Is Your Loved One Addicted? Assessment Test

Drug abuse is not simple. There is no line to cross where you can definitively say that someone is actually addicted to a drug. Everyone is different and while some people can use prescription or recreational drugs without ever becoming dependent on them, others can become hooked after using a drug only once or twice.

Drugs have varied physical effects on different people, but the physical signs of drug addiction are usually quite similar among people. If you recognize the following signs and symptoms in someone you know (or yourself, for that matter), that person might have a drug abuse problem or might even be addicted to drugs.

We differentiate between drug abuse and drug addiction here. While people may abuse drugs, they might not be physically dependent on them.

Common signs and symptoms of drug abuse

  • Neglecting responsibilities. Whether it's at school, work, or home, if a person is failing classes, skipping work or neglecting family because of drug use, it's a problem.

  • Using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high. These can include driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.

  • Drug use that causes legal trouble. This can include arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, stealing to support a drug habit or arrests for possession.  

  • Drug use that causes problems in relationships. Fights with partners, family, friends, co-workers or the loss of old friends due to drug use points to a real problem.

Take our online test to determine if your loved ones are affected

Common signs and symptoms of drug addiction

  • A build up a of tolerance to a drug. This happens when a person needs to use more of the drug to experience the same effects they used to attain with smaller amounts.

  • Taking drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms happen when people who are physically dependent on drugs stop taking the drugs and they can include: nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety. The only thing that alleviates withdrawal symptoms is taking the drug.

  • Loss of control over drug use. This happens when someone does more drugs or does them longer than they had planned. They may want to stop using, but will feel powerless to do so.

  • Life revolving around drug use. This happens when people spend the majority of their time using, drugs thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get drugs, and recovering from the effects of drugs.

  • The abandonment of activities a person used to enjoy. Whether it's hobbies, sports or socializing, giving these up in favor of drugs is a sign of addiction.

  • Person continues to use drugs, despite knowing that it is physically hurting them. When a person keeps using despite major problems caused by the drugs—blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia—addiction has set in.

Take our online test to determine if your loved ones are affected

Physical warning signs of drug abuse

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils appear larger or smaller than usual

  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns (day person suddenly becomes a night person)

  • Sudden weight loss or gain

  • Deterioration of physical appearance, absence of personal grooming habits

  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing

  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination

Take our online test to determine if your loved ones are affected

Behavioral signs of drug abuse

  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school

  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems including borrowing or stealing to get it.

  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors

  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies

  • Frequently getting into trouble like fights, accidents or illegal activities

Take our online test to determine if your loved ones are affected

Psychological warning signs of drug abuse

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude

  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts

  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness

  • Lack of motivation; appearing lethargic

  • Appearing fearful, anxious, or paranoid for no discernable reason

Take our online test to determine if your loved ones are affected

Warning Signs of Commonly Abused Drugs

  • Marijuana: Glassy, red eyes; loud talking, inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness; loss of interest, motivation; weight gain or loss; sudden urge to eat large amounts; paranoia

  • Depressants (including Xanax, Valium, GHB): Contracted pupils; drunk-like state; difficulty concentrating; clumsiness; poor judgment; slurred speech; sleepiness.

  • Stimulants (including amphetamines, cocaine, crystal meth): Dilated pupils; hyperactivity; euphoria; irritability; anxiety; excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times; going long periods of time without eating or sleeping; weight loss; dry mouth and nose.

  • Inhalants (glues, aerosols, vapors): Watery eyes; impaired vision, memory and thought; secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth; headaches and nausea; appearance of intoxication; drowsiness; poor muscle control; changes in appetite; anxiety; irritability; lots of cans/aerosols in the trash.

  • Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP): Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self and objects, slurred speech; confusion.

  • Heroin: Contracted pupils; no response of pupils to light; needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting; coughing, sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite.

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