In 2013, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health stated that 23.5 million people over the age of 12 needed treatment for some sort of drug or alcohol abuse problem.

This was four years ago.

With drug use becoming more widespread, it is important that we educate ourselves on the warning signs of its abuse. This way, we will be able to notice if a loved one is suffering from an addiction before their condition worsens.

Most Common Drugs Used in Drug Abuse

Aside from the obvious effects of drug abuse such as addiction and infection, drug abuse can lead to even more potentially harmful situations, which can eventually lead to death.

To understand which drugs are most harmful, we provide a list of the more common ones involved in drug-related addictions:

  • Marijuana (synthetic, not to be mistaken for medical marijuana)
  • Prescription stimulants
  • Opioids
  • Crystal meth
  • Crack cocaine
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Prescription sedatives (Anti-depressants)
  • Heroin
  • Ketamine
  • Salvia
  • Tobacco
  • Bath Salts
  • PCP
  • Inhalants
  • Hallucinogens
  • LSD
  • Alcohol
  • DXM (over-the-counter cold/cough medicine)
  • Rohypnol

Understanding Common Signs

Drugs do not just affect our perception and judgment. Their effects on our whole body can be very telling of our condition. We just have to learn how to recognize them at first glance.

Here are some common symptoms that may help you pinpoint exactly the type of drug your loved one may be using.

The Eyes

Our eyes convey a great deal of information when we’re under the influence.

For example, if a person uses marijuana, their eyes become red and glassy, and they’re not able to focus on things. If someone takes opioids, the influence shrinks their pupils. However, if they take any stimulants, the abuser’s eyes become so dilated that only a small sliver of their iris stays visible.

Skin Changes

If a person tries to drug themselves intravenously, the bruises and needle marks remain on their body for a significant period of time. In addition, the skin also starts looking yellow since damage to the liver results in damaged skin.

People using crack also end up getting burn marks around their mouth and fingers, whereas those who use crystal meth develop sores from scratching.

As the biggest organ of the body, our skin shows the symptoms quite evidently.

Weight Fluctuations

Any unintentional weight change can point towards drug or substance abuse. For example, if a known drug abuser starts gaining weight, it can be the result of marijuana, since the abuser is not able to motivate themselves to participate in any activity.

However, if the person starts losing weight too quickly, it could be that they’re under the influence of a stimulant, which causes a reduced appetite.

Sleep Patterns

Anti-depressants often cause sleeping problems. The abuser becomes stuck in an endless trance, which either pushes them to sleep for a long period of time, or keeps them drowsy when they’re awake.

On the other hand, stimulants force the person to stay active and wake, sometimes for days. However, that is followed by a crash soon afterwards.

Mood Swings

There are various substances that cause an acute change in a person’s personality and mood. For example, there are various drugs that cause a slow, pleasurable and euphoric feeling, which prompts the abuser to try even more drugs. However, if they are not able to get those drugs, they become depressed, anxious, irritable, angry and irrational.

Along with these, there are several indicators of behavior and perception that signify drug abuse as well. However, these are the most evident.

Taking the Next Step

Orange County RecoveryIf these indicators are reminiscent of the condition your loved one is in, we advise you to take action immediately.

Orange County Recovery offers sober living facilities for alcohol and drug abusers. Providing therapy options and the services of an in-house experts, we ensure the patient’s safety and well-being above all else so they recover in a comforting environment.

If you or your loved one needs help, contact us at 866-227-1437 and provide us with your details.