What Are the Signs Of Someone Addicted To Drugs?

What Are the Signs Of Someone Addicted To Drugs

The unfortunate reality is that almost all of us have some touchpoint with addiction these days. Be it direct personal experience or that of a friend, family member or a more distant acquaintance, we all know someone or know of someone that’s been pulled in by it.

Across every walk of life, addiction can rear its ugly head and in that sense, substance abuse doesn’t discriminate.

As recently as 2017, 11.2% of people aged 12 and up had used an illicit drug in the past month.

Over 760,000 have died from a drug overdose since 1999 and 2 out of 3 deaths from overdose in 2018 alone involved an opioid.

While opioids are of course the clear and present danger, addiction isn’t limited to them. From benzos to meth to cocaine, many illicit and legal substances pose a risk across the board.

It’s not just the health crisis that we have to be aware of with respect to drugs, though that should always be the number 1 concern, there’s also a profound economic impact. Between illicit drugs and prescription opioids, it was estimated that the annual cost related to crime, lost work productivity and health was roughly $271.5 billion. When you add alcohol, that number balloons to $520.5 billion.

The silver lining to this dark, dark cloud is that today, more than ever, there are robust treatment options available for those suffering from addiction. 

What Is an Addiction to Drugs?

Before getting into the signs and symptoms of addiction, we need to understand what exactly it is.

For that, we can go to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), who defines it as such, “Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.”

What Are the Signs That Someone Is Abusing Drugs?

The signs of someone addicted to drugs are plentiful and keeping an eye out for them can help stave off the worst parts of addiction and save a life. Substance abuse presents itself in the 3 key ways; physically, psychologically and behaviorally, here’s what to look for:

Behavioral Signs of Addiction

  • Becoming overly secretive about what they’re doing and their whereabouts
  • Increasingly disregarding responsibilities like school, work and family obligations
  • Inadequate and weak performance at school or work
  • No interest in activities and hobbies they once enjoyed
  • Suddenly get a new set of dubious and even suspicious friends 
  • Participating in high-risk behavior while under the influence
  • Inability to stop or cut back on drugs, even when trying
  • Borrowing or stealing to get drugs
  • General financial stress

Psychological Signs of Addiction

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Irritability and outbursts
  • Shifts in attitude and personality
  • Unmotivated and lethargic

Physical Signs of Addiction

  • Abrupt weight loss and general lack of appetite or, conversely, weight gain
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Interrupted or drastically changed sleep patterns and insomnia
  • Impaired speech and coordination
  • A general worsening of appearance and a lack of attention and neglect for personal grooming and hygiene

How to Get Someone Help With an Addiction

If you see any of the above signs that someone is abusing drugs it’s imperative to act swiftly. That doesn’t necessarily mean confronting them immediately though as it’s a very delicate and fragile thing. The last thing you want them to feel is that you’re attacking them which could end up pushing them further away.

At Addiction Treatment Solutions we understand how precarious that place can be both for the user as well as the family and friends and have spent years developing a network of leading treatment facility partners. Give us a call and let’s talk through the next step together because nothing is more important than getting your loved one onto the path of recovery.


The Dangers Of Benzodiazepines

dangers of benzos

As far as prescription drugs go, benzodiazepines (benzos for short) are among the most prescribed in the United States with roughly 12.5% of adults using them, a number which translates to about 30.5 million people. In other words, 1 in 8 Americans is on these, which is an increase from previous reports.

Before getting into the potential dangers of benzos and their misuse, Addiction Treatment Solutions wants to dive into a little primer of what they are.


What Are Benzodiazepines

First things first, benzodiazepines are, broadly speaking, central nervous system depressants. The main categories that it breaks down into are; tranquilizers, sedatives and hypnotics and the general effect they have is to slow down nerve activity throughout the brain. Given that, benzos have a sedative effect on the mind and body.

While you may not be familiar with the medical term benzodiazepine, you’ll certainly recognize some of the most well-known names that are prescribed; Ambien, Versed, Xanax, Ativan and Valium.


Why Are They Prescribed

Those aforementioned effects are harnessed to tackle a wide range of issues for those who are prescribed something from this family of drugs. Benzodiazepines are often used to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia & sleep disorders as well as alcohol withdrawal. Additionally, they help with controlling seizures and muscle spasms and relaxation.


dangers of benzos


Risks of Benzodiazepines

For starters, benzos are highly addictive, that can’t be stressed enough. While they do serve a very real and necessary function, it’s extremely easy to become dependent on them. It’s advised to take these for the absolute shortest amount of time required. 

