• Question: How do you know if someone is addicted to drugs? (Key signs)

    Asked by 355drud48 to Anne, Florence, Mark, Neil, Sinead on 17 Nov 2015.
    • Photo: Mark Collins

      Mark Collins answered on 17 Nov 2015:

      Hi, there are number of key signs and in order to spot addiction you have to know that they are already taking or abusing the drug. When this is established and then spotting they are addicted is time critical, the longer the addiction takes hold then the more damage they will be doing to their bodies. The person continues to take drugs, even though they acknowledge it is doing them harm. They have stopped doing activities they used to enjoy, their social activities have changed as they become engrossed in their addiction. Their life revolves around their drug intake.They have lost all control over their drug intake. If you know of anyone that you suspect may be abusing drugs, talk to them and have them speak with close friends or family, speak to a teacher that you trust or another responsible adult, the sooner that person gets help-the better chance they will make a full recovery from that addiction.

    • Photo: Florence McCarthy

      Florence McCarthy answered on 17 Nov 2015:

      Addiction in the classic sense causes overly selfish behavior as the habit needs to be fed and the addict will do anything to feed it. Their behaviour may become erratic and risky and this would be abnormal for that person.

    • Photo: Sinead Balgobin

      Sinead Balgobin answered on 18 Nov 2015:

      The key signs that are easiest to spot are behavioural ones. The person might start to lose interest in school or work, and stop attending or their performance might be off; they might start getting into trouble, being very secretive or start hanging out with different people or in different places; they might start looking for money a lot of the time. You might notice that they stop taking care of themselves- not eating or sleeping properly, or showering. The most important signs are the ones that only the people close to the user will notice: changes in their emotional state that seem unusual. Their whole personality might change: they might become paranoid and anxious, hyperactive or agitated… or the complete opposite, and be tired and spacey all the time. They might experience sudden mood swings or violent outbursts.

      If you think someone you know has been abusing drugs, talk to them, talk to a responsible adult, and help them to get help. Always support the person and make sure they know that you want to help them, and are there for them. Drug use messes with you brain chemistry, and addiction isn’t as simple to cure as just stopping- it takes a lot of time and support to get your brain back to normal.