What are the signs of problem drug use?
If you or someone you know shows any of the warning signs below, you or they may have developed a problem with using drugs.
- Memory loss or blackouts
- Accidents or injuries while under the influence of drugs
- Using drugs even though there are physical conditions that can be worsened by drug use
- Drug use interferes with work, school or other activities
- Drug use despite knowing he or she will be driving, boating or doing something else that would be risky while impaired
- Physical symptoms of shakiness, tremors, or slurred speech
- Changes in financial means
Problems with drug use can progress into addiction. Below are some common warning signs of an addiction:
- A person cannot control how much they use
- A person needs more of a drug to create a "high"
- A person may feel sick, shaky or restless when drug use is ceased, indicating withdrawal
- Even though there is harm to family, friends, education or career, the person still uses
- A person gives up other activities they enjoy so they can use
- A person tries to conceal their use and makes excuses
- A person would like to quit but despite repeated attempts, still uses drug/s
- Drug use becomes a focal point in their life
Substance use disorders develop when the brain is exposed to an amount of a drug that causes structural and chemical changes to occur in the brain. The amount of a drug and who will be affected by an amount of a drug is unknown. What we do know is that an undefined amount of drugs can cause changes in the brain. This means depending on the person and the drug, any amount can cause the development of an addition. The structural and chemical changes that occur in the brain cause the pleasurable feelings one experiences when under the influence of drugs; this makes you want to use more, even if it causes harm.
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