To that end, of the overall usage, it’s estimated that 17% of the use of benzodiazepines was misuse.

Benzos become even more problematic when mixed with alcohol, a particularly dangerous combination as the effects of both are enhanced and seeing as how benzodiazepine and alcohol each work to depress the central nervous system, the results can be catastrophic.

Some warning signs to keep an eye out for if you’re concerned that you or someone you know may be getting into usage that would be problematic or abusive are;

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Unsteady walking
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with memory
  • Slowed breathing


How To Get Help With A Benzo Addiction

There’s a natural tendency to view prescription drugs as somehow inherently “safer” but as evidenced by the widespread opioid epidemic we’ve been facing over the years, just because something is prescribed doesn’t mean it’s not addictive. It certainly doesn’t mean something can’t be abused. The dangers of benzodiazepines are its use can drift into abuse very quickly with this class of drug.

Just like any addiction, it’s vital to seek outside help. Trying to kick a substance that sank its hooks in so deep and so quickly is beyond tough to do on your own.

The first step in any treatment program is to detox the patient and get them fully off from benzos. This will likely lead to a host of withdrawal symptoms, like;


  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Stomach problems
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Visual problems


  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Depersonalization
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions

After flushing your system, the rest of your recovery and rehabilitation from benzos can begin in earnest. Ordinarily, this would be in the form of inpatient treatment and eventually transitioning back to your life, clean and sober.


Dangers of Benzodiazepines 

Of course, this is a rather oversimplified view of the scope of what goes into treating an addiction to a drug like this. At Addiction Treatment Solutions, we offer a wealth of knowledge and expert guidance in getting you or the person in your life you know to be struggling with benzos the help you need and deserve. Reach out to us today to learn more about what options are out there.

Reaching out for Help When With Addiction

One of the hardest parts of overcoming addiction can be reaching out for help. Many people experiencing addiction don’t know how to tell others about their struggles; there are numerous reasons for this.

Some people are embarrassed to tell loved ones about the problems they’re having. Others are in denial about the severity of their problem. Some just don’t know how to articulate how they’re feeling.  Regardless of how difficult it is, getting help for addiction is an essential first step in recovery.

Importance of Getting Help Right Away

It’s never a good idea to procrastinate from seeking help for addiction as it’s a progressive disease. Drug addiction and substance abuse tend to snowball and become more significant and problematic as time goes on. No one wakes up one day randomly and is a full-blown alcoholic or drug addict. The sooner you get help, the sooner you’ll get your life back. 

Recognizing Signs That You Need Help

In order to get help with your addiction, you first have to establish that you are suffering from substance abuse. Below are four common signs of addiction to look out for in yourself: 

  • Obsessive thoughts about drugs or alcohol
  • Lost interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Declining health
  • Difficulty sustaining relationships with friends or family

Of course the list above is not an exhaustive list of signs of addiction. Substance abuse can take shape in many forms depending on the severity of your addiction and types of substances you’re abusing. Always consult a healthcare professional when seeking help for your physical and mental health. A good rule of thumb with addiction though is: if you have to question whether or not you have a substance abuse issue, you probably do. 

Tips for Getting Help

Once you have recognized that you do indeed suffer from addiction and substance abuse, the next step to getting better is seeking addiction treatment. Asking for the help you need can provide you with a great deal of relief. It will also get the most important people in your life on board in efforts to overcome the problem.

So, how do you get help with addiction? 

Identify the best person to talk to

Deciding who the best person to confide in about an addiction problems is important. You want to discuss substance abuse issues and the need for addiction treatment with someone who’s going to be supportive and positive. 

Write a letter

A lot of people dealing with drug abuse struggle to talk about their situation openly. You might at first want to bring the issue up with a loved one, but then you might find yourself repeatedly backing down.

If this is the case, consider the benefits of writing about your current struggle in a letter. Writing a letter gives you the chance to make sure that you’ve included all the details you need to before you send out this letter to seek help. If you find writing easier than talking about your drug addiction problem, this might be the best way to ask for help. 

Let your healthcare provider know

In addition to talking about what you’re going through with loved ones, you should also discuss addiction with a doctor. Your doctor needs to know if you’ve been consuming excessive amounts of drugs or alcohol lately.

Your doctor should also be aware of any conditions you’re suffering from that could be aggravated by substance abuse. He or she can, therefore, recommend any precautions you need to take to protect your health during this difficult time. 

Explore resources

There are fortunately many addiction resources available to help those who are dealing with substance abuse. Explore available resources on the Internet and at your doctor’s office. Take advantage of resources like counseling so that you take a proactive approach to recovery.

