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Warning Signs - Drug Use

What are the signs of problem drug use?

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Anyone can experience problems related to illicit drug use or prescription drug misuse, no matter the age, race, gender or religion. Some individuals may be more prone to developing a problem with drug use, depending on many factors such as genetics.

If you or someone you know exhibits any of the warning signs below, it could signal a drug use problem. If any of these sound familiar, reach out to Your Life Iowa for free, confidential support before it goes too far.

  • 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

How do substance use disorders happen?

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 reason some are more affected by a certain amount of a drug while others are less affected is unknown. What we do know: depending on the person and the drug, any amount can cause the development of an addiction. The structural and chemical changes that occur in the brain cause the pleasurable feelings one experiences when under the influence of drugs. This is why people with a substance use disorder feel compelled to use more, even if it causes harm.

Below are some signs of a substance use disorder:

  • 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

If any of these sound familiar, reach out to Your Life Iowa for free, confidential support before it goes too far.

Want to find help on your own?

Your Life Iowa is always here to help you find resources near you. However, we understand that sometimes you’d like to look for help on your own. Our map will let you do just that.

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Additional Resources on Drugs