Many people are surprised when others important to them fall under the influence of drugs. However, drug use can infiltrate all walks of life and people from a variety of socioeconomic statuses. Oftentimes, what happens to these individuals is that they become curious, take one or more drugs, experience a pleasurable sensation and then continue to chase that despite the fact that they have developed a tolerance, often quickly, and the ability to experience that initial sensation is no longer possible. Sadly, these steps can occur quite quickly, and the users themselves may not even realize it at the time.
Anything that you can do to help drug users is appreciated, even if it may not always seem so as addiction to drugs can change personalities and cause people to react in manners that you would not expect. But the sooner you can start getting help, the better the chances are that a full recovery will be the result. The best way to do so is by looking for some of these signs and symptoms of drug use and acting if you see any.
Decrease of Interest in Things That Used to Be Important
Although other factors could be in play here, a loved one showing much less interest in school, work or favorite hobbies and activities can be a sign of drug use. Regardless of the reason, suddenly not attending classes or going to work is a sign of something serious and should be investigated.
Sometimes, drug users start showing a complete lack of interest in being clean, grooming, what they wear and how they interact with others. A decrease in the level of empathy that they used to show can also be a result of drug use.
The reason for these changes is usually the result of drug addiction causing people to place drug use as high as eating, drinking and finding shelter as far as its importance to their lives.
Asking for Money or Just Taking It
A loved one suddenly asking for money on repeated occasions with implausible explanations of what it is going to be used for is possibly addicted to something. Additionally, if money or things start to go missing, that is another red flag that needs to be investigated.
Somebody who already has plenty of money but is spending more and more of it on something that is not easily discernible could also be a sign of it going towards drugs.
Sudden Mood Changes
If the individual starts having drastic mood swings, going from overly energetic and happy to lashing out at others and being irritable in quick succession, that is a concern and might indicate drug use. Of course, this is only valid if the person had been much more emotionally stable in the past.
Somebody becoming significantly more secretive about things such as restricting access to rooms that had been accessible or not being as open as to what is being done during free time could indicate drug use.
The physical changes that you may see if somebody is now using drugs can differ quite a bit depending on which ones are involved. However, the following signs are ones that should cause you to investigate the matter further if they are not otherwise explained: runny nose, nosebleeds, red eyes, constricted or dilated pupils, sweatiness, sudden weight gain or loss, bruises and needle marks.
Ecstasy use can result in greatly increased feelings of love, chills, sweating, cramping and an altered perception of touch, light and sound.
Heroin use often causes users to have constricted pupils, experience slow breathing and suppressed pain response, have unclear thoughts and suddenly fall asleep.
LSD use causes effects such as euphoria, hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, dilated pupils and skin discoloration.
Methamphetamine use oftentimes results in no appetite and the resulting weight loss, talkativeness, paranoia, shaking, aggression, mental confusion and hallucinations.
A variety of things may indicate drug use. However, the best thing that you can do is to simply be vigilant in noticing things about your loved ones that may have changed. Of course, these changes may be unrelated to drug use, but sometimes they are.