Take Advantage of Addiction Treatment Solutions

Having someone to talk to is important in overcoming addiction. Recovery resources like True Help Network are extremely valuable. By giving us a call, you’ll be connected with an addiction specialist who can help you get started on your recovery journey. Give us a call today to see how we can help you find the best possible addiction treatment! 

Cocaine Addiction: A Guide To Quitting

Overcoming an addiction to any substance isn’t easy by any means and can be a different experience for everyone. Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the substance you’re addicted to, some people require long term inpatient treatment, and some people can find success in sobriety by going to only outpatient treatment. If you or a loved one are starting down the path of addiction treatment for cocaine, keep reading for some insight on what you’ll be going through.

But First, What is Cocaine?

Cocaine, also referred to as “coke”, is an illegal drug that is the second-most popular recreational drug in the world after cannabis. Derived from coca leaves, the drug is most commonly used in powder or crystal form and can cause short-lived high energy, intense joy, and decrease feelings of pain. It is also highly addictive, and many users report feeling surprised after how few repeat uses it took to start craving the drug.

A major issue facing many cocaine users today is that the drug is readily available and considered socially acceptable in many social circles. This stems from the drug’s peak use in the 1980s, but it remains high today. Long-term users in particular who are trying to quit may face a peculiar set of social challenges as a result, and many feel pressured to either keep using or be faced with changing jobs or social groups. 

That said, cocaine is considered to be a dangerous drug, and long-term use can cause serious damage to the brain, heart, nasal passageway, veins and other parts of the body. Overdose on cocaine is possible, as users often keep increasing the amounts they use (and the frequency). The National Institute on Drug Abuse also reports that long-term users become less able to experience natural feelings of joy and happiness, because the neuron receptors in the brain begin to adapt to cocaine instead. While this can sound scary, the good news is that by understanding how cocaine works, we can find the key to learning how to beat addiction. 

Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

“Am I actually addicted to cocaine?” is a common question that many users ask themselves repeatedly before recognizing they actually have a problem. The truth is that this form of drug abuse can result in a variety of signs and symptoms:

  • Long periods of alertness or staying awake
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Paranoia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of appetite or changes in eating habits
  • Schedule changes / frequent inability to be on time
  • Extreme excitement
  • Irritability 
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Nasal problems

Long-term use (as well as high amounts of cocaine done at once) can also result in a range of even more serious issues, including both legal problems and detrimental health effects. Users may experience headaches, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, nausea, and/or fever-like symptoms. Some people may also experience seizures or even slip into a coma. All of these signs and symptoms can indicate an overdose and should receive medical attention as soon as possible, followed by entry into an addiction treatment program. 

How To Quit

Recovering from a cocaine addiction can be challenging, but it is far from impossible. The fact that you are reading this already indicates that you recognize there is a problem, and that is the first and biggest step in quitting. Be proud of yourself for wanting help! 

The next steps involve actually overcoming your cocaine addiction. While ceasing use is obviously the biggest part in this, many people struggling with cocaine addiction find it useful to do some mindful thinking about how their addiction came about in the first place. For example, many users report that the first cocaine high was the strongest, most pivotal one they experienced. Their subsequent use was then often an attempt to recapture that feeling, but they later recognized that reaching it was impossible.

Many people also first used cocaine in social settings, where they wanted to fit in with the group and strengthen their bond with certain people. In this case, it’s important to recognize that interacting with groups who support unhealthy activities like cocaine use is not in your best interest, and you should surround yourself with friends and family members who actually care about your help and support your decision to quit. 

When it comes to actually stopping cocaine use, it’s strongly recommended that you do so in a medical setting and/or have medical professionals nearby who can help you. As you’re probably aware, quitting almost any drug can result in withdrawal symptoms. These may include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety / Depression
  • Sweating / Chills
  • Auditory / visual hallucinations 
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in eating habits

It’s important to realize that, while unpleasant, all of these symptoms are temporary and will go away. The best way to manage them is by going through an established cocaine addiction treatment program with caring staff members who will ensure your safety. In order to help prevent relapse and achieve long-term recovery, it is also important that you participate in therapy, surround yourself with healthy, positive people, and avoid triggers that can cause future drug abuse. 

Need Help? We Got You Covered

You don’t have to go through quitting cocaine alone. At True Help Addiction Treatment Solutions, we offer free addiction treatment placement that can pair you up with the right program. We will be there for you throughout your time in treatment, offering support every step of the way. We strongly believe that having a solid support network is key to ending drug abuse and achieving long-term sobriety. 

If you have a loved one who is struggling with drug abuse, we also offer intervention services that can help. Contact us today to learn more.