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What are the signs and symptoms of drug addiction?

Drug addiction is associated with a wide range of psychological, behavioural, social and physical symptoms. The symptoms that you experience depend on a whole host of factors, including the type of drug that you are addicted to, the amount and frequency of your drug use, the method by which you have been consuming the drug e.g. injecting, snorting, swallowing or smoking, as well as being unique to each individual.

Our highly qualified team at Life Works are dedicated to delivering world class drug addiction treatment, therapy and support, empowering each and every one of our clients to overcome their dependency, and take steps towards a strong and lasting recovery.

As well as consuming drugs on a regular basis, the following are also signs that you, or someone that you know, may be struggling with a harmful drug addiction:

Psychological symptoms of drug addiction:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Feeling nervous and ‘on edge’
  • Defensiveness
  • Agitation
  • Increased temper and irritability
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Reduced self-esteem
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling tearful and emotionally drained
  • Memory problems
  • Finding that you need to take the drug in order to function
  • Regularly consuming the drug for stress relief; this can often be the trigger for many people who go on to become addicted to drugs
  • Finding it hard to focus or concentrate at work, home, or in any other areas of your life
  • Intense cravings for the drug
  • Exacerbation of any existing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety or stress, which may lead to anger and even physical violence
Contact Life Works Today

Struggling with a drug addiction? Call the Life Works team to see how we can support individuals and families suffering from drug addiction issues. To learn more about rehabilitation programmes and treatments, call: 01483 745 066 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT.

Behavioural and social symptoms of drug addiction:

  • Continuing to take drugs despite the negative effects that this has had on your life
  • Avoiding contact with family and friends, leading to social isolation
  • Finding that you only tend to spend time with other drug users
  • Devoting an excessive amount of time to obtaining and using drugs
  • Prioritising drugs over other activities
  • Losing interest in activities, hobbies or events that were once important to you
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Poor performance and/or attendance at work
  • Dishonest and secretive behaviour

Physical symptoms of drug addiction:

  • Finding that you have built a tolerance to the drug, meaning that you need to take the drug on an increasingly frequent basis and in higher doses, in order to experience the desired effects
  • Bruises and infections on the body, as a result of injecting drugs
  • Abrupt changes in weight due to a lack of/increased appetite
  • Feeling clammy and sweating excessively in the absence of physical exertion
  • Headaches caused by dehydration, which is another side effect of excessive drug use
  • Lack of concern over physical appearance/personal hygiene
  • Disrupted sleep patterns, including insomnia
  • Lethargy
  • Bloodshot eyes, or dilated/constricted pupils
  • Appearance of drug withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, and feeling shaky, emotionally volatile and nauseous, if you haven’t consumed drugs for a certain amount of time

This page was reviewed by Robin Clayton, Primary Therapist, (BACP, ATSAC) in September 2021.

What are the long-term effects of drug addiction?
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To discuss how the Life Works team can help to support individuals and families dealing with drug addiction issues, and for further information on treatment and rehabilitation programmes, please call: 01483 745 066 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT.

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