally and not get addicted, but many people quickly lose control and become unable to stop using. This is where things can get really dangerous and they need help.

How to broach the subject of drug use

If you become suspicious that your child, partner, or friend is using drugs, one of the best things you can do is to talk to them. Honest conversations and listening to what they are going through opens the channels of communication and allows them to reach out for help if they feel they need it.

Charity Change Grow Live has some excellent advice on how to approach the conversation about someone’s drug use. This includes choosing a calm place that both of you know and feel comfortable in and finding a moment where you both have the space and time to chat. They advise starting by explaining your concerns and illustrating those concerns with specific moments which have triggered them. Then to ask open questions and listen carefully to their responses, finally asking them what they feel next steps should be.     

Getting the help they need

Once you’ve observed their behaviour and had an honest conversation, you need to encourage them to acknowledge they have a problem and get the help that they clearly need. This may start with a visit to their GP, or you could try drug counselling. Alternatively, a support group such as Narcotics Anonymous could be the right route for them to start their recovery journey.

If the addiction has progressed to the point that they are unable to stop and experience withdrawal symptoms if they aren’t able to take the substance, then they might require an inpatient rehabilitation centre to give them a safe place to stop using and have professional supervision through the withdrawal process. 

Our luxury drug rehab is located in Marbella, Spain and boasts highly qualified and experienced addiction specialists and counsellors, with the skills to help you to overcome your addiction. It is a safe space, away from temptations and substances, where you can 100% concentrate on yourself and beating addiction for good.

We help you to understand why you started taking drugs in the first place and equip you with the tools to stay clean once you leave rehab. Intensive therapy combined with nourishing food and activities to promote health and wellness is all designed to rebuild your mental and physical strength and show you how much better you can feel without drugs. This is a powerful combination which has long lasting results. 

If you’re struggling with drug addiction, please read our article on How to Stop Taking Drugs, contact us for support, or speak to someone you trust. There’s lots of help out there and a happy and full life free from drugs awaits you.