5 Ways to Detect Emotional Symptoms of Possible Drug Abuse

5 Ways to Detect Emotional Symptoms of Possible Drug Abuse

All drugs that can be abused have emotional side effects. People who suspect that a loved one or friend is into substance abuse often look for physical signs first, such as odd smells, dilated pupils, track marks or sinus issues. But the emotional signs of drug abuse can be just as telling. So how can you discern the difference between natural moods and emotional changes do to drug abuse? The key to pinpointing mood swings caused by drug abuse is to look for sudden, rather than gradual changes. Friends and family should keep an eye out for emotional symptoms such as the following:

  • Lack of concentration and memory problems – Psychoactive drugs directly affect the brain, often causing the mind to feel foggy and tired. Memory problems and short attention span are listed as side effects on a number of prescription drugs. Fixation with obtaining more of the drug and getting high can also cause people to stop focusing on school, work and other responsibilities.
  • Secretiveness – Discomfort, deception and defensiveness are just a few of the reactions drug users display in order to hide their involvement with drugs. Users may demonstrate irritability or anger when their privacy is violated.
  • Signs of anxiety – Restlessness and insomnia are signs of anxiety, and can also be physical side effects of the drug abuse itself.
  • Signs of depression – Sadness, hopelessness, emotional numbness and lack of motivation can all point to drug abuse. The depression may not necessarily result from the drug abuse, but it could have been a factor that led to it and is exacerbated by it.
  • Sudden changes in social life – Suddenly dropping friends and finding new ones, losing interest in social activities, acting reclusive or getting into trouble can be signs of drug abuse.

Many signs of drug abuse and addiction can have other explanations. While it is important to get all the information you can before jumping to conclusions, you also do not want to let patterns of suspicious behavior go unaddressed.

People who abuse drugs face psychological issues that can grow more and more serious with long-term abuse and addiction. Substance abuse takes an emotional, physical and financial toll. Confronting a loved one at the first distinct signs of drug abuse can help save him or her years of difficulties, challenges and heartache.

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