Noticing Drug Addiction Symptoms in Our Loved Ones

Drug addiction is something that affects all types of people. No one is immune to addiction. There are over one million people in the UK alone that use drugs regularly. If you or someone close to you is struggling with a drug problem, it’s important to recognise possible drug addiction symptoms. Being able to identify a drug addiction is vital in overcoming it.

What Are Some Common Drug Addiction Symptoms?

It isn’t always easy to determine when a person is using drugs. While some drug addiction symptoms will be very apparent, other signs of drug addiction aren’t as easy to identify. A person can hide a drug addiction for quite some time before it becomes obvious to others.

Experiencing Withdrawal

One of the most evident drug addiction symptoms is experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using. While this might seem very obvious, many people won’t realise they’ve become dependent on a substance even when experiencing withdrawal.

Withdrawal can be mild or extremely severe depending on the nature of a person’s addiction. People that have been using large amounts of a substance over an extended period of time will experience withdrawal the worst. People with more mild cases of addiction or dependency might just feel or seem a bit “off” when they stop using.

Although withdrawal will be different depending on the type of drug a person is taking, some of the common symptoms of drug addiction withdrawal include:

  • Mild or severe anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

When a person is addicted, taking more of the substance they are accustomed to using will make withdrawal symptoms stop. This is a pattern of abuse that can quickly lead to a serious addiction.

Mental and Emotional Drug Addiction Symptoms

An addiction to drugs will completely change who a person is. This is because drugs literally change how the brain functions, causing a person to think and act differently than they normally would. When drugs are used for an extended period of time, the mental and emotional repercussions of addiction will become more apparent Some of the most common psychological drug addiction symptoms include the following.

Behavioural Changes

When a person becomes more and more dependent upon a drug, the ability to maintain clarity decreases exponentially. The way a person acts after they’ve repeatedly used drugs will be noticeably different from the way they acted prior to their drug abuse. The behaviour displayed by a person using drugs will be much different than that of someone not accustomed to drug abuse.

image showing a man relaxing during his treatment for Drug Addiction Symptoms
Why choose

If someone you care about is exhibiting signs of addiction – whether it’s excessive marijuana use, long-term dependency on pharmaceuticals, binge drinking of alcohol or even financially damaging levels of gambling – contact us for immediate rehabilitation help.

Emotional Changes

One of the most obvious drug addiction symptoms will be changes in a person’s emotional state. An individual addicted to drugs is regularly on an emotional rollercoaster. Extreme highs and very low lows are common amongst regular drug users. They may be extremely jovial and full of energy one moment, and hours later be irritated, upset, and easily infuriated.

Personality Changes

Changes in personality are also an indication of a drug addiction. Spending more time alone and becoming increasingly withdrawn is an indication of excessive drug use. A person using drugs just won’t seem to be themselves. If you notice someone you care about is acting different and you suspect they’re using drugs, it could be an indication of a very serious problem.

Drug addiction symptoms can also include a tendency towards anger and violent behaviour. If you notice you or a loved one has become increasingly agitated and irritated, it could be an indication of a problem with drug addiction. People who have never displayed signs of violence or demonstrated any anger issues will often become indignant when they become drug dependent.

What Are the Physical Drug Addiction Symptoms?

Drug addiction can wreak havoc on a person’s physical body. It isn’t long before the physical symptoms of drug addiction will make themselves apparent. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Lack of hygiene/personal care
  • Bloodshot, watery eyes
  • Extreme laziness
  • Increased or excessive energy
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms when not sick
  • Pupils larger or smaller than normal
  • Tremors
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Needle marks on arms from intravenous drug use
image showing young people enjoying their sober life after getting treatment for Drug Addiction Symptoms

Oftentimes, it is the physical signs of drug use that first indicate a more serious problem. If you notice any of these physical symptoms of drug addiction, it’s important to take it very seriously. When left untreated, drug addiction can have drastic consequences.

Signs of Drug Use Amongst Various Substances

Every drug affects users differently. Following are the most commonly abused drugs and the signs of use for each. If you believe someone you love is struggling with a drug problem, the following are indications of various drugs and the way they commonly affect an individual.


Slurred speech, increased talkativeness, loss of inhibition, glassy eyes, clumsiness, loss of balance, belligerence


Acting drunk, clumsiness, slurred speech, sleepiness, decreased judgement, trouble concentrating


Red, bloodshot, or glassy eyes, increased appetite, increased laughter and talkativeness, laziness, loss of motivation, lack of focus

Synthetic Cannabis (“Spice” or “K2”)

Similar symptoms to cannabis

Cocaine, Meth, Crack

Increased talkativeness, excessive energy, hyperactivity, going long periods of time without sleeping, loss of appetite, weight loss, sores or lesions on face and arms


Paranoia, strange behaviour, hallucinations, withdrawal from people, mood swings, confusion


Cold or flu-like symptoms, runny nose, twitching, unusual sleeping patterns, track marks on arms, drowsiness, anxiety, depression


Seemingly intoxicated, drowsiness, increased socialness

Why Recognising Drug Addiction Symptoms Is Important?

Drug addiction can do irreparable damage to a person’s life if left untreated. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, it’s important to realise just how serious drug abuse truly is. When you can recognise the symptoms of drug abuse and know what signs to look for, it can save a person from doing even further damage. Once a drug addiction is recognised for what it is, the steps towards changing it can begin to take place.

Anyone who is suffering from an addiction to drugs needs to understand that there is help available. No one deserves to take on the heavy load that addiction entails. There is a way out of this struggle. Knowing the different things to look out for can help when deciding on various ways to begin to overcome addiction for good. Being able to distinguish what various drug addiction symptoms are is one of the first things that needs to be done to help a person struggling in this dark time.

Why choose

If someone you care about is exhibiting signs of addiction – whether it’s excessive marijuana use, long-term dependency on pharmaceuticals, binge drinking of alcohol or even financially damaging levels of gambling – contact us for immediate rehabilitation help.

Help for Drug Addiction in the UK

Once a drug addiction has been acknowledged, the next step is to figure out what to do about it. Addiction affects people differently and there are a variety of different options when it comes to getting help. While some people can stop using drugs and never look back, most people will need to get professional help. Please call us toll-free at 0808 278 9885 to see how we can help you through this trying time. We’ve got a free drug addiction helpline with trained professionals waiting to take your call.

If you or someone you love recognise some of the drug addiction symptoms mentioned above, there is no better time to call than now. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you in your struggles with addiction. Not only are we connected to some of the best rehab centres in the UK, but can offer you sound advice in taking back the freedom from addiction you deserve.

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